Crawler cranes: Access all areas

By Christian Shelton30 October 2017

Crawler cranes offer a number of unique selling points over other crane types that ensure their continuing popularity. Their ability to access areas that all terrain cranes cannot, combined with compact dimensions and a high degree of multifunctionality sees high demand for crawlers across wide range of applications. As a result, crane manufacturers continue to innovate in a bid to be market leader.

Tadano Mantis

Following the launch of the GTC-600 at the ConExpo construction industry trade show in Las Vegas, USA earlier in the year, Tadano Mantis has just launched the newest addition to the GTC-Series of cranes: a 35 US ton (32 tonne) capacity telescopic crawler. Tadano Mantis says the crane’s 35 US ton capacity at 10 feet radius base rating is significantly higher than other units in the same class. The rating is a useable capacity based on a ‘level’ ground load chart that allows for operation on slopes of up to 1.5 degrees. The load charts offer full chart pick-and-carry capacity through 360 degrees, Tadano says.

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The latest addition to Tadano’s GTC-Series,
the 35 ton (32 tonne) capacity telescopic crawler

A three-section full power boom facilitates continuous telescoping with load to the maximum extended length of 89 feet 3 inches (27.20 metres). The boom is designed for the GTC series crane and manufactured by Tadano Japan. Tadano says it has high lifting capacity and is suited for heavy duty applications, such as foundation or pick-and-carry work, and it can operate on slopes up to 4 degrees. The long main boom has a 23’ 6” – 42’ 0” (7.16 metres – 12.80 metres) extendible jib that offsets at 5 degrees, 25 degrees, or 45 degrees for a maximum tip height of 135’ 9” (41.37 metres). Load charts for jib operation allow for lifting on slopes up to 2.5 degrees.

Tadano Mantis says the hydraulic track extension system on the undercarriage can adjust the operating width of the crane from 10’ 9” – 15’ 9” (3.28 metres – 4.80 metres) overall width (with 29.5” [750mm] wide track shoes) to provide the optimal lifting base depending on site conditions. The telescopic boom crawler cranes do not require pinning of the track frames in fixed width positions; Tadano Mantis says this enables the crane operator to easily set the optimal track width. The correct Opti-width load charts are then automatically selected by the crane’s AML-C rated capacity indicator which has operating load charts for 1.5 degrees, 2.5 degrees and 4 degree slopes with automatic out-of-level load chart switching based on the crane’s position. It is also possible for the operator to set work zone limits for swing angle, height, and radius, and the crane has function soft stops as operation approaches these pre-set operating limits.

In standard configuration the crane is 10’ 9” (3.28 metres) wide x 43’ 1” (13.13 metres) long x 8’ 2” (2.48 metres) high. Optional track shoes are available that reduce the minimum operating and transport width to 8’ 6” (2.59 metres) and the overall height can easily be reduced to under 8’ 0” (2.44 metres), says Tadano. Transport weight of the crane with the standard equipment package is 71,300 lbs (32 tonnes).

Power is from a Cummins Tier 4f QSB4.5 diesel engine rated at 173 hp. The travel system features two-speed track drives with maximum speeds of 2.1 mph (3.4 km/h) and a maximum unladen gradeability of 70 percent.

Telematics monitor work history, position data and maintenance data. This information can be accessed free of charge through the Tadano Hello-Net internet portal.

An optional auger system can be mounted to either the boom base section or to the second stage of the boom for variable radius drilling up to 54 feet (16.46 metres) at any position through the 360 degree rotation of the crane.


Japanese manufacturer Kobelco’s latest crawler crane development is to update its G-Series with the new Mark 2 line-up which it says has been improved to be more environmentally-friendly and easy to operate.

Cke1350 g 2 european model

The capacity of Kobelco’s CKE1350G-2 has also been improved from 135 tonnes x 4.5 metres to 150 tonnes x 4.4 metres


The Mark 2 G-Series line-up comprises six models from the CKE-G and the BME-G series and five models from the CK-G Series. The lifting capacities of these models range from 80 to 250 tonnes for the European market and 85 to 275 US tons for the US market.

