With more than 500 rough terrain cranes in its fleet, San Leandro, CA-based Bigge Crane & Rigging is keenly aware of the market for these “worker bee” cranes. While the market for these cranes has ebbed and flowed, Bigge’s Joe Nelms said that demand for RTs has been steadily growing in all markets for the past two decades.

“We find there is demand for rough terrain cranes in all sectors of the industry with civil and renewable energy being at the forefront of the growing demand,” he said.

For the most part, demand for RTs is pretty consistent, although lower oil prices over the past three years impacted sales and rental markets in the upstream energy sector. But there are signs this market is coming back, and crane rental companies are on the verge of updating their RT fleets.

Link-Belt ed-bell-75rt-texas-01

The 75RT is the first Link-Belt crane model to showcase V-CALC or Variable Confined Area Lifting Capacities, which provides more selectable outrigger configurations by allowing outrigger beams to be setup in pairs either from side-to-side or front-to-rear.

Nelms said Bigge plans to purchase cranes in this class, without a doubt. As far as the capacity class that’s the most popular, the higher capacity RTs have become the market sweet spot. Anticipating this, the OEMs have responded with new models in these capacity offerings.

“There is no doubt that the 75-ton to 130-ton capacity range is where the bulk of the demand resides,” Nelms said.

When Liebherr decided to re-enter the rough terrain crane market, it was decided that the first model for the U.S. market would be the 100-ton capacity LRT 1090-2.1. Since it was rolled out at ConExpo in 2017, Liebherr has been marketing this crane to all the traditional RT markets. The ALL Family of Companies pre-ordered 15 machines, three of which have been delivered, according to the company.

Manitowoc recently unveiled the prototype of a new 165-ton RT at its Crane Days event in early June. The Grove GRT9165 will be the longest reaching, highest capacity rough terrain crane in the company’s RT product line. The GRT9165 features a 205-foot six-section, pinned boom, which is five feet longer than the closest competing model, the company said. Manitowoc also makes the 150-ton RT9150E.

Tadano and Link-Belt also have higher capacity RTs in their product ranges, including the 160-ton capacity GR-1600XL and the 160-ton Link-Belt RTC-80160 Series II. Terex’s largest RT is the RT 130 with a 130-ton capacity.

This month, American Cranes & Transport asked rough terrain crane manufacturers to submit specifications and information on a rough terrain crane model that they would like to highlight to our readers.

Terex RT 100US Cutout (1)

The 100-ton capacity Terex RT 100US features a 154-foot boom and was designed for easy operation and transportability. It features Terex’s new IC-1 control system.

Terex RT 100US

The 100-ton capacity Terex RT 100US model offers a five section, fully hydraulic boom that extends 154 feet. The RT 100US has three boom modes, including the unique synchronized boom mode, in addition to strength and stability modes.

Designed for easy operation, the Terex RT 100US rough terrain crane features a proven control system with integrated diagnostics, an ergonomic cab design with 18-degree tilt and an easy to access flat deck for safety, according to Mark Elton, chief engineer, rough terrain cranes.

Operators can access lift information through the IC-1 control system, which delivers precise and smooth control of swing movements and gives operators access to real-time information for quick diagnostics in the field, according to Elton. The setup of joystick functions can be configured to the operator’s own preferences.

The Terex RT 100US rough terrain crane was designed to be cost effective to transport and operate. It has a narrow width of just 9.8 feet and removable counterweight, which allows it to be trailered without weight and width restrictions in most situations.

Tadano GR-1200XL

Tadano’s newest rough terrain crane, the 120-ton capacity GR-1200XL, was developed to meet customer demands in industrial energy sites that require easy maneuverability in compact spaces and high lifting performance under tough conditions.

The GR-1200XL has the largest maximum lifting capacity in Tadano’s two-axle RT line. The strong and light high-tensile, steel-rounded boom features a single telescopic cylinder. The crane has a 184-foot lifting height and a 144.3-foot load radius. Extra reach is provided by a jib which extends the lifting height to 241.4 feet with a load radius reaching 153.8 feet.

