Crawlers continue to be versatile and dependable

05 July 2018

A lot of news has rocked the crawler crane class over the last four months. All of the major crawler manufacturers have rolled out new models, starting with Kobelco introducing a new 330 tonner in April and Manitowoc, Liebherr, Link-Belt and Terex debuting 100-ton, 800 ton, 300-ton and 120-ton cranes respectively to their line-ups this summer. Plus, Kobelco and Manitowoc terminated their OEM agreement, giving both manufacturers new avenues for growth in the evolving crawler market.

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The Kobelco CK 3300G-2 has a maximum lifting capacity of 330 tons for the standard crane and 385 tons with the SHL specification. It debuts as Kobelco’s largest crane. 

In late May, the news hit that Manitowoc and Kobelco would be ending their OEM supply agreement as of November 2018. Since 2003, Kobelco Construction Machinery had supplied Manitowoc with lattice-boom crawlers with lift capacities under 150 tons to the worldwide Manitowoc distribution network.

“As a world leader in lattice-boom crawler cranes, Manitowoc provided our customers with a comprehensive line through our alliance with Kobelco,” said Barry Pennypacker, president and CEO of The Manitowoc Company. “The company has been an excellent partner, providing our customers with a high standard of product quality and reliability. After nearly 15 years, we have agreed to pursue separate ways developing our own products in the smaller capacity cranes to serve our respective customers.”

Jack Fendrick, vice president, Kobelco Cranes, said the motivation for the cancellation of the agreement was mutual.

“We are [both] constantly looking at global market dynamics and evaluating what is in the best interest of our separate brands, dealers and customers,” Fendrick said. The end of the agreement will not affect current owners of Kobelco crawlers, nor prospective Kobelco crawler customers.

“Providing them support will remain our focus,” he said. “Our Kobelco dealers may benefit from not having ‘in line’ competition.”

For those customers that own Manitowoc-branded crawlers that were made by Kobelco, they will continue to be supported by their Manitowoc dealers and the Crane Care team.

“As with all relationships, things change over time and new perspective must be applied,” Fendrick said. “I think the customer base benefits by having choices, and this will create new options for crane users to weigh.”

Manitowoc MLC100-1

On the heels of the news that Manitowoc and Kobelco are ending their OEM agreement, it was quite fitting that Manitowoc would introduce a new crawler to begin filling in the capacity gaps left by the agreement termination. And the company did just that the first week of June at its Crane Days events held at its manufacturing facility in Shady Grove, PA. (See our Site Visit: Manitowoc on page 13.)

Manitowoc’s latest crawler is the MLC100-1, which has a 110-ton capacity and was designed to be erected and decommissioned faster than any other crawler crane in its class.

“It means a lot to debut our newest crawler crane right here in Shady Grove,” said Harley Smith, global product director for crawler cranes at Manitowoc. “Visitors to Crane Days were the first in the world to see the MLC100-1 fully assembled. This crane is a huge time saver, with extremely quick set-up and tear-down times, giving our customers more time to get to work.”

The MLC100-1 has a maximum boom length of 200 feet. It has a load moment of 371 ton-meters and is powered by a 300 hp Cummins 6.7 L Tier 4 Final engine.


Manitowoc’s new crawler is the MLC100-1, with a 110-ton capacity, was designed to be erected and decommissioned faster than any crawler crane in its class.

The crane will save customers time on the job because of its self-assembly hook, which enables the operator to install the counterweight without any outside assistance. During assembly, the crane uses a single segment of hoist line with a button termination, which is routed through sheaves in the boom butt. This eliminates the need to assemble the boom top and enables operators to get to work faster when compared with competing cranes in the same class.

“Our customers have come to expect high performance from Manitowoc crawler cranes,” Smith said. “But even our long-term customers will be surprised at how quick this crane can get off the truck and get right to work. We put a lot of design hours into the assembly and disassembly of this crane with valuable feedback from our field technicians, and I’m happy to say that it paid off.”

The MLC100-1 has an improved, wider cab design, with easier access to the cab made possible by additional grab bars and a movable left-hand console. In addition, the cab’s high-back seat with head rest and electronic seat controls combine with improved HVAC performance for best-in-class comfort.

The crane allows for easier service with high-visibility sight glasses and quick drains on every gear box. The main valve is also easily accessible. The crane operates via Manitowoc’s Crane Control System (CCS), which can be used in conjunction with the company’s new Diagnostic Code App to quickly analyze diagnostic screens.

End users can customize the MLC100-1 with numerous options to suit their specific jobsite needs. These include a free-fall option, a third-drum option with a 72-foot wire rope, generator-powered boom lights and a cold weather package for high performance in the toughest climates.

“The Manitowoc Way is all about innovation, velocity and listening to our customers,” Smith explained. “We want to show our customers that we’re listening, and I think the MLC100-1 stands as proof that we are. They asked for a reliable crawler that can get to work faster than any competing crane.”

Kobelco CK 3300G-2

The Kobelco CK 3300G-2 made its debut back April at an open house in Houston. The crane is in full production, with at least two units already delivered.