The latest series complies with the latest Tier-4 Final (North America) and Stage IV (European Union) emission regulations. A new clean diesel system engine has a diesel particulate filter to reduce particulate matter and selective catalytic reduction to reduce nitrogen oxide.

Kobelco says it has improved the usability of the energy saving G-mode assist system which is found on all CKE-G, BME-G and CK-G series models.

The lifting capacity of the CKE1350G-2 has also been improved from 135 tonnes at 4.5 metres to 150 tonnes at 4.4 metres.

The dimensions and weights of the main machines and all attachments are less than 2.99 metres wide and weigh no more than and 45 tonnes, says Kobelco. In addition, the company says it made further refinements to auxiliary platforms and boom insert handling aimed at improving the speed and safety of assembly and disassembly.

Easy movement

German crane manufacturer Liebherr’s most recent crawler crane is the 500 tonne capacity LR 1500. According to Liebherr, the LR 1500 delivers the load capacity of a 500 tonne model with the dimensions and weights of a 400 tonne crane and can be transported anywhere in the world without restrictions. Since the launch of the LR 1500 Liebherr has focused its efforts in the crawler crane sector on developing the next generation of its crawler crane planning software, and its SX boom system.

Liebherr crane planner quick config imperial en

Liebherr’s Crane Planner 2.0 software for its LR 1100 to LR 1300 crawler crane portfolio is designed to ensure accurate lift planning and increase safety on heavy lifts

The Crane Planner 2.0 is for Liebherr’s LR 1100 to LR 1300 crawler cranes and is designed to ensure accurate lift planning and increase safety on heavy lifts. The software combines detailed, interactive 3D models with planning data based on the machine’s load moment limitation (LML). Any change in the crane’s geometry triggers a new calculation of the situation. The software displays a warning if it recognises potential collisions between the crane, the load and the surrounding area, or non-compliance with safety distances.

Liebherr’s new SX boom has been designed for its 750 tonne lattice boom crawler crane, the LR 1750/2 to help it erect turbines with a hub height of up to 165 metres and component weights of up to 120 tonnes.

The SX differs from previous boom systems in that 3.5-metre-wide lattice sections are used in the bottom area of the boom rather than 3-metre-wide sections. Liebherr says the extended lattice sections increase the lateral stability of the boom and therefore deliver a higher load capacity. Furthermore, the weight of the lattice sections has been reduced. This means that the boom length can now be raised up to 165 metres (comprising the main boom plus the fixed lattice jib).

An increase in lifting capacity has been achieved by using either two 14 m long lattice sections (SX2 system) or three 14 m long lattice sections (SX3 system) with a width of 6 m in the lowest area of the main boom. This provides additional rigidity to the boom system, thus increasing its load capacity.

To transport the 6 m wide boom sections on public roads Liebherr designed them in two halves so they can be quickly separated for transport. The individual halves are slightly offset longitudinally and then joined so that they mesh together like teeth, resulting in a transport width of 3.5 metres.

Lots of launches

2017 has been a busy year for German crane manufacturer Sennebogen, which has further added to its extensive crawler crane portfolio with a spate of new developments.

Sennebogen 633 e telescopic crane (1)

Sennebogen’s 633 E comes with a three-part 25.2 m boom

Earlier in the year it launched a 30 tonne capacity telescopic pick and carry crawler crane: the 633 E Series. It has a three-section, full-power boom that can extend to 25.2 metres at full load (pick and carry) and turn 360 degrees. Sennebogen says it is a robust, maintenance-free system that is always friction-locked. The maximum hook height stands at a total 38 metres due to the 6.5 m and 13 m fly booms.

The crawler undercarriage allows the 633 to manoeuvre across difficult terrain and it can be variably driven, even at full load. The crawler can work on slopes of up to 4 degrees and the crawler track roller can be hydraulically set to three different track widths. The 633 has a compact 10.6 m length, and 3 m width and height.

The 633 E Series features Sennebogen’s new Multicab II comfort cabin, which can be inclined by 15 degrees as standard. The cabin offers climate control and air-sprung seating, including seat heating. Visibility is enhanced as views of the winch, the rear, and the right side of the crane are displayed on a 178 mm screen in the cab.

