Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features, Net Zero

Empire’s continued expansion with Liebherr

Empire Cranes has purchased a used Liebherr telescopic crawler crane, the LTR220.

Empire Cranes’ capabilities continue to expand with the recent arrival of a quality used Liebherr LTR1220, a 220t capacity telescopic crawler straight out of the German factory. Empire Cranes’ Owners and Directors, Jarrod Belsey and Jared McDonald explain the reasons for the purchase.

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“We were in discussions with Liebherr for months prior to try and find the next addition to our fleet, we knew we wanted to move into larger crawler cranes and were delighted to hear that one was undergoing a refurb in Germany after coming off a wind farm in Europe. We had to jump on it! We had been talking to some of our existing wind farm clients about the Liebherr LTR 1220 and they were very keen to take it as soon as it arrived,” said  Jarrod.

“The LTR 1220 is versatile and suited to a wide variety of project types, from the renewable energy sector, like wind farms –  where it is the ideal support crane, sitting under the larger crawlers and feeding them all day –  to infrastructure and construction and mining projects around Australia. The Liebherr LTR 1220 is the flagship of our fleet and it gives us a full range of telecrawler cranes from 5t to 220t,” he said.

With a maximum load capacity 220t, a telescopic boom of 60m, maximum hoist height of 101 m and maximum operating radius of 88m, the Liebherr LTR 1220 has class leading features. The LTR 1220 is the optimal model of the telescopic crawler class combining the features of a telescopic crane with those of a crawler crane. The crawler travel gear provides outstanding off-the-road handling as well as manoeuvrability with excellent handling. The advantages of a telescopic crane include its short set-up times, simpler transport and the variability of its boom system. The telescopic boom can be quickly extended and retracted to the required length with full automation. Another positive point is that the crane can travel with a full load on the hook. There is no need for an auxiliary crane on site as it is self-erecting – a major financial benefit.

Empire Cranes has purchased a used Liebherr telescopic crawler crane, the LTR220.
The LTR 1220 is versatile and suited to a wide variety of project types including wind farms. Image: Empire Cranes

Liebherr’s LICCON control system makes it possible to define the limits for the work area. This prevents the telescopic section from accidentally extending too far or the boom from luffing up.

“Everyone’s very happy with the crane. The LTR 1220 is a good lifter and a great support crane to the large LG wind farm cranes. It is helping to assemble and disassemble the LGs and move between towers. If we were to move it away from the wind farm space, we’ve got a lot of interest from the likes of North East Link and Sydney Metro projects which are looking for heavy lift cranes to support their large infrastructure jobs,” said  Jarrod.


Empire Cranes worked with Tom Grady, Liebherr’s National Used Crane Manager who was able to source the telecrawler from Germany. Jared explains more about the relationship with Tom and  his team.

“We know Tom well and our relationship goes back over multiple companies and many years. The relationship with Tom and his team is excellent as it is with the Liebherr operation. Liebherr is a very professional outfit with great product. You know what you are getting with Liebherr, and they don’t let you down,” he said.

“We spoke to Tom to let him know we were interested in a LTR 1220 and he was back to us quickly saying he could source one ex-Germany. It was one of those purchases where the stars aligned to make everything possible, and we could not pass up on the opportunity.

“The relationship with Tom works one of two ways. We’ve gone to him multiple times over the years asking him to find a specific crane, which he’s done. Other times he’s come to us and said, “This is a crane that you can’t pass up, boys.” 

“With Tom you just know that the crane coming out of the Liebherr factory or coming out of Liebherr’s Sydney yard it’s going to be a great product. They back their product with a warranty and you know you are getting quality with the Liebherr brand,” said Jared.

“There were a couple of delays with the shipping which were no fault of Liebherr’s obviously. We took delivery of it pre-Christmas and were fortunate enough to get it out working straight away, it straight onto a wind farm and it’s been there ever since,” he said.

“This is the fourth Liebherr crane we have purchased through Tom, which includes two all terrains. We also recently purchased a brand new 60t capacity telecrawler which is an excellent unit. It’s a great infrastructure crane and we’ve currently got that operating on one of the level crossing removal projects in Melbourne. It’s going straight from there to another infrastructure project.

“Its versatility and manoeuvrability also make the LTR 1060 ideal for jobs in the renewable sector. Its “pick & carry” mode is particularly good as it enables us to carry loads of up to 20t,” said Jared.

Empire Cranes has purchased a used Liebherr telescopic crawler crane, the LTR220.
In addition to the 4.8 metre wide track, the Liebherr LTR 1060 can also work safely on a track width reduced to 3 metres using the crane control system. Image: Liebherr

With a lifting capacity of 60t and telescopic boom of 40m, the LTR 1060 design means the crawler can travel on site with a full load on the hook. The crawler chassis also makes it easy to master difficult terrain. In addition to the 4.8 metre wide track, the Liebherr LTR 1060 can also work safely on a track width reduced to 3 metres using the crane control system. 

“That is a major benefit on constricted sites. We also appreciate the sensitive control of the LTR 1060 when things are tight,” said Jared.

The crawler travel gear can be retracted to a width of 3 m for transport. The low crane height of just 3.15 m ensures that economical standard semi low loaders can  be used. 

The LTR 1060 weighs just 62.6 tonnes complete with turntable and central ballast. The axle loads for transport are less than 12 tonnes for a 3-axle tractor unit and a 5-axle low loader. By removing ballast, the transport weight can be reduced to the net weight of the basic 37.5 tonne machine. Axle loads of less than 12t can be achieved using a 3-axle tractor unit and a 4-axle low  loader.

Once at the site, the crane can assemble both the central ballast and the slewing platform ballast itself without requiring an auxiliary crane. 

“The LTR 1060 is a fantastic crane, even as a 40 tonner without ballast, it is perfect for many jobs,” said Jared.

The Empire Crane fleet has significantly expanded over the last couple of years, Jarrod explains why.

“We’ve rapidly expanded over the last couple of years, and we’ve grown not only the size of the fleet, but the tonnage of the equipment. We are looking to continue to do so especially in the telecrawler space.

“We’ll continue to invest in quality second hand equipment from reputable sources like Tom and Liebherr, and we are also looking to purchase new equipment, our last four purchases have been new cranes,” said Jarrod. “Our focus is to try and reduce the age of our fleet which will help reduce our internal repairs and maintenance costs and help us to offer our customers and even better  product.”