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Grove rough terrains bigger, better stronger

In 2016, Manitowoc launched the new range of Grove Rough Terrains (GRTs) which have proven to be popular on jobsites around the world. Federico Lovera is the Product Manager for GRTs in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. He discusses the features and benefits of the range and explains why the various models will suit the Australian market.

The GRT range of rough terrains was first introduced in 2016 with the GRT880 and the GRT8100 models. These replaced the previous models the RT880E and the RT890E. The GRT880 and the GRT8100 models were the result of an extensive re-design and testing process conducted in both the Niella Tanaro factory, in Italy and the Shady Grove factory, in Pennsylvania in the US. More recently, we added the Grove GRT655 and GRT655L models to the range.

“We undertook a complete review process of the rough terrain range. We listened to feedback from customers noting likes and dislikes about the products and we collected information and data on the performance of the machines. We then conducted an extensive internal analysis review process which included the engineering and after sales teams,” he said.

“The main purpose of the review process was to design and manufacture more reliable machines. With the new GRT range we have focused on the reliability of the cranes. We changed the design, but we also carefully chose the suppliers for the componentry contained within the crane. In fact, we validated every crane component at the Product Verification Centre in Shady Grove,” said Lovera.

The centre features hot and cold weather chambers and the components were subjected to all types of testing including pressure, water resistance and humidity t,esting says Lovera.

“We conducted all types of testing using hydraulic test benches and hot and cold weather chambers. In terms
of scope, we conducted accelerated lift cycle testing on every new component including cylinders, pumps and sensors. When a component was successful and free of defect, and this is after 10 years of the accelerated lift cycle testing, it was seen as being of the right quality to be included in the machine.

“For example, we had cylinders operating continually, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a hydraulic testing bench testing the sensor of the outrigger spread or the boom extension cylinder. The cylinder for the GRT880 outrigger totalled 80kms travelling back and forth. This testing was designed to validate every component and the results came together with the GRT880 and the GRT8100. We are now confident with the reliability of these models, so much so that we provide customers with a standard two-year warranty,” he said.

The 100t Grove GRT8100 has exceptional reach with its 47m boom that has a maximum tip height of
49m. With a full complement of boom extension and insert options, the crane also has an outstanding reach of 77 m. The boom is lighter and longer than its predecessor, but has the ability to lift heavier loads throughout the load chart. Capability such as this will allow customers to get unparalleled usage out of a 100t rough-terrain crane.

The 80t GRT880 features a shorter 41 m boom that is also lighter than the GRT8100 boom. Customers will find this boom especially useful for the mining sector, equipment maintenance and infrastructure projects.

With increased capacity at mid range and maximum radii, the GRT8100 and GRT880 are more versatile than competitors’ cranes – they boast up to 16 per cent greater capacity at full radius, 13 per cent greater capacity in mid-range applications and 27 per cent greater capacity at close radii. With off-settable boom and fly extensions, the cranes enable customers to lift heavier loads to greater heights, helping companies compete for – and win – bids for projects they may not have been able to previously.

The GRT8100 is the only crane in its class to offer a hydraulic luffing jib that can be configured at lengths between 10m and 17 m. Other optional boom extensions for the cranes include a 10-17 m manual off-settable bi-fold boom extension with fixed offsets at 0, 20 and 40° as well as a heavy-duty 3 m jib that is off-settable to 40°.

A new boom extension stowage system for both cranes’ hydraulic and off-settable jib options decreases erection and stowage time by 60 per cent when compared with previous generation Grove cranes. This enables operators to set up and disassemble the cranes in less time, saving money and increasing return on investment.

The GRT8100 and GRT880 also have best-in-class line pulls at 7,883 kg on both the main and the auxiliary hoists. The stronger pull results in fewer parts of line being needed to lift loads, which will lead to increased productivity on the job site and faster customer payback.

Manitowoc also offers a 50t rough- terrain crane with two boom versions
for different applications. The options include the GRT655 with 34.8 m boom for heavy duty applications and the GRT655L with 43 m long boom for those applications where reach is a must.

