Without you, we don’t know what to make,” said Barry Pennypacker, president and CEO of The Manitowoc Company, at the company’s Crane Days event in Shady Grove, PA. “We want to have you, our customer, intimately involved in the products we produce.”

Speaking to more than 300 contractors, distributors and end users, he said Manitowoc has learned hard lessons from not paying close enough attention to market needs. But Manitowoc is now listening, taking notes and applying a new brand of product development to the way it brings products to market. On this beautiful spring day at the newly retooled manufacturing facility, the company rolled out five new cranes.

Centerpiece crawler

The compact 100-ton MLC100-1 was not a huge surprise given that the company recently ended its OEM agreement with Kobelco. The new crawler is a part of a product development evolution that Pennypacker termed a “revolution.”

New Crawler

Dubbed by Manitowoc as “the only 100-ton crawler crane proudly made in America” the MLC100-1 was designed for quick and simple erection.

“Our revolution is real,” he said as the red satin sheath was removed from the impressive new crane that was designed for quick and easy erection and demobilization. With a maximum boom length of 200 feet, the crawler has a load moment of 371 ton-meters and is powered by a 300 hp Cummins 6.7 L Tier 4 Final engine.

The crane will save time on the jobsite because of its self-assembly hook, which enables the operator to install the counterweight without assistance. During assembly, the crane uses a single segment of hoist line with a button termination, which is routed through sheaves in the boom butt.

“We chose to go with the 100-tonner because we believe in the small crawler market; this is the size class of choice,” Pennypacker said. “We are constantly watching the product mix, and we believe the smaller crawler market will be the first to come back. We have had really positive feedback on this new crawler.”

The other crawler on display was the MLC300, which was rigged with new 11.5-foot-wide boom inserts and extended upper boom point, which provides an off-set lifting point for wind maintenance or other jobs that require a higher hook height.

Heart of the competition

In the rough terrain class, Manitowoc went right to the heart of the competition with the roll out of the 165-ton capacity Grove GRT9165, which offers the longest reach and highest capacity in Grove’s RT range.

The GRT9165 features a 205-foot six-section, pinned boom, five feet longer than the closest competing model, the company said. Tip height is 299.1 feet, and both manual and hydraulic extensions are available. It has been designed for easy transport, with an overall height of 148.5 inches. With all components removed, the GRT9165 weighs 116,000 pounds. Other RTs shown were the GRT880, GRT8100 and GRT655.

New to the all-terrain class from Grove is the GMK4090. Customers wanted an AT that is a lightweight, flexible taxi crane in the 100-ton class, Pennypacker said. Boosting its overall reach is a 49-foot bi-fold swing-away jib that can be extended with a 20-foot boom extension for a total jib length of 69 feet. It can travel with a 20.2-ton counterweight, and can transport up to 10 tons without an additional transport truck. The crane’s width is 8.4 feet. It has a minimum tail swing of 11.6 feet, within the maximum outrigger width. Also, on display in the AT class was the GMK5150L and GMK5250L.

Truck crane commitment

Manitowoc showed its commitment to the truck crane class with the introduction of the new 40-ton capacity Grove TMS500-2.

“Manitowoc’s Voice of Customer research showed strong demand for this model,” Pennypacker said. The TMS500-2 has two boom options. The first ranges from 29 to 95 feet, with three quick-reeve Nylatron sheaves in its main boom nose. The second option ranges from 32 to 102 feet and has four quick-reeve Nylatron sheaves. Both four-section booms are synchronized and have full-power. There is an optional 26 to 45-foot telescoping swing-away jib for additional reach.

New Truck Crane

The 40-ton capacity Grove TMS500-2 shows Manitowoc’s commitment to the truck crane class.

The TMS500-2 shares a common carrier cab with the higher-capacity TMS9000-2, which debuted at ConExpo in 2017. It features 350 hp Cummins ISL engine and Ultrashift transmission with highway travel speeds of up to 70 mph. The TMS500-2 can be configured with a heavy or lightweight counterweight package.

In the boom truck class, Manitowoc rolled out the National Crane NBT50L Series. The new line of cranes is an update to the NBT50 Series, adding more boom length for increased versatility, the company said.

Robot Welders

The plant tour included a look at robot welding machines.

The NBT50L Series offers a 151-foot boom and a maximum tip height of 158 feet. The new boom truck series also features a 36-foot offsettable lattice jib, a first for National Crane.

The Potain MR 160 C tower crane made its North American debut. The 11-ton capacity tower crane is suited for congested jobsites because of its ability to attain excellent underhook heights while avoiding obstacles. Also, on display from Potain was the MDT 219, the IGO T 130, the IGO MA 21 and the Hup 40-30.

Beyond the new crane introductions, Manitowoc hosted a comprehensive plant tour that led visitors through the refurbished factory that has been updated and reallocated for leaner production and more efficient manufacturing.

Pennypacker said when the market “crawls out of the bottom of the cycle,” they are ready to go. And Pennypacker is very optimistic.

“We have shown our investors, our customers, our distributors that we are here to stay,” he said. “We are seeing a crane comeback. There are a lot of signs and signals. Cranes are busy working.”

Some 900-plus people attended the three Crane Days events. Pennypacker termed the week as “exceptional.”