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2018 in cranes

2018 in cranes

There is plenty of development activity in the pick and carry crane market: the cover of our last issue showed the prototype of a new 55t DRA crane, this story includes news of the anticipated 40t Terex Franna, and TIDD expects to soon announce an important new safety feature. All these updates are addressing safety in different ways, which is great for the industry. In some ways, 2018 is the calm before the storm, with most European manufacturers saving major announcements for bauma. Greg Keane reports.


The proven four-axle Demag AC 100-4L, at 2.55m width, is claimed to be the most compact AT crane in its class and yet it has a 59.4m main boom and 19m + 8m jib options to give it a large operating range. It has been updated to offer improved performance and serviceability. This includes the IC-1 Plus control system that offers instantaneous capacity calculations, allowing operators to take full advantage of the maximum lifting capacity available at any given slewing position for any crane configuration. This advantage is particularly useful when working with reduced outrigger settings and reduced counterweight.

Further up the chart, a 300t AC 300-6 offers a long main boom (80m) plus 21m of fly jib, and new carrier and crane cabs. Like the AC 100-4L, it shares equipment with the Demag five-axle AC cranes as well as identical parts.

Moving in the opposite direction, the new AC 45 City is a compact three-axle City crane with a weight of 34t, 31.2m of main boom, compact dimensions and tight turning circle, fast set-up with flexible options to suit difficult city sites.

On the Franna front, The Terex AT40 lays claim to being the most tested Franna ever built. Serial production commenced in April, with first deliveries expected in June. Part of this relates to the number of improved technologies introduced to align with Terex Group’s approach to including Demag Technology Inside (DTI) across its range where possible. This has seen Demag hydro-pneumatic suspension incorporated for the first time in a Franna.


The popular Grove GMK6300L has been replaced by the GMK6300L-1, which boasts a longer (80m) boom and load chart increases of around 7%. The crane has proved popular in Australia, where it is regarded as a popular assist crane for the wind industry for construction and maintenance work on turbines. By early April, seven units had been delivered in Australia.

This included one for third generation Wagga business Riverina Crane Services, where it was a substantial increase in size on the previous 200t flagship of the fleet. It is the largest regional crane outside Sydney and Melbourne and is servicing southern NSW and northern Victoria. An increasing amount of work in the area was outside the capacity of the 200t crane.


Tadano has new Australian spec truck cranes this year: the 60t/43m boom GT-600EL and 30t/34m boom GT-300EL. These offer a two-stage underslung fly jib with three offset positions (5°, 25° & 45°). They have a top speed of 85km/h and offer an automatic mechanical transmission and cruise control. The rear suspension with rubber mounts was developed jointly with Hendrickson.

Booms are high tensile with an AT-style curved profile for a strong lift chart. The AML-C Automatic Load Limiter detects outrigger extension and adjusts the load chart accordingly. A slow stop feature is activated as the crane nears its load limit. The AML-C operates in conjunction with a new Smart Chart feature that provides an improved chart when the crane is operating over the rear outriggers when they are extended.

Fuel economy has received attention, with an Eco-Mode reducing fuel consumption during crane operation and Positive Control reducing fuel consumption when the crane is on standby.

Tadano’s HELLO-NET telematics system is offered for the first time on a truck crane.

Also new for this year (a busy one for Tadano) are:

  • ATF60-3 60t 3-axle AT machine;
  • GR-200EX 20t city class crane; and
  • GR-1100EX 110t rough terrain crane, 56m main (rounded) boom + 17m bi-fold fly jib with three offset positions (3.5°, 25° & 45°), smart chart system.

The long-awaited 600t ATF600 AT crane with triple boom has not yet been confirmed for this year.


Sennebogen distributor PACE Cranes reports that New Zealand has shown a liking for Sennebogen cranes. The first dragline sale, a model 655E duty cycle crane with 29m boom and 1.9m3 bucket, was made to Rangitata Diversion Race Management Limited (RDRML) to clear sand and gravel from the entrance to the storage area for a 67km canal fed by two alpine rivers.

Attendees of celebrations for PACE’s 30th anniversary would have noted that “big daddy” on display was a Sennebogen 673E tele boom crawler in the colours of Pollock Cranes. Despite the festivities, PACE staff had to be back at work in time to have the crane prepared for shipping to NZ by midday. This crane is on long-term hire to CLL Service & Solutions.

On the Maeda front, the 3t LC383 was the last of the slewing mini cranes with cabs to move from a Komatsu to a Maeda base, and is now designated the CC423 (first unit sold to Coopers Heavy Industries in Sydney). The previous series was built by Maeda using Komatsu engines, cabin and covers on a Maeda chassis and track frame. The pace of model change in the mini excavator market meant that Maeda had to redesign the mini crane with each change of Komatsu generation, imposing costs that could not be justified by the size of the mini crane market.

Other models have been redesignated following the change, with the LC785 becoming the CC985 (first unit sold to Pezzimenti Trenchless in Melbourne) and the LC1385 becoming the CC1485 (first unit sold to Keen Crib in NZ).


Link-Belt distributor Baden Davis Crane Connection will deliver the first 127t capacity Link-Belt TCC-1400 telescopic boom crawler crane in Australia to Melrose Cranes by the time of publication. Its capacity and 60m boom length makes it a viable alternative to an AT crane for project work where a crane remains on site for an extended period. A bi-fold lattice boom fly jib is an option where reach is required.

Its big brother, the 230t capacity TCC-2500 with 68m boom and 35.6m hydraulic luffing fly jib, was introduced in 2017. It has a transport weight of only 48.6t. US magazine Construction Equipment named it in its Top 100 New Products of 2017 list, unveiled early this year. While machines are working in the US, to date none have arrived in Australia.

Link-Belt’s top of the line rough terrain crane, the 135t RTC-80150, was recently upgraded to 145t capacity, becoming the RTC-80160 Series II. Like the 100t RTC-80110 Series II and 120t RTC-80130 Series II, this crane has hydrostatic drive and a six-wheel carrier frame, which allows for smaller diameter tyres to be used compared to a two-axle crane, reducing head height for transport as well as load on each tyre.


Australian Crane & Machinery (ACM) had news of a new 300t Kobelco CKE/CKS 3000 lattice boom crawler crane at the 2017 CICA crane conference. A feature is that Standard, Heavy Lift and Super Heavy Lift configurations are offered.

In Standard configuration, the main boom length is 90m and maximum capacity is 300t at 5.5m. The heavy lift configuration has a maximum main boom of 189.8t at 8.8m, maximum boom length of 78m and maximum luffing jib combination is 60m main + 90m jib. In Super Heavy Lift configuration, these figures alter to 350t at 8m, 102m and 84m + 90m respectively.

Ease of transport and assembly is a feature, with a transport width of under 3m for all components.

A self-assembly system is available for crawlers, lower boom, carbody weights and counterweights.

ACM announced that it planned to release its own 60t truck crane, fitted to a commercial truck chassis, at the 2018 CICA conference.


For Kato and Sumitomo crane distributor Tutt Bryant Equipment, 2018 will be a relatively quiet year as far as equipment updates and new models go. Crane division manager Ian Eyres states that there will be a mid-year update of the 13t and 20t Kato city cranes to coincide with introduction of a Tier 4 engine. He reports that sales have been strong for both sizes of city crane for the year to date.

Without giving away details, Eyres expects that there will be big news next year on both the Kato and Sumitomo fronts.

Adelaide-based Craneworx purchased a 13t Kato early this year. The crane is currently working for Lend Lease on the Northern Connection project in Adelaide, handling the tops of piles during pile trimming.

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