Cranes & Lifting, International, Product News

New Wide Boom Plus inserts help Manitowoc MLC300 VPC-MAX punch well above its size class

Manitowoc Crane lifts on Windmill

Additional inserts expand the successful MLC300 Wide Boom kit to increase boom length and capacity. Using the VPC-MAX attachment, this new configuration offers the capacity of much larger cranes with the logistics and site benefits of the MLC300. 

Manitowoc developed the solution based on the customer feedback it received, and it’s already proving successful.

 Early feedback from leading players in the renewable energy industry highlights the huge operational and efficiency advantages gained by Manitowoc’s new Wide Boom Plus insert kit for its MLC300 VPC-MAX lattice-boom crawler crane. 

The updated attachment offers a maximum boom length of 131m (429.8 ft), with a tip height of 137.8m (452.2ft) with the extended upper boom point. In addition to the longer boom lengths, the extra 30 per cent capacity allows contractors to respond to the trend for taller, heavier wind turbines while continuing to enjoy the benefits of operating smaller cranes.

 Lomma Crane & Rigging is the first company to purchase the kit. Lomma partnered with JMS Crane & Rigging to install it on an MLC300 VPC-MAX for maintenance work on multiple wind tower sites across the upper Midwest in the United States. “We are excited to have been a part of the kit’s development and now see it at work in the field. It radically expands the use of the MLC300 for renewable energy jobs,” said Steve Burkholder, heavy lift manager at Lomma.

 The added height and strong charts stretch the amount of work JMS can perform with their 386 ton (350 tonne) crawler crane.  “We have one competitor with a 900-ton all-terrain crane that can’t do what our MLC300 VPC-MAX can,” added Rich Johnson, vice president of JMS.

“Now that 90- and 95-metre towers are becoming more prevalent, we would have to rely on our larger Manitowoc Model 16000 or add a luffing jib to our MLC300 if Manitowoc hadn’t answered our prayers for the Wide Boom Plus kit. “It also enables a much friendlier crane build, with a smaller footprint, and saves us around 16-20 hours in assembly and disassembly time per job. Given that we might do that 300 times a year, it’s a major benefit to us,” Johnson said.

In addition to the reduced transport requirements of a nimbler crane, the contractor pointed to his operators’ familiarity with the MLC300, which allows for faster onsite commissioning.  

“That extra boom gives a 138m (452 ft) tip height and is good for 124,400 lbs (56.5t)— that’s unheard of for a machine of this size!” Burkholder said. “Although wind farm installations can be tricky due to the weather conditions, there is still 100 per cent availability of the load chart in wind speeds up to 15 m/h (25 km/h).”

“Lomma and JMS were very vocal about their desire to have us develop this solution, so we’re delighted that it’s already proving highly successful,” added Brennan Seeliger, Manitowoc’s product manager for crawler cranes. “As wind turbines increase in size and weight, the need to be able to perform construction and maintenance above 90m without increasing crane footprint or setup time was a high priority for our customers — and that made it a high priority for us, too.” 

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