At 43 m, the Grove GRT655L has the longest boom in its class. With this long boom, the rough-terrain crane has the advantage that no additional jib is needed for long reach jobs. And when working with a jib, operators can reach more than 56 m and nearly 60 m at maximum tip height. The shorter boom version, GRT655, has the strongest load charts in its class and is the preferred choice when extra capacity is needed. Both models share a light and compact carrier, weighing only around 35 t and measuring less than 3 m in width. Therefore, crane operators can drive into narrow spaces such as refineries, power plants and densely populated areas and access a greater variety of jobsites.
The narrow dimensions of either model – the most compact in their class – make the GRT655 and GRT655L easy to transport on a trailer and they can be shipped in one complete load. In addition, when manoeuvring around a jobsite, operators benefit from all-wheel steering with a choice of four steering modes – two-wheel front, two-wheel rear, four-wheel crab and four-wheel coordinated. In coordinated mode, the crane has a turning radius of just 6.4m, allowing it to access even the most congested sites.

The Manitowoc Crane Control System (CCS) makes it intuitive to set up, control and command the crane. This system is in common with all-terrain cranes, as well as truck-mounted and crawler cranes. Data is put into the CCS using a jog dial on the right armrest and/ or the buttons on the two displays. This can easily be done even when wearing gloves. The speed and ramp of each movement can be customized according to individual operator preferences. Many options are available to cater to a wide variety of experience levels, from the less experienced to the most experienced operator, and advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics are provided on board. The GRT655 and GRT655L also offer very high single line hoist speed and pull, making them very productive cranes that complete the job quickly.

The GRT655 and GRT655L have a full vision cab with minimal blind spots. In addition, the cab can be tilted up
to 20 degrees, helping the operator to stay comfortable and productive when working with the 43 m long boom or a jib on top of that.

The effective heating and air conditioning system, with multiple vents to increase air flow, also helps the operator to stay focused and feel comfortable even on hot summer days. When entering
and exiting the cab, flat decking on the chassis, grab handles around the cab and steps to access the crane on all four sides offer support, ensuring the operator can maintain a three-point contact with the crane at all times.

The GRT655 and GRT655L include many features that reduce maintenance requirements and increase component service life. For example, by mounting the outriggers’ jack cylinders upside down, the chrome part of the cylinder and the seals are protected against sand, dust and general contaminants. Furthermore, it has a hydraulic braking system, instead of the pneumatic variety often seen in the industry. For Grove rough-terrain cranes, this eliminates the need for a separate system and resulting maintenance. Finally, the ECO mode and hydraulic load sensing system reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% compared to older models. The hydraulic load sensing system sends oil only when it is needed, leading to less overheating, less wear and less fuel consumption. These savings combine to deliver a low total cost of ownership.

Lovera explains what the Australian market and specifically the resources and mining sector can expect from the new Grove GRT range and his expectations as the manufacturer for the customers’ experience.

“Our main objective is to provide the customer with extremely reliable machines. We have introduced longer and stronger booms and I can see the GRT8100 being the perfect machine for the Australian market. With 47m of main boom, it is a crane which is easy to use and it is a strong crane and similarly the long boom GRT655L should hit the mark in the 50t class.

“We also understand there is a strong focus on safety and compliance in the mining sector. For compliance related issues, we offer a ‘mining package’ which increases the visibility from the machine, and therefore increases the safety of crews working in close proximity to the crane. We have also designed a platform to assist the adjustment of the hoist, grab handles all around the cab and steps on the four sides of the machine to provide easy access to the super structure.

“We have an emergency stop button on each side of the carrier which is accessible from ground level and additional lights to increase visibility. All the GRT’s are fitted with a tiltable cab so when the boom is fully extended, the operator has excellent visibility. With the increased levels of reliability, the longest booms in their class and a range of safety features, we are confident the Grove Rough Terrain models will be as well received by the Australian market as they have been by other markets around the globe,” said Lovera.

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