Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Cranes and aerial work platforms give needed lift to construction and maintenance projects.

Article December 28, 2000
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There is a lot of
activity in the crane and aerial work platform industry these
days. The construction market is strong and crane usage is at
its highest levels since the 1970s. Sales are up and the market
is expected to remain strong through 2000. Recent activity among
manufacturers reflects this growing strength.

For instance
Link-Belt is planning to expand its engineering facility at its
headquarters in Lexington, Ky. The new 25,000-sq-ft facility
will provide needed space for new product design and production
engineering growth. Link-Belt also held Crane Fest in October
where the company unveiled four new models and demonstrated
other existing models as well.

IMT has formed an alliance
with AutoGru PM Cranes of Modena, Italy. The company hopes this
move will combine the benefits of European crane technology with
IMT's distributor organization and market application knowledge.
The alliance creates the IMT/PM Material Handling crane line
that includes five new models of articulating cranes with
capacities from 16 to 42 ton-meters. This will bring IMT's
complete line of articulating cranes to 14 models with ratings
from 22,000 to 306,000 ft-lb.

Mark Whaley, vice president of
sales and marketing, IMT, said, "It's important to understand
that we will continue to produce and support our existing line
of figure-four articulating cranes used generally in more rugged
service applications. We view this alliance as our first step in
developing a line of IMT material handling systems."

The
following is a brief roundup of some of the aerial work
platforms and cranes available.

Auto Crane Co.

The
company's latest model, the 6006EH has a lifting capacity of
36,000 ft lb, and is equipped with a self-contained 24-volt DC
electric/ hydraulic power unit. The power telescoping boom
extends from 10 to 16 ft, and is available with a manual
extension to 20 ft for greater versatility. The design includes
a bail type anti-two block to protect against possible cable or
crane tip damage. A non-tipping mini-block minimizes
crown-to-hook distance for additional lifting height in confined
spaces.

Other features include 370-deg power rotation with
10-deg overlap around the truck minus 5-deg to 75-deg
hydraulically powered boom elevation, automatic overload
protection system, a 24-ft remote control pendant, and 95 ft of
3/8-in. cable.

Condor

The company offers a range of
aerial lift platforms, including truck-mounted telescoping and
articulating boom lifts reaching 90 to 210 ft, vertical lifts
reaching 14 to 42 ft and self-propelled telescoping and
articulating booms reaching 40 to 80 ft. The truck-mounted
models have an unrestricted platform capacity in any position
from 1,000 to 2,000 lb and a horizontal reach of 35 to 77 ft.
The vertical lifts have an unrestricted platform capacity in any
position from 500 to 2,000 lb. The self- propelled booms have an
unrestricted platform capacity in any position from 500 to 800
lb.

Demag

Demag Material Handling Equipment Corp. has
introduced a new all-terrain model, the 200-ton AC535. It is
available in either a 5- or 6-axle configuration and is equipped
with a 550-hp Daimler-Benz OM 442 LA water-cooled, 8-cylinder
diesel carrier engine. The crane's superstructure is powered by
a 170-hp Daimler-Benz OM 904 LA water-cooled, 4-cylinder diesel
engine. Optional Cummins carrier and superstructure engines also
are available.

With an 197-ft five-section, full-powered
main boom and optional 190-ft self-erecting luffing jib boom,
the crane offers a combined main and jib boom tip height of 320
ft. A lattice-type swing-away jib is offered for an additional
reach of 32 to 48 ft and may be lengthened with inserts for jib
lengths up to 126 ft.

Genie Industries

The company's
S-85 self-propelled telescopic boom includes a 5-ft jib boom.
The jib has a range of 135 deg--plus 75 deg above horizontal and
minus 60 deg below horizontal. This allows the operator to go
out-and-down, and out-and-over as well as out-and-up. it will
reach from 85 ft above ground level to 14 ft below, with a
working height of 91 ft, and is available in either 2WD or 4WD.

Genie also has introduced a new line of self-propelled
scissor lifts. The initial introduction includes three models
with platform heights from 21 ft to 26 ft. All include a large
platform with easy roll-out extension and tight-space
maneuverability. Other features include a built-in
self-diagnostic system, steel guardrails and a variable speed
motor that extends battery and motor life.

