All terrain cranes bring a long list of positive attributes to their owners, and the North American market for these cranes continues to expand. Although they are generally more expensive and highly technical cranes, all-terrain cranes are strong, versatile and cost effective to operate.
For the most part, the all-terrain crane population in North America is made up of five brands: Demag, Grove, Liebherr, Link-Belt and Tadano America. The all-terrain product lines of these manufacturers are varied and extensive, making purchasing decisions even more difficult.
“Most of our locations are in areas that have either terrain challenges or site challenges for size and mobility,” said Scott Wilson, president of M-L Holdings Company Crane Group Crane Service, headquartered in Albuquerque, NM, with offices throughout the United States. “It’s very important to have a crane that can perform on mountainous terrains or in really tight quarters.”
Like all Grove GMK cranes with CCS, the GMK3060L features the MAXbase option for variable outrigger settings and increased load charts in certain working ranges.
M-L Holdings operates all terrain cranes in urban areas where narrow streets and congested roadways are an issue, and the company also uses cranes in mountainous areas where climate changes and soil conditions complicate crane setup. For this reason, all terrain cranes can be the ideal lifting solution, Wilson said.
“With the AT you have the ability to steer front, rear and crab/drive sideways to get into position and get the necessary the tail swing you need,” he said. “There are many more benefits of an AT than you can’t get with a truck crane, like the hydraulic suspension. ATs are really ideal when the site conditions require you to be more nimble, to make difficult roadway and site turns.”
There are also many considerations when purchasing an all-terrain crane, Wilson said. Beyond capacity and reach, one must consider transportability, ease of operation and price.
“Beyond the environment the crane is going to be working in, you have to look at the types of jobs you will be performing,” Wilson said. “We have chosen certain cranes lately based on different manufacturers having different capacities with outrigger positioning, boom length and counterweight positioning. We might consider a Liebherr in the Mid-Atlantic region because it fits the building heights and alley ways in urban areas. In West Texas, we go with Tadanos because they have worked well with the abuse of the oil and gas roads and terrain issues. Link-Belt ATs have simple operation mods while Demag and Grove have many other benefits.”
M-L Holdings has a variety of ATs in its fleet, and the company will likely purchase additional units as the needs arise.
To discuss all the all-terrain cranes on the market in North America would require more space than we have in this magazine, as every manufacturer offers from eight to 20 models in their product ranges. For this article we asked the manufacturers to highlight one unit. As well, all these cranes will be exhibited at the Bauma construction equipment tradeshow in Germany in April.
Demag AC 300-6
At Bauma, Terex Cranes will show nearly the full range of its Demag all-terrain line including its AC 45 City, AC 55-3, AC 100-4L and AC 200-5. But of interest to North American customers is the AC 300-6.
The six-axle Demag AC 300-6 all-terrain crane, boasting a 350-ton (300 metric ton) capacity, features a 262.5-foot (80 meter) main boom. It is first crane of its size in the Demag range equipped with a luffing jib. Terex said this unit combines long reach with a strong load chart.
The main boom can perform jobs at heights up to 255 feet (78 meters) at a 242-foot radius (74 meters) without rigging a jib. It is ideal for tower crane erection, with a lifting capacity of 16.5 tons (15 metric tons) on fully telescoped 262.5-fott (80 meter) main boom, Terex said.
The AC 300-6 will be shown rigged with its luffing jib. Terex said the crane is the smallest in the Demag range that can be outfitted with this extension for superior reach and fly-over capabilities, bringing the maximum system length to 387 feet (118 meters). The luffing jib rigging system is the same as on the AC 350-6 and AC 1000-9 cranes, designed for safe and quick rigging. To avoid an assist crane, the HAV (main boom extension) can be used to build the luffing jib.
This crane features the IC-1 Plus control system and a single-engine concept with an intelligent motor management system. The IC-1 Plus control system incorporates smart technology that provides asymmetric outrigger positioning based on real-time determination of lifting capabilities. This allows the crane to perform jobs usually reserved for larger machines, Terex said.
Grove will launch the successor to its GMK3060 at Bauma, the new GMK3060L. With a 157.5-foot boom, Manitowoc/Grove said the crane has significantly stronger load charts and that it will be available in both Tier 3/ Euromot III and Tier 4 Final/ Euromot V engine emission standards.
The new GMK3060L is based on its predecessor’s design but has a 16.5 foot longer boom and offers the strongest taxi load charts in its class, Manitowoc said. Like the original, the GMK3060L features the most compact dimensions in the three-axle segment, enabling it to access tight jobsites, maneuver in tight spaces and even work indoors, the company said.
The chassis is almost as compact as a two-axle model, and up to 3.2 feet shorter than competitive three-axle cranes, with a carrier length of 28.47 feet and a minimum overall height of 11.41 feet with the suspension fully lowered, Manitowoc said. It has a seven-section TWIN-LOCK hydraulic pinned main boom.
“We launched the GMK3060 at Bauma 2013, and it has been a great success for us,” said Andreas Cremer, Manitowoc’s global product director for all-terrain cranes. “The new GMK3060L takes that crane and makes it even better by providing a longer boom, stronger load charts, fast operating speeds and a powerful yet more environmentally friendly engine.”
The GMK3060L features Manitowoc’s Crane Control System (CCS), as well as a boom configurator feature. This enables operators to input basic lift parameters, such as load, radius and load height, and the system automatically provides optimal boom options for performing the lift. This saves time at the jobsite and makes the setup process easier, Cremer said.
