Link-Belt Cranes held CraneFest 2012 at its company headquarters in Lexington, Ky., during the week of Sept. 23. Nearly 1,000 crane dealers, rental houses and end users from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, South Africa, Trinidad and the United Kingdom attended the event in groups of 200 to 250 for a series of two- day sessions that ran throughout the week. On the Friday before CraneFest began, attendees of the SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop also were treated to a plant tour and luncheon at the Lexington facility.
This year marked the sixth such event held by Link-Belt. On the day of arrival, guests were treated to dinner at Keeneland, noted as one of the Top 10 thoroughbred racetracks in North America and equally famous for its annual horse auctions that attract buyers worldwide.
The next day’s events began with a welcome from Link-Belt Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Customer Support, Bill Stramer and opening comments from Link-Belt Company President, Chuck Martz. After a short video presentation outlining Link-Belt’s development as a world leader in the designing and building of cranes, attendees conducted a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility. Throughout the plant tour, presenters detailed the strategic thinking that went into every aspect of the design and construction process. The company also exercises a significant commitment to a clean environment with a strong policy geared toward recycling, reduction and reuse of materials and resources throughout the operation.
After the plant tour, attendees went outside for a live rollout of Link-Belt’s product line and lunch. After lunch, attendees were able to review each crane at staged demonstration areas and also were encouraged to get a closeup look at the cranes and sit at the controls where they were filled in on equipment specifications by company representatives.
Two all-new cranes debuted at Crane Fest 2012; the 80-ton (72.5 t) RTC-8080 Series II, featuring platform guardrails, a three-piece bi-fold fly, and improved capacity over the RTC-8075, and the new 200-ton (181 t) 248 HSL, touted as the next generation of the successful 248 Hylab 5 series. Link-Belt also announced an increased base rating for their 298 HSL lattice crawler crane from 230 to 250 tons (208 to 226 t).