A new Millennium

25 April 2008

Lampson Australia runs what it says is the largest fleet of Manitowoc cranes (156 units) outside the US. In 2000 it embarked on its Millennium series programme of fleet refurbishment, with the aim of bringing the cranes in its fleet up to the standard of new units.

The reason behind the programme is simple. The company studied the capacity charts of available cranes around the world and its riggers said that the stability of old machines was better than that offered by new ones.

Manitowoc's venerable 4100 lattice boom model is the subject of many of the Millennium series rebuilds. In addition to extending the useful service life of the cranes, changes are made to improve operation, assembly and disassembly. The design has been modified to make transport easier while maintenance remains the same as for the standard unit. A hydraulic self-load, unload and erection system is installed as is an automatic braking system.

The old controls are replaced with a two-joystick system, and an in-house designed stability monitor is also fitted. Fibreglass body panels replace steel ones, and other non-structural steel components, including catwalks, tinware and struts, are replaced with stainless steel components.

To date, Lampson has completed upgrades on 11 Model 4100s, two 3900s and three 4600s in its fleet. The plan is to rebuild machines every five years. The company is doing 10 rebuilds a year, on all types of crane.

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