Grove Worldwide

The company's new MZ46C, telescoping boom lift, features a
horizontal reach of 34 ft and a working range of 766 sq ft. In
addition the superstructure rotates continuously through 360
deg. Maximum working height is 46 ft, and platform capacity is
500 lb. Standard platform size is 36 x 72 in., and an optional
36 x 96-in. platform is available. Standard platform features
include 110-volt AC wiring and a hydraulic-powered platform
rotator that turns the platform up to 155 deg. Platform options
include 2,000-watt self-contained AC power; 120-psi air power, a
weld lead, and an oxygen/acetylene line.

The MZ46CXT comes
with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering to improve
mobility and to provide an outside turning radius of 15 ft. The
company also offers the new TMS640, 40-ton capacity
carrier-mounted crane, with a boom length of 105 ft and a
maximum tip height of 112 ft. An optional 29-ft fixed length
swingway provides a maximum tip height of 141 ft.

IMT

IMT has added Model 3816, with a 38,000 ft-lb rating, to its
telescopic crane line. The crane provides from 3,500 lb of lift
at 11 ft to 1,840 lb at 20 ft. To achieve the 20-ft reach, boom
configurations include two extensions, a 60-in. hydraulic
extension and a 48- in. manual extension. A fixed sheave boom
tip is standard. For added lift height in tight quarters, a flip
sheave boom tip is available.

The crane is designed for
installation on a 15,000 gvw chassis and can be corner mounted
for maximum horizontal reach.

Liebherr America

During
the late 1970s, Liebherr started to build its first hydraulic
crawler cranes in its plant in Nenzing, Austria. About a year
ago Liebherr Nenzing began to market its cranes in the U.S. with
the help of Liebherr America. Recent modifications on existing
models created the LR 843 and the LR 853, rated at 80 and 100
tons, respectively.

Features include an electronic control
system to monitor the crane's function, thus relieving the
operator from that task and allowing him to concentrate on his
work. The cranes also come with Lamella disc-free fall brakes in
an oil bath. This design allows operation at any weather
condition, with free fall as well as with power down. The
winches are hydraulically driven, with variable flow oil motors
providing full line pull at all times as well as with power
down. There is a choice of different winches from 17,000 lb up
to 66,000 lb. Diesel engine power available ranges from 180 hp
up to 820 hp depending on choice of engine.

Link-Belt

The company recently introduced and demonstrated new crane
models at its CraneFest held in Lexington, Ky. One model
introduced was the HTC-8650 hydraulic truck crane, which
features a Detroit Diesel series 50 8.5 liter engine. It has a
35 1/2-ft to 110-ft four-section full-power boom and when
combined with an optional 34-ft to 56-ft off-settable two-piece
fly offers a tip height of 172 ft. Also introduced was the
HC-238H hydraulic lattice boom truck crane with a 150-ton
capacity. It can be equipped with a maximum of 240 ft of main
boom or a combination of 210 ft of boom plus 70 ft of jib. It is
designed to be self-erecting and self-stripping.

Another
model featured at the demonstration was the LS-248H II 200-ton
hydraulic lattice boom crawler crane. This crane can be equipped
with a maximum of 280 ft of main boom or a combination of 240 ft
of boom plus 100 ft of jib. A luffing jib attachment also is
available to optimize the up-and-over capability of the crane.

The final crane introduced was the 300-ton HC-278H lattice
boom truck crane. It can be equipped with a maximum of 330 ft of
main boom or a combination of 300 ft of boom plus 100 ft of jib.
Equipped with an optional luffing boom attachment, it can handle
250 ft of luffing boom plus 200 ft of luffing jib plus 30 ft of
fixed jib for a total reach of 530 ft.

Manitex

Manitex
has introduced four new models; the M2177S, M2277S and M2892S
have been added to the Millennium S-Series and the M2277 was
added to the conventional Millennium Series. The M2177S and the
M2277S feature a 77-ft, full-powered boom and a two-piece jib
and have a maximum tip height of 138 ft. Both models feature
540-deg non-continuous rotation and a full 360-deg area of
operation without requiring a front-bumper stabilizer.

The
M2892S is a 28-ton crane with a full-powered 28- to 92-ft boom
and a two-piece jib. It has a maximum tip height of 147 ft.
Other features include an anti-two block system with shutdown as
well as a load-moment indicator that provides the operator with
pertinent information relative to the crane's configuration and
load.

The 22-ton M2277 features a three-section, full-power
boom with a two-piece jib and has a maximum tip height of 139
ft. It also can be ordered with a 24-ft retracted, 62-ft
extended three-section boom for tractor mounting.

