Crane power at Vegas

The sky was the limit in Las Vegas recently with cranes and lifting equipment on show at ConExpo 2008. *Roger Lindley writes.

Crane makers were out in force at ConExpo. As to be expected, Liebherr had a very large stand at the event as they like to show case the full range of products the company offers.

Among the many products on display, and one of the largest exhibits in the show, was the LR 1600/2 crawler crane which, they say, “sets new standards in the 600t crawler crane class”.

This new crane achieves a 600t maximum load capacity with 48m main boom and derrick system at 10m working radius.

Maximum system length of 192m is reached with a 96m main boom and 96m luffing jib. Power is via a six-cylinder Liebherr diesel.

Liebherr also showed the US version of the LTF 1045-4.1 truck crane mounted on a Kenworth chassis.

Not to be outdone, Terex also put on a major show of strength with a new Comedil tower crane and four mobile cranes, including new Terex American HC230 crawler crane making its US debut, although it announced at bauma 2007 as the Terex Demag HC230. It has 230t lifting capacity at a reach of 3.3m. Maximum boom length is 88m or up to 118m with boom extension.

The 6-cylinder Cummins delivers 242 kW. The tower crane on display was the Terex Comedil CTT 231 Flat Top with a 70m jib and a maximum lift capacity of 8t.

As forecast earlier this year, Manitowoc also unveiled the new Grove TM500E-2 truck-crane, which features two engines. This model features an 8.8m to 29m four-section, full-power boom.

A longer 9.75m to 31m four-section full-power boom is optional. Maximum tip heights are 31m and 33.5m.

Another new introduction in the Grove truck crane range is TMS9000E, a 100t capacity crane with a 10.97m to 43.28m five-section, full-power boom featuring Grove’s Megaform shaping for improved strength and rigidity.

This crane also features a manually off-settable (at 0°, 20° and 40°) bi-fold lattice swingaway extension.

This increases maximum tip height to 63m.

A hydraulic version of this extension is also available and can be offset from 5° to 40°. Lattice insert extensions are available to increase maximum tip height to 72m.

Visitors to Manitowoc could, for the first time see the Potain MDT 268 topless tower, which the company had announced 12 months ago.

Kobelco cranes had nothing new on display but were fighting for attention with their latest model, the SL6000.

Reports from the company indicate an extensive order book for deliveries around the world. The company seems to have found an appropriate niche in this class of crane.

Sorting out the Chinese manufacturers gets a little confusing and is better tackled early on in the day before the effects of the liquid refreshments set in.

Fushun Excavator Corporation was one of the growing number of Chinese companies starting to promote themselves at major trade shows.

They had crawler cranes on display but, at the time Construction Contactor called, no one available with sufficient English to give any specific details or comment on whether these are new, or available in Australia. The ten crawler cranes in their range, according to the Chinese/English brochure include the models from QUY50A to the QUY250. It seemed that the newest of these was the QUY120 with a standard boom of 73m and maximum standard luffing jib combination of 46m+46m.

Do I hear someone saying “Isn’t the QUY range manufactured by Zoomlion?” If only life was that simple.

The Lewis Equipment stand featured a Zoomlion QUY260 crawler crane, which is already in Australia. They also exhibited a SunCrane STL420-24 luffing jib model. The 24t capacity crane has a maximum jib length of 60m and freestanding height under hook of 60m. The demand for these in Australia resulted in an order for 20 Yongmao cranes and 20 Hercules elevators.

On a separate stand, Zoomlion exhibited a 4-axle 70t capacity QY70V truck crane. Apparently, there is no relationship between the various companies using the ‘QUY’ nomenclature, but, “for statistical monitoring purposes, all Chinese manufacturers have to use a common model numbering system” I am reliably informed. Bureaucracy reigns supreme.

Link-Belt added new products to the crane range including the 548 — a 500t lattice boom crawler crane. Preliminary specifications show that the heavy-duty boom ranges from 24 to 84m, the long-range boom extends from 42 to 108m. The company has yet to finalise evaluation of the luffer options. Link Belt has also said that they are working on a super-mast option to provide even greater capacity.

The company also unveiled the new HTC-3140LB, 120t hydraulic truck crane – the largest truck crane in North America, and the new RTC-80130 Series II 120t rough terrain crane, the largest in the range.

The HTC-3140LB crane has a six-section 59.4m boom, with a maximum boom tip height of 62.2m. It has five boom modes for superior capacities and can telescope a load like a conventional full power boom. Link Belt says, “What really makes this boom special, though, are the optional fly attachments. A 3m heavy-lift fly has over 18t of capacity and lift procedures for two load lines. This fly, integrated with the optional three-piece, bi-fold lattice fly and three 5.5m extensions, allows this LB to reach 94m. There’s also a fly option that hydraulically offsets from 2° to 45°.”

This article was first published in Australian Minings sister publication Construction Contractor (June 2008). *Roger Lindley is Construction Contractors London-based correspondent. He visited ConExpo 2008 at Las Vegas to unearth introductions and developments that could impact on the Australian market.

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