Four specially designed Terex Demag all terrain cranes have “enlisted” in the United States Marine Corps (USMC), officially reporting for duty at the USMC systems command base in Quantico, Virginia earlier this year. Dubbed the MAC 50, the four pilot machines are being tested by the Marine Corps. Successful trials could result in orders of up to 130 machines with a potential contract value of $88.6 million, Terex said. Much like “boot camp,” the cranes are being subjected to rigorous verification testing at the US Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.

Based on the design of the Terex-Demag AC 50-1 all terrain, the MAC 50 has a maximum lifting capacity of 50 tons and its main boom extends to 82 feet. With a top speed of 42.7 mph, the crane has a 333 hp Cummins engine. All four axles are driven and steered, and the crane's total weight is 69,886 pounds, to ensure optimum cross-country performance and maneuverability, according to the company.

Requirements for the military application were that the crane and chassis were designed for ease of operation and maintenance, “even when situations for the operator veer towards the dramatic,” the company said. Converting the AC 50-1 into a military crane was a collaboration between the USMC, Terex Government Programs and Terex-Demag. The biggest challenge was the narrow time frame for design adaptation, which included a salt-water fording capability of 60 inches, compliance with US federal highway regulations and military requirements and a drive train consisting of a Cummins engine and an Allison transmission. Delivery of the full series is scheduled for 2007.

The four cranes were presented to Mike Farley, team leader for material handling and construction equipment for the USMC during a ceremony attended by Steve Filipov, president of Terex Cranes, along with personnel from the Zweibrücken plant in Germany.

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