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Grove Debuts RT540 Rough-Terrain Crane

Grove debuted the RT540 rough-terrain crane at ConExpo 2014.

Grove debuted the RT540 rough-terrain crane at ConExpo 2014.

Grove debuted the RT540 rough-terrain crane at ConExpo 2014. The 40-ton (35 t) capacity crane is an upgrade of the popular RT540E model and features a new cab, a new control system and an improved swing system. The crane is designed to give rental companies and contractors a versatile tool that is quick to set-up and easy to use.

The Grove RT540 is the third crane to feature Manitowoc's new crane control system (CCS), a standardized operator interface that will eventually be rolled out on all new Manitowoc, Potain, National Crane, Shuttlelift and Grove cranes.

CCS is one of the most user-friendly control systems on the market, according to Mike Herbert, director of product planning and marketing for Manitowoc Cranes in North America.

“The intuitive and easy-to-use system reduces the need to train people on every crane we produce, so contractors and operators can move between crane models with ease,” Herbert said. “The system makes life so much easier on the job site, and the RT540 will suit a huge variety of jobs and complete work faster. We are very proud of the new crane and are enjoying showing visitors at ConExpo what it can do.”

The RT540's new CCS, cab and swing system are all products of Manitowoc's centers of excellence, which combine the efforts of its engineering teams from all Manitowoc brands to create advanced yet easy-to-use cranes. As well as the new cab and controls, a new seat has been added to improve operator comfort.


Productivity on site is improved with the new swing system, which uses improvements in the crane's hydraulics and electronics to offer closer control and a better feel for the operator. The swing system works in conjunction with CCS to provide slewing operations for RT cranes in this capacity class.

With a shorter lag time between joystick movements and the crane's slewing motion, operators can get better control over lifts, while counterslewing (or backplugging) is improved, leading to smoother and faster deceleration. Duty cycle applications, such as placing barriers on highway jobs, should become much easier. Meanwhile control on lifts at the top end of the crane's capabilities (for example when working with a longer boom at higher radii) is better due to the joystick's controls being tied to the crane engine's RPM. While the engine RPM is low, the operator still has proportional control through the full range of the joystick's movement. What's more, this capability is automatically configured into the crane, so it is accessible to the operator without the need for changes to settings inside the operating display.

The Grove RT540 has a 102 ft. (31 m) four-section, full-power boom, with a maximum tip height of 154 ft. (47 m). The rectangular boom shape reduces overall weight while maximizing capacity.

The RT540 combines all of the capabilities of Grove rough-terrain cranes, including an extremely rugged design with deep box section frames, four-steering modes and pick-and-carry capabilities.

Grove's GMK3060 all-terrain crane and RT550E rough-terrain crane are the other two cranes to feature Manitowoc's CCS. Both have been well received in Europe since their launch at bauma 2013 in Germany. The cranes have been especially praised for their fast set-up and ease of use.

“The new cranes are a welcome addition to rental fleets in Europe and contractors appreciate the hassle-free operation these cranes give the operators,” said Herbert.

The CCS hardware is a standardized set of displays, joysticks, control units and a jog dial. The use of standard parts will make maintenance easier and improve fleet management for Manitowoc customers. Software is standardized across Manitowoc product lines and the system is directly attuned to Manitowoc crane care service software.