The CK 3300G-2 has a maximum lifting capacity of 330 tons for the standard crane and 385 tons with the SHL specification.

The crane debuts as the largest model of Kobelco’s multi-purpose crawler crane CK/CKE/CKS Series, which has been a best seller in the market for many years, according to Fendrick.

“The basic concept of this new model is its versatility and ease of operation,” said Fendrick. “Simply put, this crane is a Kobelco. It has many of the same designs and components as our other cranes, which means it will be familiar to operators and makes things easier to fix.”

Fendrick said the new model is a “big brother” to the current Kobelco line.

The new CK 3300G-2 has a maximum crane boom length of 295 feet and a maximum fixed jib combination of 256 feet plus 100 feet. The heavy fixed jib combination is 236 feet plus 98 feet. The maximum lifting capacity with the luffing jib is 132 tons and the maximum luffing boom length is 197 feet. The maximum luffing jib length is 217 feet. It is powered by a Scania engine.

The crane was designed with various attachments ranging from standard crane configuration, including fixed jib, heavy fixed jib and luffing jib, which are most suitable for multipurpose work, to the super heavy lift configuration, including luffing jib, for the heaviest lifts, Fendrick said.

“We designed these cranes taking into consideration maximum compatibility, such as jibs and pallet weights, with our other models,” said Fendrick. “After in-depth marketing research on the 300-ton crane market, we positioned these models to provide superior lifting capacity.”

The performance of the undercarriage has been enhanced to operate on rough ground jobsites, with high ground clearance and outstanding propelling performance, while minimizing the overall footprint. To correspond to specific jobsite needs, a free-fall winch (optional) is available.

An intuitive-designed moment limiter monitor makes it simple for anyone to quickly master the operation with easily understandable pictograms and a touch screen panel. As an added safety function, a working range limiter will assist the operator in preventing collisions.

The design considered customer’s needs so that these cranes can conform to local transport regulations. Transport width is less than 10 feet for all components.

Main machine weights can be adjusted with some variations in order to meet transport restrictions. It can be transported with 17 trailers.

The standard crane weighs 352,700 pounds. The carbody weight is 88,200 pounds. A self-assembly system is available for crawlers, lower boom, carbody weights and counterweights.

Liebherr LR 1800-1.0

At its Customer Days event in Germany in early June, Liebherr unveiled the 881-ton capacity LR 1800-1.0. The crane is three meters wide and has a maximum transport weight of 49 tons once its tracks have been removed. In standard configuration the crane has an 84-meter luffing jib and an 84-meter boom.

Liebherr crawler

At its Customer Days event in Germany in June, Liebherr unveiled the 881-ton capacity LR 1800-1.0. 

Outstanding lifting capacities and low-cost transport around the world are the main features of the new crane, according to Jim Strobush, project manager crawler cranes, Liebherr USA.

The crane has been designed as a particularly powerful industrial crane for jobs with a luffing jib and derrick system for power plant construction and the petrochemicals industry, he said.

A most notable feature is the boom system, which features lattice sections with three system dimensions that can be telescoped into each other for transport of the crane. The large lattice sections are at the bottom section of the main boom, the medium ones in the top section of the main boom and in the bottom section of the luffing jib. The small lattice sections are installed in the upper section of the luffing jib. The standard length can be extended to the maximum length of the boom system of 102 meters for the main boom plus 102 meters for the luffing jib.

The base plates have a standard width of two meters to keep the ground pressure as low as possible.

The LR 1800-1.0 also features the VarioTray innovation. After raising the lattice boom with the large derrick ballast, part of the ballast can be easily and quickly unbolted. Only a small proportion of the ballast is generally required for hoisting work with the boom in steep position. This avoids stacking and unstacking of ballast slabs.

As well, the new crane features a suspended ballast. A hydraulically adjustable folding frame allows the ballast radius to be adjusted to up to 23 meters. This means that a fixed guiding frame is no longer required for large radii.

The ballast takes the form of 10 metric ton Liebherr standard slabs.

This means that it can be used universally on other Liebherr crawler crane models. The LR 1800-1.0 operates with a maximum of 230 metric tons of slewing platform ballast, 70 metric tons of central ballast and up to 400 metric tons of derrick ballast.

The crawler chassis features a four-way drive unit as standard. A Liebherr V8 diesel engine which develops 455 kW / 610 bhp is used to power the LR 1800-1.0. The engine already complies with the Stage V exhaust emissions standard.

The LICCON2 controller delivers extended set-up facilities and monitored erection for the LR 1800-1.0.

Link-Belt 348 Series 2

In Late June, Link-Belt introduced the 300-ton (273 metric ton) 348 Series 2 crawler crane.

Link Belt

Link-Belt’s 300-ton 348 Series 2 can be rigged with a combination of 180 feet of luffing boom and 240 feet of luffing jib for a tip height of 419 feet. 

“Crane owners and operators will have a lot to like about the new 348 Series 2 300-ton lattice crawler crane,” Link-Belt told ACT.

Cummins QSL 9 350 hp Tier 4 Final and Tier III engine options are both available and deliver efficient power to a Kawasaki pump and motor package.

