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First in Potain’s Luffing Jib Crane Range Premieres at ConExpo 2014

Among the products on center stage at the Manitowoc booth at ConExpo 2014 was the new luffing jib crane from the company’s Potain brand.

Among the products on center stage at the Manitowoc booth at ConExpo 2014 was the new luffing jib crane from the company’s Potain brand.

Among the products on center stage at the Manitowoc booth at ConExpo 2014 was the new luffing jib crane from the company's Potain brand. The Potain MR 418 is the first in an updated line of luffing jib cranes from the manufacturer, each with full frequency-controlled mechanisms for precision control.

The MR 418 offers a host of other benefits including the optional 270 LVF 120 hoist (designated the 320 LVF 120 hoist in North America) that was introduced in 2013. The crane can be utilized in either one-fall or two-fall reeving and is perfect for power plants or high-rise buildings, including super tall structures that exceed 656 ft. (200 m) in height.

The 270 hp (201 kW) 270 LVF 120 hoist offers capabilities for working on high-rise projects. The 2,723 ft. (830 m) rope capacity on the winch's drum means that in single-fall configuration a hook path of 2,723 ft. is possible, while in two-fall configuration, 1,362 ft. (415 m) of vertical reach is possible. In addition, the winch can reach speeds of up to 833 ft./min. (254 m/min) for better productivity, while the power control function means the winch can operate off varying power inputs, allowing it to cope with lower power supplies on site. On the top of that, the automatic adaptation to a 50 hz or 60 hz power network makes the crane easier to move to multiple countries.

Customers not requiring the full power of the 270 LVF 120 hoist can choose the 150 hp (110 kW) 150 LVF 120 hoist (which is designated the 180 LVF 120 in North America, and which the crane features as standard).


This hoist has a drum capacity of 1,811 ft. (552 m) and can produce line speeds of up to 689 ft./min. (210 m/min).

However, it's not only new mechanisms and better lift capabilities that are likely to appeal to customers. The luffing mechanism and hoist are uniquely mounted inside the counterjib.

There is a large, easily accessible service platform behind the cab, giving service technicians a single location from which to access all the major service points.

Alexandre Chanteclair, product manager for top slewing tower cranes, highlighted the design benefits of the new luffing jib crane.

“With the Potain MR 418, we have an extremely compact crane that's quick to assemble, quick to commission and capable of extremely fast lifting speeds on high-rise job sites.”

A new on-board control system allows the technician to put the crane into operation just minutes after assembly is completed. Simple input of the jib length, working height and test load into the crane's control board allows for a fast and accurate calibration.

And it's not only in set-up and lifting where the crane is fast. It also luffs the jib from the horizontal position to the vertical in just 1 minute 15 seconds, well under the 2 minutes that most luffing jib cranes of this size would require. The MR 418's luffing speed is due to its 150 hp (112 kW) luffing winch. Operators will like the new auto-leveling function that allows the crane to move loads horizontally by using only the luffing motion, rather than the luffing motion combined with the hoist. By allowing the operator to focus on only one operation, more precise control can be assured.

In terms of working height, Potain's intelligent mast system gives the crane enhanced flexibility to cope with the challenges of modern high-rise buildings. The crane can be installed on fixing angles or on various sized chassis of 20 x 20 ft.; 26 x 26 ft.; and 33 x 33 ft. (6 x 6 m; 8 x 8 m; and 10 x 10 m).

For example, a free-standing height of 295 ft. (90 m) can be achieved on a 33 ft. x 33 ft. (10 m x 10 m) chassis when fitted with 98 ft. (30 m) of jib. With its design focus on high-rise applications, the crane needs only three anchorages to reach a working height of 646 ft. (197 m) when fitted with 98 ft. (30 m) of jib length and fixing angle P850A.

Maximum capacity for the crane is 26 tons (24 t) and the maximum jib length is 197 ft. (60 m).

Following this introduction of the MR 418 at ConExpo, Manitowoc is planning further launches to the new Potain luffing jib range over the course of 2014.