Products, Victoria

First Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 arrives in Western Australia

In early May, Norwest Crane Hire and Liebherr Mobile Cranes announced the arrival of the Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1. It is the first of this model to arrive in Western Australia and only the second in the country.

The venue for the event was situated right on the banks of the Swan River, with the Perth skyline as the backdrop. In excess of 200 people attended the launch, including very interested representatives from crane businesses, financial institutions, mining and construction companies, as well as the management teams from both Norwest Crane Hire and Liebherr. 

The Western Australian branch of The Crane Industry Council of Australia supported the event, encouraging members to attend and see the Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 up close and personal. Many members did so.

Norwest Crane Hire is a leading crane service provider in the north west region of Western Australia and specialises in the provision of integrated crane, transport, logistics, and labour services for major mining and resource companies. 

With a lifting capacity of 700 tonnes, the LTM 1650-8.1 exceeds the capacity of its predecessor, the LTM 1500-8.1, the most successful large crane of all time, by an impressive 15 to 50 per cent. 

Norwest Crane Hire’s managing director Bernie Johnson explains more. 

“With the lifting capacity and radius requirements of our market increasing, this crane provides us with even more power and heavier lifting potential,”
he said.

With the lifting capacity and radius requirements of markets increasing, the Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 crane provides Norwest Crane Hire with even more power and heavier lifting potential.

“The LTM 1650-8.1 is a revolutionary, innovative crane and has enormous capacity on eight axles. Norwest Crane Hire has been working with Liebherr since we purchased our first crane back in 2008, and we have great confidence that Liebherr has launched yet another outstanding crane in the form of the LTM 1650-8.1. 

“The crane is ideally suited to the types of applications we are working on and will provide tremendous benefits for many of our customers. The reason why many customers are looking forward to the arrival of the LTM 1650-8.1 are the savings they will see.

“Take crushers on mine sites. The heaviest component of a crusher weighs 120 tonnes and it often takes a heavy lift crawler to complete these lifts. This crane can lift the crusher at 14 metres. Previously, the lift might require a large crawler that would take a week to build and commission, a week to do the job, and then another week to get it out of there. 

“This crane will deliver significant cost and time savings to the client on mobilisation, build times, pack-up, and demobilisation. We have many clients with similar applications and requirements,” said Johnson.

In designing its new eight-axle crane, Liebherr focused on maximum load capacities. The LTM 1650-8.1 travels with an axle load of 12t complete with its 54m telescopic boom and the front supports. To minimise the set-up time, however, the rear supports are installed as one complete module in a single hoist and connected using quick-release couplings.

Liebherr can offer the LTM 1650-8.1 with a very wide range of transport weights and axle load versions to ensure cost-effective global mobility for axle loads both above and below 12 tonnes.

Powerful, variable boom system

As with its predecessor, the LTM 1500-8.1, which dominated the large telescopic crane class for 20 years, Liebherr can supply the new crane with two telescopic boom lengths – 54m or 80m. Customers can also buy both lengths and change them easily by replacing telescope section 3 and roller head with telescope sections 3 to 5.

In keeping with the concept of delivering the ultimate crane on eight axles, the load capacity increasescompared to its predecessor, are between 15 and 50 per cent depending on whether the telescopic boom includes guying or not. The standard VarioBase variable support base delivers additional increases in performance in the zone above the supports.

The designers used the time-tested technology from the LTM 1500-8.1 for the Y-guying of the new LTM 1650-8.1 – although they upgraded the single-rope system to achieve better performance, the benefit of easy handling was retained. The experts from Ehingen focused on achieving an easy, fast and safe set-up process during the design process.

A range of lattice boom configurations enables it to work efficiently in a wide range of applications. With a fixed lattice boom from 6 to 62m in length, the telescopic boom can be extended particularly easily and quickly. It is attached at an angle of 0°, 10°, 20°, or 40°. As an option, the fixed boom can be adjusted between 0° and 38°. The luffing lattice boom with a length of 21 to 91m delivers maximum height, radius and performance. Both lattice booms
can be attached to the 54m and the 80m telescopic boom.

Liebherr’s Andrew Esquilant and Stefan de Silva present Norwest Crane Hire’s Bernie Johnson and Toni Jessop with the key to the Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1.

High performance normally requires a large ballast radius. But often there is simply not enough space on sites. This means the ballast radius must be as small as possible. Liebherr meets this challenge with its VarioBallast innovation. The new LTM 1650-8.1 has adopted the time-tested system from the LTM 1450-8.1 – the ballast radius can be infinitely adjusted using a simple hydraulic slewing mechanism – on the LTM 1650-8.1 between 6.3 and 8.4m.

The new Liebherr eight-axle crane operates with a maximum ballast of 155t. To enhance economy, the ballast plates are compatible with the slabs from the LTM 1350-6.1, LTM 1400-7.1, LTM 1450-8.1, Liebherr’s nine-axle mobile cranes and the LR 1350/1 crawler crane. This means that all large LTM cranes have standard ballast slabs – a massive step forwards in logistics for crane operators.

An eight-cylinder Liebherr diesel engine in the undercarriage, which develops 505kW/687bhp and torque of 3,160Nm, provides the LTM 1650-8.1 with all the power it needs. The engine satisfies the new stage V emissions directive and can also be built to comply with the regulations that apply in countries outside of Europe, for example Tier 4f for the USA or stage III for low regulated countries.

The power is transferred to the crane axles using the innovative 12-speed ZF TraXon Torque gearbox. A torque converter enhances manoeuvring and starting. ECOdrive is a new feature. The additional eco mode delivers enhanced drive properties which both save fuel and reduce noise. Meanwhile, hill start aid makes starting on gradients easier. The intarder, a zero-wear hydrodynamic brake integrated in the gearbox, acts as a retarder. In addition a Telma eddy current brake is standard.

The team at Norwest Crane Hire celebrated the arrival of the Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1.

The Liebherr single-engine concept has now proven itself in over 800 cranes and also features on the new LTM 1650-8.1. The superstructure is powered by a mechanical shaft. Gear shafts are routed from the distributor gear in the substructure via two mitre gears through the centre of the slewing ring to the pump distributor gear in the superstructure.

A mechanical shaft ensures a particularly high efficiency level and low engine speeds in the chassis engine provide sufficient power for crane work. This ensures the economy of the new concept in terms of fuel consumption. The benefits of not having a separate superstructure engine include reduced maintenance work and lower weight. The lower weight can be used for load-bearing components, thus increasing the crane’s load capacity. In ECOmode the complete pump drive can be disconnected automatically when the engine is idling and then reconnected by the intelligent controller in a matter of seconds when
it is required.

“We were really happy with the way the launch event worked and we were happy to see some of our competitors. The Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 will be good for the Western Australian market and the more people that are talking about its arrival the better,” said Johnson. 

“We view the Liebherr team as integral partners for our business and the service and support they provide is second to none. It was great to see the senior management here for the event. We already have jobs lined up.” 

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