Italian mini crane manufacturer Jekko has launched the JF 545 which it described as “an articulated crane with a self-propelled crawler chassis” that can be operated by just one person.

The JF 545 comprises a two-part, articulated crane arm, plus stabilisers, mounted on crawler tracks. A jib can be added to the boom, extending the list of potential applications compared to a traditional mini crane with a chain system telescopic arm, said Jekko.

The mini crane can be customised to suit various applications. For example, a three-person hydraulic platform can be used in conjunction with double articulation, while a two-person basket can be used for heights up to 31 metres when the jib is used. The crane can also be used with either a direct hook or a winch.

The JF 545 can access space-restricted jobsites, said Jekko, thanks to its small dimensions (5450 x 1840 x 2750 mm), while the crawler tracks enable it to be used on steep terrain.

The JF 545 uses a lifting moment limiter instead of an electronic limiter. Jekko said this simplifies use, as machine feedback is provided via a pressure reference display rather than through input/output software. When the machine is fully stabilised it can use maximum pressure to work at 360 degrees, said Jekko. The system also takes into account the position of the stabilisers, and the resulting tip-over line, to automatically calculate the crane’s stability level. This makes use easier and safer for the operator, said Jekko.

This track-mounted mini crane is able to use ballast weighing up to 3500kg, and has an automatic ballast release system. A radio control system means a single operator can work the whole crane.

One of the first companies to buy a JF 545 was Italian lifting and haulage specialist Bendini Autotrasporti, located in the Bologna area of northern Italy. “The reason for purchasing a tracked articulated crane is to extend our fleet with a machine that cannot be compared with any of the others and offers opportunities that are inconceivable with a vehicle-mounted crane,” said Emanuele Bendini, one of the company’s managers. “We have many vehicle-mounted articulated cranes but a vehicle-mounted crane cannot access everywhere. We have overcome these constraints with the JF 545. We can now reach areas and spaces we couldn’t think of reaching before. For example, we can access industrial production areas and lift and position machinery directly with the crane. The tracks mustn’t be underestimated either because, as we often work in the foothills of the Apennines, we have to work in places with height differences and in areas with rough surfaces. The tracked crane is an advantage in these cases as well.”

Diego Tomasella, CEO of Jekko added, “The mini crane culture is taking an important step towards articulated cranes to present an innovative product that is simple to use, within reach of a wider market that is continuously searching for new solutions, in particular in the area of maintenance and service, in increasingly complex logistical and environmental contexts.”

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