The GR-1200XL compact carrier is almost the same size as Tadano’s GR-1000XL. This compactness provides high maneuverability and easy transportability.

Tadano GR-1200XL_driving

The GR-1200XL features Tadano’s new Smart Chart that can achieve a square-shaped rated load capacity footprint with extended “corners” over the outriggers.

With conventional cranes, outriggers extended to their maximum length provide uniform, circular rated load capacity footprint over 360 degrees of slewing angle. However, Tadano’s newly developed Smart Chart, a safety device and control system, can achieve a square-shaped rated load capacity footprint with extended “corners” over the outriggers that increase the load radius depending on the degree to which the outriggers are extended.

The GR-1200XL comes equipped with Tadano’s Eco-Mode fuel monitoring system that reduces fuel consumption when the crane is being operated. Positive Control reduces fuel consumption when the crane is on standby.

Using Hello-Net telematics, users can monitor their crane activity, work history, machine position data and maintenance information with computers and mobile devices. Through this system, Tadano offers advanced customer support.

Link-Belt 75RT

Link-Belt’s 75-ton 75RT features outstanding reach for its tonnage class, according to the company. It transports fully loaded with counterweight under 100,000 pounds, and under 90,000 pounds without counterweight. A six-speed transmission on the 75RT is powered by a Cummins Tier 4F QSB 6.7 270 hp (201 kW) diesel engine.

The 75RT has a five-section 38 to 142 foot full-power formed boom. To simplify lifting, only two extend modes are offered: EM1 and EM2. A two-piece (35 to 58 feet) and three-piece bi-folding fly (10 to 35 to 58 feet) are available, for a tip height of 208.7 feet. The matching main and auxiliary winches have 18,603 pounds of maximum line pull and a maximum winch speed of 485 fpm.

Pulse 2.0 is Link-Belt’s next evolution of its patented crane operating system. Featuring intuitive design, it has a 10-inch screen. Pulse 2.0 has added programmable features for greater customization, and it can be updated and serviced remotely. The system includes a Wi-Fi hub and uses the serial number of the unit to determine whether any updates are available, and downloads/installs to the appropriate controls.

All electrical and hydraulic components coming into the cab are bulk headed for “plug and play” assembly. The 75RT camera vision package enhances on-board site monitoring and includes cameras for viewing to the right side of the upper, the main and auxiliary winch, as well as one for backing up.

The 75RT is the first Link-Belt crane model to showcase V-CALC or Variable Confined Area Lifting Capacities. This feature provides more selectable outrigger configurations by allowing outrigger beams (either fully retracted, intermediate or fully extended) to be setup in pairs either from side-to-side or front-to-rear. Once outriggers are set, the Pulse 2.0 system provides an outrigger configuration that provides different previews representing workable areas, indicating a percentage of the crane’s available capacity. The system also previews the next five radiuses for that given boom angle. Upon selection, Link-Belt Pulse 2.0 will provide a live view of the work area.

The 75RT has multiple transport options to accommodate road laws. The 75RT has an overall height of 12 feet 2.3 inches and can be driven right off a conventional lowboy trailer, assemble counterweight and be ready to go to work, Link-Belt said.

Another feature of the 75RT is the evolution to a 24-volt electrical system from a 12-volt. The wiring is a Controller Area Network (CAN bus) system, but the increased voltage on the unit yields the ability to multiplex with modules placed near dedicated functions like outrigger beams and winches. In total, there are five modules located throughout the machine that allow for crane functions to continue working in instances where other modules are being diagnosed or serviced.

Grove GRT8100

The Grove GRT8100 was designed and built for productivity on the jobsite with a 154-foot, five-section main boom and a tilting cab. The 100-ton capacity model comes standard with Manitowoc’s Crane Control System (CCS), which offers operators among the most intuitive interface on the market, the company said.

