What are the benefits of new all terrain cranes?

The versatility of all terrain cranes means owners can get them to and use them on a wide variety of job sites. Niamh Marriott reports.

All terrain cranes are proving a popular choice around the world and new models are being developed and launched to market from all the manufacturers.

Link-Belt’s newest AT crane. Link-Belt’s newest AT crane. (Photo: Link-Belt)

As a crane type with its roots firmly in Europe, that is where the majority of manufacturers build them.

Attempting to break that trend is Chinese manufacturer XCMG which has set its sights firmly on the European market.

XCMG has obtained an EU vehicle type approval certificate (WVTA) for its all terrain model XCA130 E. It is the first Chinese heavy vehicle product with four or more axles to pass the certification, the manufacturer said.

As one of the markets with the most stringent regulations in the world, especially for construction machinery products, the regulatory authorities of EU member states have been cautious about it due to its high risk and particularity, XCMG said.

XCMG’s three-axle XCA60 E was exported to the European market for the first time in 2017. The company said it went on to perform strongly in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, noting its adaptability as a core reason for the success.

The future of all terrain crane innovation

Collaboration is key when it comes to new crane development. Earlier in 2022, Tadano launched the 40 tonne capacity AC 2.040-1 all terrain crane, the first model to be developed jointly by Tadano engineers in Lauf and engineers in Zweibrücken (formerly of the Demag brand acquired by Tadano in 2019). ICST reported this model prior to the launch during a customer event at the Zweibrücken plant in Germany in October 2021.

“The AC 2.040-1 is the first crane to combine the best of our two worlds,” said Dr. Frank Schröder, Tadano all terrain crane product line vice president. “This also means that the AC 2.040-1 is blazing a trail that all Tadano cranes will be following in the future: It is the first crane in the new Tadano AC family. And all future models will share the same DNA with the AC 2.040-1: a standardised crane control system, cab and technologies.”

Tadano’s AC 2.040-1 all terrain crane is the first model to be jointly developed under the new Tadano Demag brand. Tadano’s AC 2.040-1 all terrain crane is the first model to be jointly developed under the new Tadano Demag brand. (Photo: Tadano)

The AC 2.040-1 is also part of the company’s innovation push, which will see 15 new crane models come onto the market in the next few years under the Tadano brand name.

The AC 2.040-1 has a main boom of 35.2 metres and a maximum system length of 44.2 metres.

AC 3.045-1 City by Tadano

Recent Tadano orders include six units of the AC 3.045-1 City ordered by Munich, Germany-based Schmidbauer. The company recently picked up the first three at the Zweibrücken factory.

“In order to reduce emissions and noise, we ordered the E-Pack from Tadano and had all cranes prepared for using this technology.

That makes these machines perfect for indoor work and jobs in urban areas, but we’ll also be using the new AC 3.045-1s for more standard work site projects,” said Schmidbauer head of sales Jürgen Rückel.

Elsewhere in the world, Cordeiro Group in Brazil needed a strong and reliable all terrain crane, opting for a 2019 Tadano AC 8.500-1 because of its reputation as a reliable heavy-duty model.

Germany-based Schmidbauer ordered six Tadano AC 3.045-1 City cranes. Germany-based Schmidbauer ordered six Tadano AC 3.045-1 City cranes. (Photo: Schmidbauer)

Cordeiro rents machines out for wind projects, usually small and medium size truck cranes, all terrain cranes and medium-size crawler cranes.

The company used to have to rely on a third party for some bigger services, but this latest model will mean that is no longer necessary.

Scotland’s first GMK5250XL-1

Established companies continue to innovate. Grove is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022. Launched in 1947 in a garage in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania, USA, by the Grove brothers, it became part of the Manitowoc crane brand portfolio in 2002 and is one of the world’s most recognised crane brands, with operations around the world.

Popular globally, Manitowoc’s Grove all terrain cranes are being chosen by UK companies. In Falkirk, Scotland, Horizon Reinforcing & Crane Hire has taken delivery of Scotland’s first Grove GMK5250XL-1.

The family business, which runs a fleet of 18 cranes, chose the 250 tonne capacity GMK5250XL-1 as a replacement for its 300 tonne GMK6300L, which has proven a reliable and efficient machine, the company said.

“The GMK5250XL-1 has practically the same boom length [78.5 metres] as the GMK6300L [80 metres] but on five-axles. It’s what I would call a good all-round, no-nonsense crane,” says Horizon director Stewart Dougall.

North Devon-based mobile crane rental company KAS Crane Hire took delivery of the UK’s first GMK3060L-1 all terrain. KAS offers its customers a choice of five cranes, ranging from 40 to 100 tonnes in capacity. The largest among them is the four-axle 100 tonne Grove GMK4100L-1, which joined the fleet in 2019. Its latest addition, the three-axle 60 tonne GMK3060L-1 replaced an old GMK3055 in the same class.

North American all terrain crane market

A large segment of the all terrain market in North America comprises crane rental companies purchasing to expand and update their fleets. These companies in turn service their customers, which can encompass a wide array of different job types and requirements.

Link-Belt covers the five-axle all terrain market with its latest model, the 150 tonne 175|AT, the transport friendly 185 tonne ATC-3210 at the mid-range, and the 250 tonne ATC-3275 at the top.

(Photo: KAS Crane Hire)

The new model’s dual-occupancy carrier cab is designed to offer generous space, wireless connectivity, and sweeping controls within a driver’s sightline. Its overall machine width is compact at 2.84 metres.

Over-the-front and boom dolly configurations set the 175|AT up well for domestic and international transport requirements, says Link-Belt.

“We do our homework – things like no wing counterweights, giving options on hydraulic versus manual fly – we set out to provide our customer a comprehensive list of options in this tonnage class,” says Andrew Soper, product manager for telescopic truck and all terrain cranes.

High capacity cranes for wind projects

All terrain cranes are useful in the construction and maintenance of wind turbines. Liebherr has extended its portfolio with another 300 tonne capacity model.

With its 90 metre telescopic boom, the LTM 1300-6.3 is designed to be used as a fast-erecting crane with a high capacity at great hoist heights with a raised boom. The company says it is ideal for erecting tower cranes and antennae as well as for wind turbine maintenance work.

The record boom length of 90 metres is achieved by the new LTM 1300-6.3 using an 8-section telescopic boom – the base section plus seven telescopic sections. That is one section more than similar cranes in this class.

To ensure the complete boom as well as all the outriggers, plus the hook block, can be carried on public roads within an axle load of 12 tonnes, Liebherr optimised the entire steel construction of the crane to minimise its weight.

The popularity of AT models will continue to rise as the industry embraces more projects in hard to reach jobsites.


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