Cranes: A real breakthrough
By Joe Malone23 March 2016
The rough terrain is an ideal tool for many jobsites and often is a support for larger equipment. The market, however, has been suffering, especially in Europe and North America, where sales dropped massively last year.
Michael Herbert, Manitowoc Cranes global product director, rough terrain cranes, explains why, “The main applications for rough terrain cranes is typically oil and gas, however, energy prices have softened that market slightly. Mining is also a place where RTs work well, however this is also a slow market.”
Despite the slowdown in Europe, there is a rising demand in central and northern Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. “The most interesting markets are the growing economies,” a spokesperson from Italian manufacturer Locatelli points out. “This is because they are all in need of infrastructure.”
To keep in line with changes in the market, manufacturers have been updating and introducing new models of RT cranes. As part of its renewing process, Locatelli, for example, has introduced the 80 tonne capacity GRIL 8800T with 40.5 m boom and a Tier 4 Final engine.
From Link-Belt is the new 90 tonne capacity 100RT, introduced at CraneFest 2015. The 100RT is a four wheel rough terrain crane with a six section pin and latch boom that extends to 50 m. “With full attachment, reach is 79.8 m. No other crane in this class can match a chart that will lift 800 kg at 46 m radius like the 100RT,” the manufacturer says.
The new model has dual- and single-axis controllers and a 20 degree tilt cab with air conditioning, sun shade and a five-way adjustable seat. In addition, the carrier deck has six points of access.
New from Japanese manufacturer Tadano a new rough terrain crane for overseas markets. The new GR-500EXS/GR-550XLS has a 50 tonne capacity with a 33 m, 4-section boom. Extra reach is provided by a two-staged under slung jib that stows alongside the base boom section, the manufacturer says.
The model has an overall width of 3 m and is powered by a Euromot 2 Mitsubishi 6M60-TL. It has a travelling speed of 44 km/h and Eco-mode, which reduces fuel consumption when the crane is being operated, the manufacturer adds. The model is also fitted with the Hello-Net system, which monitors various crane data. The GR-500EXS type will be sold in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, and the GR-550XLS type will be sold in Central and South America, the manufacturer says.
Tadano also launched two optional jibs for its largest RT model, the GR-1600XL/1450EX, including a 3.6 m heavy lifting jib with two offset angles of 20 and 40 degrees. The heavy lifting jib has a capacity of 22 tonne. The second option is a 7 m lattice insert jib with two sections. The entire jib system gives a maximum lifting height of 92.2 m, the manufacturer says.
The main client for the Forth Crossing Bridge construction project is Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government’s transport authority. Cranes on site include three Liebherr 630 EC-H 40 Litronic top slewing cranes, two Liebherr LR 1300s and a number of mobile cranes. The mobile and crawler cranes are operated by Ainscough Crane Hire.
On average there are eight telescopic cranes on site each day. Tasks for the smaller cranes include handling rebar, placing shuttering and carrying out general construction lifts. Work for the larger cranes includes lifting bridge deck segments and precast sections. One of the LR 1300 crawler cranes has been mounted on a barge situated in the river. The second machine is based on the shore.
The new bridge, which is called the Queensferry Crossing, is due for completion by the end of 2016. Once complete it will be 2.7 km long and will sit alongside the existing Forth Road Bridge (FRB) built in 1964.
Liebherr is responsible for crane supply at the project and development of the cranes. This includes a special design for the high wind speeds and calculations for the guying on the towers, the company said.
The tower cranes have capacities of 180 tonnes, or 40 tonnes at a radius of 18 m. They have been installed on steel foundations and are configured with 36 m jibs. All three models are fitted with 110 kW high performance hoist gears.
To adapt to the high wind speeds the cranes are specified according to wind zone D 25. The cranes are fitted with the 500 HC tower systems and are mounted on a 10 m 630 EC-H undercarriage, the manufacturer said. Each crane reaches 235 m high, with hook heights of 212 m and five guying systems on the pylons.
With relatively strong markets in North America and the Far East, as well as certain areas in Europe, the crawler crane industry is a stable one. Japan is also seeing a strong outlook, thanks to stadium construction and urban redevelopment around Tokyo ready for the 2020 Olympic Games. Maintenance work on aging infrastructure, such as, highways, bridges, and high speed railways, is also happening in the region.
The latest crawler cranes from Kobelco are the G-series and S-series. The energy saving system G-mode is adapted to all the latest models and helps reduce fuel consumption by up to 25% relative to conventional models, the manufacturer says. In the near future, the manufacturer is planning to install engines that comply with Tier-4 and Stage IV on the G-series crawler cranes. Models from the G-series (European model) include the 60 tonne CKE600G up to the 550 tonne SL6000G. Models from the G-series (North America model) include the 85 tonne CK850G, while models from the S-series (Standard model) include the 120 tonne 7120S.