Grove RT Kriger-Construction.3

To stand behind a new level of reliability, Manitowoc has introduced a warranty program for the GRT8100 and its entire GRT rough terrain crane series.

The GRT8100 was one of the first cranes to emerge from Manitowoc’s Product Verification Center (PVC) to ensure quality and reliability. Each component in the crane has undergone the kinds of extreme heat, moisture and other environmental scenarios seen only on the toughest jobsites, Manitowoc said. That dedication to ensuring quality and reliability has paid off – since its release, the GRT8100 has been adopted in the field for a wide variety of strenuous applications, including bridge building, power plant construction and frack well drilling, Manitowoc said.

To stand behind this new level of reliability, Manitowoc has introduced a warranty program for the GRT8100 (and the entire GRT series). The move is a reflection of increased customer uptime, reduced maintenance and better user experience provided by Grove RTs, Manitowoc said. The program consists of a two-year standard warranty on newly ordered cranes, complemented by three additional tiers of extended coverage for three, four and five years.

“At Manitowoc, continuous improvement and innovation are at the heart of our production process,” said John Bair, product manager for rough terrain cranes. “Like the entirety of our Grove rough-terrain line, the GRT8100 stands as evidence that the program is working.”

Liebherr LRT 1090-2.1

Liebherr re-entered the United States’ rough-terrain market at ConExpo in 2017, and the first units are already working at jobsites across the country. The LRT 1090-2.1 blends the latest in safety with the reliability and innovation for which Liebherr is known, the company said.

Historically, from the 1980s to mid-90s the Liebherr portfolio included a range of rough-terrain cranes, then known as LTL-cranes. These cranes had a lifting capacity of 25 to 80 metric tons. The company ceased production to grow its crawler and all-terrain markets.

The development of the new generation of LRT Liebherr rough-terrain cranes was guided by extensive market surveys and analysis into the requirements for modern RT cranes, particularly in North America. The focus was on safety and ease of operation, the company said.

The 100-ton capacity LRT 1090-2.1 measures 12 feet 8 inches in height and 10 feet 10 inches wide. It can be transported on public roads with a low loader. Their curb weight is less than 121,000 pounds, with complete equipment including ballast or under 88,000 pounds or without ballast or equipment for low cost transport. The outrigger pads, which remain inside the width of the vehicle, contribute to this, since they do not have to be removed for transport.


The Liebherr LRT 1090-2.1 features a 154-foot boom. The telescoping system has a two-stage hydraulic cylinder with a rope extension mechanism.

The LRT 1090-2.1 features a 154-foot telescopic boom. Its telescoping system consists of a two-stage hydraulic cylinder with a rope extension mechanism.

A second winch and the rooster sheave are included as a standard feature on the basic machine for two-hook operation. As an option, a 34.5 to 62-foot double folding jib can be installed on the telescopic boom. It can be attached at an angle of 0, 20 or 40 degrees.

Liebherr’s exclusive VarioBase outrigger monitoring system enables each support to be extended to a different length while automatically delivering support status information to the operator. It’s ideal for maintaining safety and flexibility in the tight spaces often encountered in today’s urban and industrial jobsites. It also allows for greater capacity when lifting over the supports.

The flat deck, electrically extendable cab platform, and multiple ladders minimize the risk of fall injuries. Controls are intuitive and easy to understand. The attachment of the counterweight and installation of the jib are fully monitored by the crane during setup.

The LRT 1090-2.1 cabin, which was designed for operator comfort and productivity, is wider than other standard cabins on the market, Liebherr said. It can be tilted backward to provide greater comfort when hoisting loads to great heights. The user-friendly controls make the crane easy to handle, allowing the crane operator to concentrate on the main focus of his job, working with the crane and the load, according to Liebherr. A cooler and USB charging socket are standard features in the cabin.

There are ladders, a large number of handles and an electrically extending platform on the cabin to ensure safe access to the crane. The new LRT cranes feature a wide range of storage boxes for accessories, rigging equipment and support timber as standard features. The cranes also have a storage bin for the crane hook.


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