In January, Manitowoc launched its first hydraulic luffing jib crane, the Potain MCH125 and for Active Crane Hire, the new machine was a perfect fit to its fleet, writes Jacqueline Ong.
Active Crane Hire began operations in 2001, starting off with 10 self-erecting cranes and later purchasing a small hammerhead city crane. In 2011, the company embarked on a massive expansion, in large part due to the growth of Australia’s residential development market, doubling its fleet over the last five years. Today, the company has some 160 cranes in Sydney, the biggest of which is the MCT205 hammerhead crane. It may have a rather large fleet but the one thing it didn’t have was a luffing crane. Enter Manitowoc.
The MCR125 combines the advantages of Potain’s MCR luffing jib cranes and MCT topless cranes, and according to Manitowoc, is the ideal machine for congested sites largely found in urban areas.
Maximum capacity for the MCH 125 is 8t, while the maximum jib length is 50m. Tip capacity is 2t and maximum line speed is 100m/min when fitted with the 60 LVF 20 hoist. The crane’s design offers a number of advantages, including fast erection and dismantling. The topless design means less space is needed on site, as there is no cathead to assemble at ground level before installation. It also uses Potain’s VVH hydraulic luffing technology for vertical movement of the jib, which eliminates the need for luffing wire ropes. With VVH technology, the MCH125 is able to raise from a horizontal level to 87˚ in less than two minutes.
As the hydraulics are pre-connected at the factory, the need to perform this duty during the crane’s on-site assembly is avoided. The hydraulic luffing design also means the crane has a shorter counter-jib and out-of-service radius when compared with rope-luffing alternatives, freeing up valuable space on congested job sites.
Active Crane Hire director Hermann Buchberger told Cranes and Lifting the company has had a long-standing partnership with Manitowoc, dating back to when the company first started in 2001 and today, 90% of its fleet are Potains.
When Buchberger first laid eyes on the MCH125, he got “excited” and knew that the machine would be compatible with its other cranes.
“In Australia, airspace is becoming a bigger topic of discussion and people do not like cranes to oversail their property. With luffing cranes, you can control the airspace much better, which is why we started looking at them. But majority of the luffing cranes in the market are always too big,” Buchberger said.
“The MCH125 sits within the smaller luffing crane range and we can use it where air space is a problem, or in new developments that are popping up at the moment near infrastructure such as rail corridors where the authority doesn’t allow cranes to oversail – it’s the perfect application for luffing cranes. This crane also sits very nicely in our structure and it was quite an easy choice to commit to the product.”
Active Crane Hire has deployed its MCH125 to a residential development site in Kiama, 100km south of Sydney, where it will remain till mid this year.
“We had to use this type of crane because it’s next to the railway corridor and it made perfect sense to introduce the luffing crane there,” Buchberger said.
And the company has plans to grow its luffing crane fleet.
“We’re doing a bit of strategic work at the moment, introducing numbers all across the board. But I want to build our luffing crane fleet. We currently have three on order that will arrive this year and I think before the end of the calendar year, we will commit to another three. I want to build up this fleet to 10 units in the next 12 to 14 months,” he said.