The latest development from Liebherr-Werk Ehingen is the 500 tonne LR 1500, which was launched at the customer days in Germany earlier this year. The overall concept of the new crane is designed for simplicity in all areas and great economy, the manufacturer says. To meet demands for safely working at height, the crawler cranes have handles, railings, non-slip coverings and fall protection systems. On the new LR 1500 the central ballast consists of concrete sections that can be set up quickly and easily. In addition, the top section forms a safe catwalk for the undercarriage, the manufacturer adds. New crane control systems (Liebherr LICCON2 control) make a contribution to improved safety, e.g. redundant systems.
From Liebherr-Werk Nenzing is the HS 8130 HD cycle crawler crane. The new duty cycle crawler crane is the successor of the HS 885 HD and is designed for deep foundation and material handling tasks. It was launched earlier this year at a customer event at its factory in Nenzing. The heavy duty crawler has an operating weight of 115 tonnes and can be transported with the railings, walkways and pedestals fully assembled on the upper carriage. It has a low transport weight of 50 tonnes and the transport width of the basic machine is 3.5 m. The model is fitted with two hydraulic free-fall winches offering 35 tonnes of line pull each. It is powered by a Liebherr V8 diesel engine complying with the European emission standards and the US Tier 4 Final. It also has optional automatic engine stop.
From Terex is the new Boom Booster kit for the 650 tonne capacity Superlift 3800. It follows on from the original Boom Booster for the much larger CC 8800-1 model. It is a kit to make a wider boom that increases lift capacity and height, making the crane more cost-effective, the manufacturer said. The system increases the main boom’s stiffness, raising the crane’s lifting capacity by as much as 30%, Terex Cranes told IC. Maximum hook height is 174 m and capacity is 80 tonnes. The increase puts the 3800 in the 750 tonne class, Terex said. It allows erection of wind turbines to 140 m tall or more.
The latest model offered by Lampson International is the Lampson Millennium 4100. “Due to increased line pull, hydraulic hoist, Tier 3/4i Cummins engines and no free fall capabilities, our cranes are able to work on job sites where others cannot,” Lampson says.
“We have also found that once we started working on the design and remanufacture efforts, we realised that we could rent these cranes to our customers for a fraction of the price that they could buy a new one. They have been a great machine for us and our customers love them. In addition to the Lampson Millennium, we have added the Lampson Transi-Lift LTL-3000 to our fleet.
“It is designed to lift in environments where there is very little space. It has a computerised operating system, hydraulic hoists, a 3,000 ton capacity front crawler and 400 feet of Lampson pin together main boom. In addition, this crane is also tested to JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards), EN 13000 and US safety standards, making it available for work anywhere in the world. It has a small footprint and pick and swing manoeuvre under load abilities.”
Meanwhile, Manitowoc claims the strongest reach and load chart of any five-axle crane for its new Grove GMK5250L all terrain.
The 250 tonne capacity Grove GMK5250L is a new Grove all terrain crane for the global market. Its “L” designation indicates that it is a long boom model, in this case a 70 m Megaform unit in seven sections.
The boom is made from 1100 grade steel and laser hybrid welding is used to join the top and bottom shells. It only requires one pass instead of three with previous methods. That saves weight, reduces time in manufacturing and improves quality. Preparation is minimal as no bevelling is needed and little or no fettling is required afterwards. Heat distortion is less than with other methods. No stiffeners are used on the base section which saves weight.
Meanwhile, Procab is a solution for several problems associated with tower crane operations, Leif Loftmyr, its inventor and owner, told IC. As an elevating operator cabin for tower cranes, Procab Elevation’s cabin is a device designed primarily to improve the ergonomics of the crane operator’s work place and to minimise the risk of medical problems caused by, or exacerbated by, an uncomfortable operating environment.
“Among other benefits it also meets the increasingly prevalent (possibly legal) requirement for operators to access their workplace via assisted mechanical means rather than having to climb ladders,” Loftmyr explains.
Loftmyr estimates that productivity can be higher by 30 to 40 minutes a day by using the Procab. From the beginning, already at ground level, the operator is immediately at his work station.
On a 60 metre high crane it takes the crane operator 10 to 15 minutes to reach the cabin and start working. It also takes almost the same amount of time to climb down the crane again. Multiply that by the number of times an operator ascends and descends in a day and that will be how much time you save and increase productivity. All the time that the operator spends on the ladder is time when the crane is not operating.