Mayville
Engineering Co.

Mayville offers rough-terrain scissor lifts
with work heights up to 39 ft and load capacities to 1,750 lb.
Two of the models, the 33RT and the 25RT, are four-wheel drive
and feature front-wheel steering. They travel at speeds up to 3
mph on Super Terra Grip, 26-in.-diam tires and provide the
operator a high-torque secondary power switch and proportional
hydraulic control for both lift and travel speeds. Both feature
a work platform with 67.8 sq ft of space, which can be enlarged
by a 48-in. roll-out extension to provide an additional 23 sq
ft. The platform can be raised to full height in 38 seconds and
lowered in 45 seconds.

National Crane

National Crane, a
Grove Worldwide Co. introduced two new articulating cranes this
year, the N-160 and the N-325. The N-160 has a rating of 164,900
ft lb, a maximum lifting capacity of 9 tons, a maximum vertical
reach of 65 ft 2 in., a reach below truck frame of 39 ft 8 in.,
and a horizontal reach of 54 ft. A five-section proportional
outer boom design extends each section in equivalent lengths
during the telescoping process, which enhances boom weight
distribution, maximizes operational efficiency, and allows
higher capacities, particularly in normal working radii. The
removable hydraulic fly jib adds 18 ft of hydraulic reach to the
crane.

The N-325 is the company's largest crane with a
rating of 314,500 ft lb. The crane provides a maximum capacity
of 13.5 tons, a maximum vertical reach above ground of 64 ft 4
in., a maximum horizontal reach of 53 ft 6 in., and a maximum
hydraulic extension of 46 ft. It provides two 24-ft, two-stage
hydraulic out-and-down outriggers for stability. Like the N-160,
this model features a five-section proportional outer boom
design. It also features a high-performance, pressure-
compensated, load-sensing hydraulic system that provides smooth,
precise metering of the crane's multi-function operation.

Snorkel

Snorkel offers a wide variety of aerial work
platforms, from telescoping booms to scissor lifts. The company
has re-designed its Wildcat Model SLH 3284hd rough terrain
scissor lift. It is driveable at full height and features
4-wheel drive along with an articulating rear axle to traverse
jobsite obstacles. Foam filled tires are standard and
gradeability is 37 percent. Other features are a working height
of 38 ft 4 in., 1,250-lb platform capacity and a 6 x 10-ft
platform. A 4-ft roll-out deck extension also is standard. It
also features a removable console with joystick and proportional
controls for platform raising and driving functions.

The
standard power source is a liquid-cooled gasoline engine. Duel
fuel, LP only or diesel engines are options. Drive and lowering
motion alarms along with built-in level sensor interlocks and
built-in scissor-arm safety support are among its many safety
features.

Terex Cranes

Terex has introduced its Stinger
2863 telescopic truck-mounted crane. It has a lift capacity of
28,800 lb and is rated at 33,000 lb GVW, on a two-axle chassis.
According to the company, this makes it possible for end users
in the U.S. to be exempt from Federal Excise Tax on new truck
chassis purchases. It comes with an optional 40-ft jib, and has
a maximum sheave height of 113 ft. Other features include a
patented color-coded load chart and boom to assist the operator
in easy identification of load angle and capacity; fully
proportional, cable extension system for the three-section boom;
and 360-deg full-capacity working area without counterweight on
recommended chassis.

West Manitowoc

The company's 222EX
100-ton lift crane has a maximum boom and jib combination length
of 240 ft. Standard features include self-handling rigging to
install/remove boom and counterweights, high-visibility,
climate-controlled operator's cab, engine disconnect clutch,
independent, equal-width, load-hoist drums with rotation
indicators, ether starting aid, fire extinguisher, travel
lights, and upper and lower windshield wipers. It is powered by
a Cummins M11 350 turbocharged diesel engine. The power system
also includes a manual disconnect clutch for cold-weather
starting, high-silencing muffler, hydraulic oil cooler, radiator
and fan. The hydraulic transmission is a closed-loop power
transmission featuring six variable-displacement piston pumps,
one for each crane function.

The crawler assemblies are
22.365-ft-long reinforced steel fabrications with 36-in. treads
and sealed low-maintenance rollers. Each crawler is powered
independently by a variable-displacement hydraulic motor, driven
through a right-angle planetary gearbox.

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