The big benefit of all terrain cranes is the ability to travel to locations with ease and produce powerful lifts once on site. Niamh Marriott reports

The assembly of tower cranes is an important field of application for the Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1 (Photo: Liebherr)

As a hybrid crane combining the roadability of a truck-mounted and the on-site manoeuvrability of a rough terrain crane, all terrain cranes can both travel at speed on public roads and manoeuvre on rough terrain at the job site, all while also offering high lifting capacity.

Originally created in Europe, the all terrain crane remains popular for European job sites. They are a mainstay of crane rental companies’ fleets, says UK-based City Lifting.

German development

Tadano Europe offers a range of models to meet this demand. In 2022, Tadano launched its 40 tonne capacity AC 2.040-1 all terrain, the first model to be developed jointly by Tadano engineers in Lauf and engineers in Zweibrücken, following the Demag acquisition. The main boom is 35.2 metres and its maximum system length is 44.2 metres. It is 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.

European orders

Recent AT Tadano orders include Italian crane rental company Boiano Services’s new 450 tonne Tadano AC 7.450-1. The seven axle model has already been put to work erecting several tower cranes around the former building of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy.

Boiano’s new 450 tonne capacity Tadano AC 7.450-1 all terrain crane has already been put to work erecting tower cranes (Photo: Tadano)

“It’s a cutting-edge crane. Despite all its innovations, it’s tremendously easy to operate at the work site,” says Andrea Boiano, chief executive of Boiano Service. “Add to that an 80 metre-long boom, an enormous lifting capacity, and the option of quickly disassembling the boom in order to reduce axle loads – not to mention the incredibly compact dimensions for a crane of this capacity class - it shouldn’t be surprising that it was our crane of choice.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the most recent crane delivered to German crane rental company Richard Kölch and Sohn was a 55 tonne Tadano AC 3.055-1 all terrain crane.

Alexander Kölch and Kurt Kölch with their new Tadano AC 3.055-1 (Photo: Tadano)

“With its 50 metre-long boom and the fact that it can travel with its full counterweight of six tonnes, the AC 3.055-1 is extremely fast and versatile, making it our crane of choice. We’ll be using it for prefab home construction and machinery assembly projects inside factories – something that it’ll be able to take care of by itself and without the need for expensive or time-consuming additional transportation vehicles and travel permits,” says managing director Kurt Kölch.

Power rise

German crane rental company Rothmund Kran und Montage expanded its fleet with its most powerful crane yet – a Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1. For managing director Heiko Brückner, the 85 metre telescopic boom and the short set-up time on the construction site were important decision criteria for the 450 tonner.

“Everything is getting bigger and heavier,” he says. “That’s why we decided to purchase an additional crane with a higher lifting capacity. The order volume was there.”

At 85 metres, the LTM 1450-8.1 has the world’s longest telescopic boom in the 8-axle class which can be carried on public roads with a twelve-tonne axle load, Liebherr says. This means it is quickly ready for use on the construction site.

Rothmund has added six new Liebherrs since 2020 and two more are on order.

Fleet expansion

Liebherr is the crane manufacturer of choice for Emerson Crane Hire in the UK too. A second LTM 1450-8.1 is its latest in a series of new Liebherrs for the crane rental company.

The VarioBallast is a great advantage in confined operating conditions, Liebherr says (Photo: Liebherr)

Four other new models have also been ordered, in capacities from 60 to 110 tonnes, to be delivered over the next few months. Emerson is operating all its new cranes on bio-degradable hydraulic oil.

Elsewhere in the UK, crane rental company Lee Lifting Services has taken delivery of a 230 tonne capacity Liebherr LTM 1230-5.1. This latest purchase follows the addition of three other Liebherr cranes last year.

Equipped with two winches, hydraulic fly jib and remote control, the five-axle Liebherr becomes the flagship of the fleet, taking the title from a 220 tonner. It has an eight-section, 75 metre main boom and can carry 22 tonnes of counterweight on the road in the UK with a maximum counterweight of 72 tonnes.

Chinese innovation

Seeing the demand, Chinese manufacturer XCMG has a new 120 tonne capacity all terrain crane for sale in Europe.

XCMG says the 120 tonne rating is calculated at 2.5 metres radius. At 3 metres the crane lifts 80 tonnes.

The XCA120 E on its four axle carrier has a 66 metre boom in six sections. An 11.65 to 18.5 metre, offsetable bi-fold swingaway jib can be added. Putting a pair of 7.1 metre lattice extensions in between the end of the boom and the swingaway gives a maximum tip height just beyond 96 metres. Maximum working radius is given as 60 metres.

An MTU diesel engine powers both the carrier and the crane upper.

Depending on tyre choice the crane’s overall width can be kept down to 2.75 metres. Overall length is given as being just over 14.3 metres.

Chinese manufacturer XCMG has a new 120 tonne capacity all terrain crane for sale in Europe (Photo: XCMG)

Show stopper

It is not just Europe that sees the benefits of all terrain cranes.

As previously reported by ICST, Link-Belt’s line of all terrain cranes was added to with the recent debut of its 250 tonne capacity 300|AT all terrain crane at ConExpo 2023.

Link-Belt’s 300|AT all terrain crane was debuted at ConExpo 2023 (Photo: Link-Belt)

Following extensive customer data collection and engineering research, the new five axle crane is built with transportability in mind and meets all North American transportation requirements. Its single engine platform is HVO fuel ready and EPA on-highway and CARB on-road compliant.

“We spoke extensively with our customer base and feel like we have delivered. They want a crane that travels down the road efficiently, goes together on a jobsite quickly, has a strong chart, and is reliable,” says Andrew Soper, product manager of telescopic truck and all terrain cranes. “It’s all about mobility, capacity and reach in this market.”

Global interest

All terrains are being added to fleets globally. Galfar Al Misnad, a construction company in Qatar, recently ordered a pair of Grove GMK4100L-2s through local Manitowoc dealer Mannai Trading.

Qatar-based construction company Galfar Al Misnad has ordered a pair of Grove GMK4100L-2 all terrains (Photo: Manitowoc)

The first unit was handed over in March 2023 at Grove’s factory in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, before being transported to the company’s newly-built plant and equipment workshop in Doha, Qatar. Its first job was at Ras Laffan, assisting in the construction of a gas pipeline as part of the local North Field Expansion Project. The second GMK4100L-2 from the order will also be sent to the same project once it reaches Qatar.

The GMK4100L-2 is a four-axle, 100 tonne capacity crane designed to deliver power from a compact package. It is 2.55 metres wide and has the Megatrak suspension, allowing it to manoeuvre well into and out of position on jobsites. It can carry 6.8 tonnes of counterweight in taxi configuration, with overall vehicle weight coming in at 12 tonnes per axle. The crane is designed for efficiency, with low fuel consumption and the capability to run entirely on HVO fuel. A 60 metre main boom offers a 16 metre swingaway jib for further reach.

Across the world, all terrain cranes continually prove their power on a global scale.

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