ACT EXCLUSIVE: Detailing the new Link-Belt 120|HT truck crane
By D.Ann Shiffler16 August 2021
Link-Belt is putting the finishing touches on a new 120-ton truck crane that was designed be a game changer.
Strategic product development is a hallmark of Link-Belt Cranes. When the company completes the introduction of a new product, there’s no resting on laurels. The next cycle of new cranes has already begun. The Link-Belt team’s goal is to stay acutely aware of what the market needs and expects.
As the pandemic was winding down last spring, Link-Belt was deep into planning the roll out of four new models that were being put through the paces on test pads at Link-Belt’s Lexington, KY campus. They have planned a post-pandemic Link-Belt CraneFest for the fall of 2021. CraneFest is a dealer and customer event that Link-Belt holds every three years to showcase new products and services.
“It’s time to sell some new cranes,” Pat Collins, director of product marketing, told me when I visited the plant in early June. “The pandemic caused a drop in all crane markets, but we see an opening to respond and turn this battleship around. We’ve already seen a turnaround with nine months straight exceeding our forecasts.”
Shortly after my visit, Link-Belt announced two of the new cranes, the 55-ton TCC-550 telescopic crawler and the 65-ton 65|HT truck crane. Link-Belt is already taking orders for both cranes that will be shown publicly for the first time at its CraneFest in late September.
Also making its debut will be the new and impressive 120-ton 120|HT. While I was in Lexington, I saw the 120|HT in all its glory. The new design is notable, and I think Link-Belt is poised to continue its market dominance in the traditional truck crane market. As well, this crane will compete in the smaller capacity all-terrain market.
The four-axle 120|HT features many new attributes that give it a tremendous amount of appeal in the taxi crane market, which needs a crane that is powerful, dependable and easy to drive from job to job.
All new suspension
While the new, wider single-occupant cab reflects the design elements of Link-Belt’s 175|AT all terrain crane, the distinguishing element in this crane is its new suspension system.
“The 120|HT comes with a new air-ride suspension that is the first of its kind for truck crane buyers,” said All-Terrain and Telescopic Truck Crane Product Manager Andrew Soper. “Its suspension and braking system are a result of a two-year collaborative design process with Hendrickson International, our suspension supplier.”
Soper told me the crane features “the chassis of the future,” which offers improved efficiency in transportability. The new suspension system offers a significant weight reduction of the crane and adds durability. The new suspension and axle configuration also gives the crane an unparalleled ride quality, he said.
Soper said the crane’s air disc brakes, another first for the hydraulic truck crane market, will improve brake performance and reduce maintenance time.
“Superior ride quality is going to be one of the first things anyone that’s ever driven in a truck crane before will notice,” Soper said. “It’s all about how efficient you can get from point A to B to C and back.”
The gross vehicle weight is less than 90,000 pounds, and with 20,000 pounds of counterweight payload, the maximum GAWR on four axles is 111,200 pounds. With a boom dolly, the crane has a maximum GAWR on seven axles of 160,000 pounds with 36,000 pounds of counterweight payload.
Counterweight payload increases from 16,000 pounds on the Link-Belt HTC-86110 to 20,500 pounds on the new 120|HT, without a boom dolly. Full counterweight for the 120|HT is 49,100 pounds. Increased counterweight payload is a result of a strategic design approach to reduce the 120|HT’s gross vehicle weight coupled with an increased rating on the front steering axles to 26,000 pounds each, Soper said.
Fuel efficiency was increased with the Cummins X12 single overhead cam engine that is EPA 2021 compliant. Top speed on the 120|HT is 62 mph. Link-Belt has maintained easy access for daily service checks like fill points, filters and grease points, Soper pointed out.
Strong reach package
The 120|HT delivers strong reach with a six-section 38.3 to 164.1-foot pin and latch formed boom, built to Link-Belt’s specific boom profile and tolerances. An available two-piece (35 to 58-foot) or three-piece (9.5 to 35 to 58-foot) on-board offsettable fly provides flexibility and higher range. The fly manually offsets at 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees. Two 16-foot lattice insert extensions provide a maximum tip height of 261.7 feet.
The 120|HT includes Link-Belt’s patented SmartFly system, a one-person fly erection technology.
“The crane also features a wireless rigging remote to control your outriggers, outrigger beams and jacks, your boom hoist and your front main winch, making setup quicker and easier,” said Soper.
Other attributes of the crane include:
- New upper operators cab.
- Link-Belt Pulse 2.0 has improved carrier diagnostics, monitoring and displays, plus real-time outrigger jack ground bearing pressures.
- iCraneTrax for fleet management and maintenance scheduling.
- Link-Belt Site Vision (including a camera and working lights package).
- V-CALC with 81 outrigger positions.
- Link-Belt’s “Smart Stack” counterweight detection system.
As always, I left Lexington very impressed by the care and concern Link-Belt puts into its product development process and strategy. The other take-away is that the product development team is very excited about this particular crane. Link-Belt has long been the leader in the U.S. truck crane market, believing in the market even when it was thought that all-terrain cranes would eventually replace this class of crane. The 120|HT should extend Link-Belt’s market-leading status.
“I think when this crane rolls out, people will go ‘Oh Wow!’” said Soper. “This is big. It’s the whole package.”
Link-Belt expects to start shipments by the end of the year.