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Franna AT40s prove good all rounders

Two Way Cranes has been running two Franna AT40s for some time and they are proving to be excellent all-rounders and popular with the project management team and also the operators.

John Menendez is one of Two Way Cranes’ project managers, and with close to 40 years of experience in the crane sector, he is well qualified to appraise the performance and assess the value of the cranes operating in the company’s fleet. Two Way Cranes has been operating two Franna AT 40s for some time. They were recently deployed for a dual lift on Glebe Island, in Sydney’s inner west says Menendez.

“The project was for an electrical company that works on and manages various electrical jobs and projects in and around Sydney Harbour. Recently, they were involved in some re-development in an area of Glebe Island. The project involved the dismantling of a number of lighting towers which were going to interfere with the development.

“We had a 90t capacity crane lift the towers down and we rigged each of the towers at either end. We then had the two Franna AT 40s safely ‘walk’ the towers away to another part of the wharf where they would be out of the way. We had the two cranes because the towers were an awkward size and we wanted to ensure the job was completed quickly and safely. We had plenty of extra capacity been built in the lift and we could have probably completed the lift with one of the Frannas,” said Menendez.

The AT40 is the largest Franna ever built by TEREX and it’s a bold engineering project. The AT40 is the first three-axle crane with a pick-and-carry capacity of 40t on boom lug and 35t at 2.0m radius on 8 part hook block. Powered by the same Mercedes OM 906 205kW diesel and Allison automatic transmission used on the popular 25t Mac 25, the new crane has a four-section 19.8m full-power boom offering 19m maximum hook height. On site, the rear (third) axle is raised on its hydro-pneumatic suspension to provide 4 x 4 wheel drive and the same wheelbase as the Mac 25. On the highway the 32t GVW crane travels at up to 75km/h with axle loads of up to 11.5t fully counterweighted.
Additional features include a full width isolated cabin, articulating counterweight and increased cabin storage.

Dynamic LMI (Patent Protected)

First released in 2013, Franna’s patented Dynamic LMI remains as a pillar of safety, underpinning the electronic control and user experience offered today. The system is designed to offer “real-time” calculation of rated capacity taking into account boom configuration, as well as chassis articulation, pitch and roll, enabling continual assessment of structural limitations, forward stability and side stability.

Increased resolution of rated capacity is made possible by finer measurement of articulation pitch and roll angles, allowing for improved machine capability compared to previous generation LMI systems. When operated on a jobsite over undulating terrain, the rated capacity will be updated continually, providing instantaneous information on the percentage utilisation of the machine (0-100 per cent of available capacity). When operating on a side slope or undulating terrain, operators are no longer required to manually calculate a reduction of rated capacity; the Franna Dynamic LMI does that.

Other operational aids include:

  • operator settable maximum working height;
  • maximum working radius; and
  • percentage of rated capacity.

These features further enhance the safe operation of the machine when site conditions get tough and are available in retrofit form for all Mercedes powered Franna cranes.

Menendez goes on to discuss the difference the Franna AT40s have made to Two Way Cranes, explaining how they offer more options to the company’s lifting capabilities.

“The AT4Os have made a huge difference to how we plan lifts at Two Way Cranes. In the past we were planning lifts where you would need a 25t Franna with super-lift, now we can complete these jobs with the AT40s. They provide the option of not having to send a second truck to site with the counterweights which provides obvious efficiency gains and savings. Some of the sites we work on, especially around factory applications and industrial sites, access is limited and there isn’t always room for the second vehicle, so the AT40s provide genuine options for us,” he said.

“We’ve also found the capacity on the rhino hook with low profile work to be fantastic and this had proved invaluable with the tunnelling work we are involved with. We used to walk the panels in these projects with a 25t Franna with super-lift but we’re now completing this work with the AT40s. The panels are heavier and we’ve had to do some engineering to get the panels to do what they need to do underground. The 25t machine can’t manage the increased weights and the AT40 is the best crane for this work. With two AT40s in the fleet, we’ve significantly increased the volume of tunnel work we are able to complete,” said Menendez.

Menendez goes on to confirm how the operators and crews enjoy working with the AT40s.

“The operators say the cranes are a much better road ride. It’s like anything, when the technology is better there’s more room, more cameras, more capacity and much safer. In my opinion, the AT40 has all the plusses and it’s a great crane for the crews,” he said.

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