The boom length can be set quickly using the operator’s joystick while the Sencon control and diagnostics system presents all operating parameters. Control is intuitive, says Sennebogen, enabling the operator to quickly process any error messages.

Sennebogen also launched the 16 tonne 613 telescopic crawler crane with a new Multicab and a new crawler undercarriage. The undercarriage has a width of 2.53 m which Sennebogen says means it can be transported via a flat-bed trailer without a transport permit. This crane also receives the revised Multicab operator cabin, which can be adjusted by up to 1.75 metres to provide an optimum view of the working area.

The new 613 crawler also has Sennebogen’s full power telescopic boom, which has a maximum length of 18.8 m, and a 5 m folding fly boom. The crane is powered by a 92 kW diesel engine to Tier 4f emission standard. It has economical fuel consumption, says Sennebogen, thanks to an optimised exhaust after-treatment.

The company also released the new 1100 E – a 50 tonne capacity lattice boom crane. Sennebogen says it is the smallest addition to its crawler crane family and has a boom length of between 10.3 and 52.3 m. A 120 kN winch provides a rope speed of up to 125 m/min via adjustable hydraulic motors. The crane can operate on inclines of up to 3 degrees and is powered by a 129 kW Cummins diesel engine. When ready for transport it weighs 30 tonnes and has a width of 3 metres.

Sennebogen has also re-issued the 643 telescopic crane as part of the E-series. This means it is available both as a wheeled version and with a crawler chassis. It has a load capacity of 40 tonnes and, like the other models, comes with Sennebogen’s full-power boom and the redesigned Multicab. The crane has a 129 kW diesel engine with 4f emission standards and up to two hydraulically-driven 35 kN winches, with speeds up to 95 m/min.

Looking at Lampson

American heavy equipment and rigging provider Lampson International is continuing its programme of refurbishing its fleet of Manitowoc 4100s and converting them into Lampson Millennium 4100s. In bringing the cranes up-to-date Lampson International has focused on enhancing safety and product versatility. This includes adding a ‘no free fall’ capability, allowing the operator to lock the load. Lampson International says this enables what was once viewed as an unsafe friction rig to work on almost any of today’s jobsites. The company has also introduced computerised control systems, hydraulic hoists, Tier 3/4i Cummins engines, increased line pull (by up to 70 %), and tandem drum operations for endless reeving. In addition, the Millennium 4100 can accept the Manitowoc Ringer and Tower attachments without modifications.

Right angle

The latest crawler crane model from US manufacturer Link-Belt is the 130 US ton (117.2 tonne) capacity 228 HSL.

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Dan’s Excavating using its recently purchased Link-Belt 117.9 tonne (130 US ton) capacity 228 HSL lattice crawler crane to complete tandem bridge lift near Detroit, Michigan, USA

The 228 HSL works with tubular boom or angle boom attachments and Link-Belt claims to be the only crane manufacturer to offer an angle boom on a crane of this size. Standard features include hydraulically extendable side frames, hydraulic car body jacks, swing out axle extenders, and centralised grease points for ease of maintenance. The side frames have sealed undercarriage components, a hydraulic track tensioning system, and self-cleaning, full contact track shoes.

Link-Belt says it designed the 228 HSL with transport versatility in mind. As an assembled machine, with tracks on, transport weight is under 120,000 pounds (54, 431 kg); with the side frames removed the transport weight is under 80,000 lbs (36 287 kg). The transportation width is less than 12 ft (3.6 m) wide with the side frames on. It is equipped with carbody jacks as standard so that the side frame can be quickly removed.

These flexible shipping configurations, says Link-Belt, mean transporting the 228 HSL is legal in 50 US states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories, and beyond. “There are markets that will appreciate the increased capacity with these transport weight options,” says Link-Belt product manager for lattice and telescopic crawler cranes, Scott Knight.