Matching hydraulically driven main and auxiliary hoist drums utilize Link-Belt designed gear drives for either straight power-up/power-down auto brake mode or can also incorporate an optional “wet clutch” free fall feature, if required. New ultra-wide hoist drum laggings, an integral part of the drum itself, provide the standard 28 millimeter hoist rope an extra-large circumference, extending rope life and offering maximum line pull of 53,306 pounds.

Greater fuel economy is just one of the benefits offered with Series II ECO winch system. When activated by the operator, ECO hoist provides maximum line speed with lighter loads all with the engine under 1,000 RPM. Also, standard equipped is operator-selectable “auto-engine shutdown” allowing the engine to shut down automatically after extended periods of inactivity.

The crane operator is assisted by on-board high-resolution winch-view, rear-view and non-cab side swing-view cameras to enhance jobsite visibility from within the cab, which features a full LED system monitor and adjustable armchair-mounted controls.

An audio/visual travel and swing alarm system alerts crew members on the ground when the crane swings or travels. The intuitive rated capacity limiter monitoring system provides the operator with all lift information and allows the operator to set swing and other control parameters creating virtual walls with audio, visual alarms and function kick out.

Maximum heavy-duty boom length is 300 feet and maximum heavy-duty jib combination is 240 feet plus 140 feet. Maximum long-range boom length is 355 feet and maximum long-range jib combination is 295 feet plus 140 feet. A maximum combination of 180 feet of luffing boom and 240 feet of luffing jib provides 420 feet of attachment and a tip height of 419 feet.

To provide quick conversion from conventional style lifting to a luffing configuration, assembly has been simplified with the introduction of semi-bore weldments for pin locations and stop cams for quick pin alignment.

A new luffing jib transport package with lifting lugs simplifies and expedites luffer assembly. The rear post will scissor into place by means of alignment links.

The transport package also comes assembled with nylon rope reeving to assist with initial luffing jib wire rope hoist reeving. All assembly is done from the ground with no work at height exposure.

The 348 Series 2 has a live mast cylinder for self-assembly and lattice extensions can be mixed and matched with existing conventional boom of 348 H5 models. Owners can use heavy duty, transition and long-range booms.

Two position track gauges offer owners variable track positions depending on the application, and extended position provides a wide base for operations where conditions allow 22 feet and retracted at 19 feet 2 inches.

Front and rear lower counterweights feature ‘hook and pin’ style carbody design and consist of two stacked weights at the front and rear – top counterweight slab weighs 17,000 pounds and lower weighs 20,000 pounds – fitting neatly between the side frames even in fully retracted gauge.

The 348 Series 2 is equipped with carbody jacks and quick disconnects on lower hydraulics for quick and easy installation and removal of side frames when needed.

First shipments of the new 348 Series 2 will begin fourth quarter 2018.

Terex HC 120

Using its HC 110 crawler as a starting point, Terex has introduced the HC 120, with a 120-ton capacity, a boom length of 230 feet and a tip height of 284 feet.

“We are committed to making continuous improvements to our cranes, and that is exactly what we did with the HC 120 crawler crane,” said Wendy Knowles, senior sales operations analyst of Terex Cranes. “Using our HC 110 model as our starting point, we added several features that make the HC 120 more cost effective to transport, easier to setup and less expensive to maintain. The result is a unit with a smaller footprint than its predecessor and many improvements that enhance overall productivity.”

Terex  HC 120

Using its HC 110 as a starting point, Terex launched the HC 120, with a 120-ton capacity, a boom length of 230 feet and a tip height of 284 feet.

Designed for superior transportability and flexible operation, Knowles said the HC 120 crawler crane has a 120-ton operating classification, a maximum

load moment of 431 ton-meters, a boom length of 230 feet and tip height of 284 feet. And with a transport width of 12 feet and a transport height 10 feet 9 inches, it can be hauled with its boom inner installed and tracks on, while remaining under 100,000 pounds. The HC 120 is equipped with a Cummins 250-hp, Tier 4F engine that meets EPA regulations and a redesigned operator cab.

The HC 120 crane’s power high-speed hoist system includes identical independent main and auxiliary drums that incorporate free fall and are easy to access. Both drums have a max line speed of 566 fpm and max single line pull of 42,108 pounds. Each drum, including the optional third drum, has power up/down.

With the crane’s two-speed travel, operators are able to select the best speed and power for control for working conditions. Also, the unit’s shockless stop system will gradually retard the operating speed to reduce shock dynamic effects when the crane approaches lifting load or boom limits.

The hydraulic counterweight removal system eliminates bolts and hoses for simplified installation and removal, which reduces setup time and gets the machine to work faster.

The counterweight is positioned lower than on the previous model. Also, the HC 120 crane has swing-away axle extensions that tuck away when not in use. The cab on the HC 120 crawler crane is designed for operator comfort, control and visibility, Knowles said.

“The operator will be more productive with the HC 120 cab’s enhanced control system, load moment indicator and control levels,” she said. “It is also designed to deliver a quiet operator environment and superior jobsite visibility.”

Terex Cranes offers a wide variety of crawler cranes with lifting capacities from 80 tons to 285 tons.


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