Liebherr has announced the launch of two new rough terrain (RT) cranes, some 20 years after the firm was last active in this market.
The new machines will be aimed largely at the North American market, which currently represents some 50% of the global RT crane market.
With this in mind, the LRT 1090-2.1 (90-tonne capacity) and LRT 1100-2.1 (100 tonnes) cranes will be showcased at the ConExpo event in Las Vegas in March 2017, although they were recently previewed at an exclusive press event in Ehingen, Germany, where the machines will be built.
While the design of the vehicle and turntable elements of the two cranes is structurally almost identical, variations can be seen in their respective boom lengths, telescope technology and ballast weight, as well as their lifting capacity.
Both will be driven by diesel engines from Cummins, and will feature six-gear Dana powershift transmissions. Other shared features include three steering options for a high degree of manoeuvrability, and a fully equipped unladen weight of less than 55 tonnes, for easy and economical transporting.
On the question of why Liebherr has chosen this moment to re-enter the rough terrain cranes market, Christoph Kleiner, managing director of sales at Liebherr’s Ehingen facility, said, “We expect an ongoing sideward movement to our Liebherr mobile crane business, as well as for our industry, probably slightly below this year’s level.”
He said that, over the past three-and-a-half years, the company had been looking at ways “to either strengthen or even widen our footprint in the crane industry”.
He also spoke of the importance to Liebherr of ensuring staff were retained, even given the challenging global market conditions. He said keeping staff working as close as possible to capacity was another benefit of adding the rough terrain cranes to the firm’s portfolio.
Dr Ulrich Hamme, managing director of construction and development at Ehingen, explained that ensuring the cranes would be competitively priced was a priority throughout their development, as was working on Liebherr’s own version of the US Navy’s KISS philosophy (in this case, Keep It Simple and Safe).