VPC alternative

Manitowoc has introduced a new version of the Manitowoc MLC300 that has a fixed position counterweight. Manitowoc says the new model has many of the same features as the original MLC300, just without the variable position counterweight (VPC). Manitowoc says the new iteration of the MLC300 will appeal to customers that want the 300 tonne (330 US ton) size platform and compact footprint of the original-model crawler crane but without the additional investment in features and moving parts that come with VPC. For this configuration, the MLC300 VPC trolley and tray have been replaced by a two-position, stationary counterweight tray.

Manitowoc says the MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight serves all the lifting needs of a conventional 300 tonne class crane and is particularly suitable for equipment owners that focus on limited duty-cycle applications with lighter loads and more repetitive lifts.

Manitowoc debuts increased versatlity for mlc300

Manitowoc’s latest version of its MLC300 has a fixed-position counterweight instead of a variable one

“Manitowoc saw a growing need in the crawler crane market for enhanced versatility in a capacity class that was above the Manitowoc 2250 for a variety of applications,” says Harley Smith, Manitowoc’s global product director for crawler cranes. “Equipment owners that focus on duty-cycle applications, such as clamshell operation, bulk material handling or pile driving, for example, didn’t need the features and high-capacity performance associated with VPC technology and preferred to invest in a crane that meets their unique job site requirements. Combined with a multitude of load hoist options, including free fall, the MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight is a crane that will deliver strong lifting power and line pull while serving a wide variety of jobs.”

The MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight has a 96 m boom and the option of an additional 30 m fixed jib. A 96 m luffing jib can be added to extend its reach to 150 m.

Manitowoc says the MLC300 can be easily transported anywhere in the world thanks to its optimised component weights and dimensions. The crane has a removable, live-mast shipping module and its boom inserts are designed to allow luffing jib inserts to be ship within them, decreasing shipping costs.

The latest iteration of the MLC300 has the Crane Control System (CCS) – a standardised operating system across many of Manitowoc’s crane models in different product ranges.

To simplify the MLC300’s design, the VPC system and VPC-Max preparation package are not included; however, all fixed-position counterweight configured machines can be retrofitted to VPC configuration. In the place of the VPC is a conventional, fixed counterweight system that is configurable to two positions depending on total counterweight selected: a standard lift crane position and a limited duty-cycle position that enables the counterweight to match the rotating bed’s tail swing. It’s a conventional approach to counterweight systems that Manitowoc says it believes will lead to greater value for a specific segment of its customers.

On a pedestal

The latest crawler offering from Terex Cranes is the Demag PC 3800-1 in pedestal configuration. The company says it provides access to jobsites that previously could not be reached with standard crawler crane models.

Terex says it designed the new Demag PC 3800-1 pedestal crane to be versatile. It is a version of the 650 tonne capacity CC 3800-1 lattice boom crawler and has strong load charts, especially on main boom only.

The PC 3800-1 only requires four areas of ground to be prepared for the outrigger supports. Perfect levelling is unnecessary as hydraulic cylinders on the outriggers can compensate for up to 2.1 degrees on a 12 x 12 metre outrigger base.

Applications include refineries, harbour quays and bridge installation from river banks.

Hydraulically extendable and foldable outriggers can be set at 12 x 12 m, 14 x 14 m in all configurations, including Superlift. A 16 x 16 m outrigger setting without Superlift offers additional possibilities for long-reach lifts where the lifting capacity of a crawler crane would normally be limited. The PC 3800-1 also provides increased lifting performance in several configurations or requires less counterweight for the same or slightly higher lifting capacities. Less counterweight means fewer trucks, translating into significantly reduced transportation costs, Terex said.

An adapter has been developed to connect the body of the crane a self propelled modular transporter. SPMT are often found on jobs involving lifting bridges, gantries and wind turbine components and can be used to relocate the crane on site partially rigged.

On SPMT the crane can comply with a 12 tonnes per axle maximum load or have a cross-vehicle weight of less than 100 tonnes. Other optional accessories are a quick connection to un-deck the superstructure from the chassis and different sizes of outrigger mats. The PC 3800-1 is available either as a complete crane, or the carrier alone can be bought for retrofitting to the Demag CC 3800-1 crawler crane or its predecessor, the Superlift 3800.

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