The GMK3060L is powered by a Cummins QSL9, a 254 kW (340 hp) six-cylinder in-line diesel engine that was designed for reduced fuel consumption. The QSL9 combines high strength with a compact footprint for one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class, and will be available in both Tier 3/Euromot III and Tier 4 Final/Euromot V variants to cater for all markets, Manitowoc said. The crane will include a ZF TraXon automatic transmission, giving it 12 forward-speed options and two reverse.
Liebherr LTM 1230-5.1
Liebherr will present eight all-terrain cranes at Bauma including the 5-axle, 253.5-ton LTM 1230-5.1, which was introduced at the company’s 2018 Customer Days event at the factory in Ehingen, Germany.
The new Liebherr LTM 1230-5.1 delivers an extra 9.8 feet in boom length and an average of 20 percent greater lifting capacity, Liebherr said.
The predecessor to this new crane is the LTM 1200-5.1, which Liebherr said had one of the longest telescopic booms in this crane class at 236 feet. The new LTM 1230-5.1 delivers an extra 9.8 feet in boom length and an average of 20 percent greater lifting capacity, Liebherr said.
In addition to a multi-functional folding jib, a 141-foot fixed jib is also available. Crane operators can use the LTM 1230-5.1 using the company’s VarioBase, VarioBallast, ECOmode and ECOdrive.
“The engineers at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen placed the multi-award-winning VarioBase support technology at the focus of the structural steel construction when creating the concept for the new crane,” Liebherr said. This meant that the new LTM crane is the first to have an asymmetrical support base – with the width being 24.2 feet at the front and 26.57 feet at the rear.
VarioBase means that it is now possible to generate particularly high lifting capacities, particularly at the rear working area over the 26.57-foot-wide supports – calculated in real-time by the LICCON controller. This new digitalization facility has a major influence on the structural steel technology and enhances the customer benefit in the form of lifting capacity increases, Liebherr said.
The company calls the combination of the trapezoidal and the variable support base, “VarioBase Plus.”
Introduced at its CraneFest customer event in October 2018, Link-Belt’s new 175-ton capacity 175|AT represents a new generation in the company’s all-terrain product range. The most distinguishing difference in this new model, which is set to begin shipping during the second quarter of 2019, is the two-person cab and single-engine concept.
In showing the 175|AT at Bauma, Link-Belt is clearly staging this crane and its future AT line to compete in the global marketplace. The company’s previous ATC line was targeted to the North American market. The new 175|AT, complete with its Tier 4 final off-highway engine, was intended to work in markets around the world.
The 175|AT transports to the job with full 81,200 pounds of counterweight in just two overflow loads. The crane does not have wing weights.
With a 42.7 to 197.3-foot six-section pin-and-latch greaseless main boom, the 175|AT features a three-piece on-board fly that measures from 10 to 32.5 to 55 feet. There are also three 18-foot lattice fly extensions. The crane has a total tip height of 315.1 feet and a maximum line pull of 23,500 pounds.
The single-engine concept incorporates a Cummins QSX 15 diesel engine that is off highway Tier 4F/Stage V compliant. The 535 HP, 15-liter engine has a 1,950 peak torque. With a ZF TraXon transmission, it has 12 forward and two reverse gears. The crane reports in the 111 to 150.9 metric ton class of ATs.
With five axles, the 175|AT has a high/low range and a standard 10X8X10 drive/steer drive train.
The crane features Link-Belt’s latest Pulse 2.0 – V-Calc system. In the operator’s cab there’s a 10-inch color touch screen display with RCL and engine data, diagnostics and monitoring and operator aids information. The The operator can customize the screen to his or her preferences, and the cab is
Wi-Fi enabled for seamless software updates. The crane also includes Link-Belt’s telematics system that monitors a wide range of customizable data points.
The crane carrier is 9.3 feet wide on 525 tires. With full counterweights the crane can be transported with just two flat beds carrying the counterweight system and lattice boom fly extensions.
Tadano ATF 60G-3
Tadano is keeping under wraps the new cranes the company will show at Bauma, although they promise at least two new all-terrain cranes.
One AT that Tadano has revealed that it will exhibit is the 66-ton Tadano ATF 60G-3, a crane that is the result of German and Japanese engineering and the willingness to consistently rethink crane development and to question existing concepts, the company said. Unlike other 66-ton all-terrain cranes, the Tadano ATF 60G-3 has two front axles and one rear axle.
The crane comes with a boom length of 31.2 to 157.5 feet. It features a 5.2 to 24.2-foot jib and has a maximum sheave height of 157 feet. The ATF 60-G has a maximum radius of 144 feet and a maximum lift height of 187 feet.
The ATF 60G-3 is equipped with a 22-ton hook block in its 11-ton axle load configuration, which enables it to lift up to 18.8 metric tons taking into account the maximum hoisting winch traction. The 3-axle crane has been optimized for axle loads of 13 tons, 14 tons and 18 tons.
The engine on superstructure is a Mercedes Benz (Euromot IV, EPA Tier 4f), 260 kW (354 HP) with the ZF-AS-Tronic 12 AS 1625 SO gearing mechanism. The crane features a drive of 6 x 4 x 6 on the road and 6 x 6 x 6 off-road.
The crane is 440 inches wide, 111 inches wide and 144.8 inches tall. The gross vehicle weight is 71,007 pounds.
Even with a reduced outrigger base, the lifting capacities of the ATF 60G-3 are unrivaled due to the to the asymmetrical outrigger base feature installed in all ATF models with Tier 4 engines, Tadano said. In earlier models, the TADANO AML crane control system calculated and released the loads for each crane side whereby, for safety reasons, the respective shorter outrigger arm determined the maximum lifting capacity, whereas today the control system does this separately for each single outrigger.