While originally a marketplace staple in European countries, the U.S. market is continuing to see a steady increase in demand for self-erecting tower cranes. These machines are easily transported and installed, easy to operate and ideal for smaller spaces and job sites that may require more innovative approaches for material handling and hoisting. Rightly so, with crowded, urban cities becoming even more industrial by the month, self-erecting tower cranes are experiencing a parallel growth.

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The Hup 40-30 has a 131-foot jib and boasts 16 configurations, which is unique to this category of self-erecting cranes, enabling it to be easily adapted for a range of job site applications. The crane has a maximum capacity of 4.4 tons, while it can lift 1.1 tons at its jib end of 131 feet.

“The market for self-erecting tower cranes is strong, and we are seeing good growth in this segment,” said Mike Heacock, Manitowoc’s vice president of sales for Potain tower cranes in the Americas. “This trend is primarily driven by mixed-use and multi-family housing projects, which rely on our Igo T and Hup products for their hoisting needs. Most of the larger cities in North America are seeing wide use of self-erecting cranes, and we anticipate strong demand in 2018.”

Attendees to this year’s ConExpo in Las Vegas, NV were the first in North America to view the Potain Hup 40-30, the second model in the Hup line. The Hup 40-30 has a 131-foot jib and boasts 16 configurations, which is unique to this category of self-erecting cranes, enabling it to be easily adapted for a range of job site applications. The crane has a maximum capacity of 4.4 tons while it can lift 1.1 tons at its jib end of 131 feet. The crane also features a telescopic mast for a range of working heights. This new design boosts the height under hook attainable by the crane to 84 feet in its “low position,” and 98 feet when extended to its greatest height. The logistics are also improved and no extra mast is required to install the crane.

Jean-Pierre Zaffiro, global product director for Potain self-erecting cranes at Manitowoc, said the Hup 40-30 represents a profound transformation in self-erecting crane technology.

“Self-erecting crane development has reached a new level of advancement, and our new Hup 40-30 reflects these achievements,” he explained. “Speed, efficiency, versatility and compactness have all been increased over previous generations.”

Increased versatility is delivered with the crane’s luffing jib that offers three positions: horizontal, 10 degrees and 20 degrees. These options give the crane a height under hook range of 65 feet to 131 feet. Shortening or extending the jib is a swift and straightforward operation, with the Hup 40-30 offering convenient configurations for both short and long jib lengths. According to Manitowoc, agility on the job site was a key consideration in the design of the Hup range. The Hup 40-30 has a high-performance slewing radius that allows it to be positioned closer to buildings. A transport package that is only 46 feet long when folded makes it extremely easy to move between job sites, enabling owners to complete more jobs in less time.

Adapting alongside new and improved technology, operator efficiency on the Hup 40-30 is also maximized through Manitowoc’s remote-control unit. The remote features a large, color screen with easy-to-use navigation and optimized ergonomics for operator comfort. Its new Smart Set Up software delivers on-screen step-by-step information during crane erection and enables automatic folding and unfolding of the crane from its remote. This new remote system also offers three selectable profiles for operators that vary the working speed of the crane to suit the application.

Options galore

Also exhibiting new and innovative models at ConExpo, Liebherr unveiled its new 81 K.1 fast-erecting crane, an upgrade of the 81 K. Boasting even more flexible and powerful features, the lifting capacity of the Liebherr 81 K.1 can be temporarily increased by up to 20 percent. By bolting on an extension, the jib can also be extended by 9.84 feet without much effort. Compared to its predecessor, this increases the maximum radius to 157 feet. This increase almost places the crane in the next higher crane class.

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At ConExpo in March, Liebherr unveiled its new 81 K.1 fast-erecting crane, an upgrade of the 81 K.

Liebherr also unveiled the new optional exterior cabin for its K series cranes. Depending on requirements, this cabin can be installed quickly and easily on any new K crane using its own load hook. The safe access ladder on the side is easy to reach. Due to its external position, the crane operator also has a perfect view of the site. The new cabin, with its ergonomic controls, provides the crane operator with plenty of space and enables him to work efficiently without fatigue. This results in greater capacity and safety in operation. Another positive side-effect is that costs will be reduced for fleet operators since the same cabin can be used on different Liebherr fast-erecting cranes where necessary.

Besides the Liebherr 81 K.1, the company also produces five other lines of self-erectors including L1 cranes, H cranes, HM cranes, K cranes and R cranes. L1 cranes require little space – a benefit for home building and roofing work. H cranes can be erected very quickly and are the ideal powerful, precision drive units with functions such as the automatic re-reeving device to ensure high handling capacity and productivity on site. Liebherr’s R cranes are available on crawler track travel gear for difficult terrain. This crawler undercarriage enables the R cranes to be moved on any terrain and on-site with ease. The integral tandem axles of the HM cranes ensure a high level of mobility for speeds of up to 50 mph.

Terex sees interest

Terex currently has five self-erecting tower cranes models including the CBR 21H, CBR 24 PLUS, CBR 28 PLUS, CBR 32 PLUS and the CBR 40H. The self-erecting range has 8 to 40 ton meter capacity and jib lengths reaching up to 131.2 feet.

“Self-erecting tower cranes are historically a European market product, with some differentiation on crane capacities between north and south of Europe,” said Angelo Cosmo, product marketing manager, tower cranes, Terex. “This depends on job site typologies, but also ‘culture’ on the way to build constructions, from small residential to some infrastructures projects. We nevertheless do see these cranes getting interest also in US, North Africa and Middle East.”