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ConExpo 2020 Provides the Backdrop for New Crane Intros

Tue April 28, 2020 - National Edition

Equipped with Link-Belt’s SmartFly system, the fly on the new 100RT rough-terrain crane can be installed by one person from the ground in about five minutes. Its interlock feature simplifies the fly installation process, and minimizes the need for personnel to work from a ladder.
Equipped with Link-Belt’s SmartFly system, the fly on the new 100RT rough-terrain crane can be installed by one person from the ground in about five minutes. Its interlock feature simplifies the fly installation process, and minimizes the need for personnel to work from a ladder.
Equipped with Link-Belt’s SmartFly system, the fly on the new 100RT rough-terrain crane can be installed by one person from the ground in about five minutes. Its interlock feature simplifies the fly installation process, and minimizes the need for personnel to work from a ladder. Terex introduced the 80-ton capacity TRT 80US rough-terrain crane with a main boom length of 138 ft. and the first model featuring the Terex Operating System. TEOS represents next-generation technology with a completely new man-machine interface. Manitowoc’s 120-ton capacity Grove 
GRT120 has a 197-ft.long boom and a new compact carrier designed with flat decking for improved maneuverability, serviceability, and jobsite access.

Rough-terrain crane buyers are on the hunt for bigger machines, in the 100-ton and 120-ton classes specifically. Crane manufacturers serving the North American market heard their customers loud and clear, and took advantage of ConExpo 2020 to unveil new models. Many of these machines featured new technology that answer customers' demands for easier mobility and operation.

In Las Vegas, Link-Belt Cranes, Lexington, Ky., displayed two new models, the 100RT and the 120RT, with features to benefit the crane operator.

"One of these features is our new SmartFly system," said Kelly Fiechter, product manager, RT cranes of Link-Belt. "This SmartFly system can be installed by one person, from the ground, in about five minutes. The great thing is its interlock feature makes the fly installation process simple. And because the fly can be installed from the ground, the need for personnel to work from a ladder is greatly minimized."

The SmartFly technology was first introduced on Link-Belt's HTC-86110 telescopic truck crane after collaboration between engineers and the customers. The result is a streamlined process for fly assembly that can be easily understood by operators.

Also featured on both RT cranes is Link-Belt's Pulse 2.0 LMI computer, with which the operator can select infinite outrigger combinations. Working in conjunction with the crane's rating manual, it means the operator is always working from a printed chart regardless of outrigger positioning.

Link-Belt reports that first shipments of the 100-ton 100RT were delivered in the third quarter of 2019 for projects ranging from general construction to chemical plant work. The crane has a five-section 40.6- to 155-ft. full-power formed boom. On this model, SmartFly is available as a two-piece, 35- to 58-ft. on-board off-settable fly with manual offsets at 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees. A 16-ft. lattice insert extension provides a maximum tip height of 237 ft.

First shipments of the 120-ton model 120RT were delivered during the fourth quarter of 2019. It has a six-section 38.3- to 64.1-ft. pin-and-latch formed boom and the two-piece 35- to 58-ft. on-board off-settable fly with ground controls for fly assist and boom hoist cylinders, and offsets at 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees. Two 16-ft. lattice insert extensions provide a maximum tip height of 261.7 ft.

"Many of our customers wanted to fill a void in the 120-ton class, and also increase their crane utilization with easier transportability, greater reach and capacity and improved access for serviceability," said John Bair, product manager for RT cranes of Manitowoc Cranes, Milwaukee, Wisc. "We were able to accomplish this through an all-new carrier design along with several other new features, driven by market demand."

At ConExpo, Manitowoc introduced the 120-ton capacity Grove GRT120 as one of five new cranes the company showed in Las Vegas. With a 197-ft. long boom — the longest in its class — and best-in-class load charts, and a new carrier designed for increased versatility and utilization, it is the latest in Grove's GRT line of RT cranes. The compact carrier design features flat decking for improved maneuverability, serviceability and jobsite access.

Manitowoc is marketing the crane for work in the petrochemical, construction and wind power industries. It has a maximum lifting height of 265 ft. when equipped with a 57.6-ft. bi-fold swingaway extension. The swingaway extension comes in either manual or hydraulically off-settable configurations.

Features for Efficiency

The company's proprietary new MAXbase asymmetrical outrigger system, engineered for versatility in crane setup, is also new.

"This feature, combined with the lightweight, compact carrier and long boom, make this crane ideal for congested jobsites that require maximum reach," according to Manitowoc. The full-vision cab is wider, and with 20-degree tilt, maximizes operator comfort and visibility. The RT's Boom Configurator mode simplifies telescoping provides on-board lift planning.

"We were able to add smart sensing outrigger cylinders in lieu of string pots that, along with nearly every component on the crane, were tested well past industry standards at our Product Verification Center to ensure reliability on the job site," Bair said in announcing the crane's launch. "We've also added a wireless, handheld rigging remote for quick and easy set up on site."

Also on display at ConExpo was Grove's GRT9165, a 165-ton capacity crane that features a 205-ft., six-section, pinned boom. Designed for easy transport, it has a compact overall height of 12.4 ft.

Terex Cranes, Westport, Conn., introduced both new RT models and new technologies at ConExpo. The new 80-ton capacity TRT 80US, unveiled in Las Vegas, has a main boom length of 138 ft., and is the first model featuring Terex Operating System TEOS, designed to increase job efficiency. The crane's compact design eases transportability and improves maneuverability in crowded job sites and confined spaces. It has four steering modes and three telescoping boom modes, including two jib configurations, to 26 and 46 ft. The cab features all-new steering column, new dashboard and a 10-in. display. LED lights are also part of the standard machine.

TEOS represents next-generation technology with a completely new man-machine interface, said Chris Johnson, Terex's North American sales director.

"We developed this new operating system following two pivotal principles: Keep the functionality customers appreciate from previous models, such as our operating range limiter, engine automatic throttle, integrated diagnostics, and improve information flow, usability and maintenance."

He said it's a new experience that will help new operators to quickly learn the machine Terex started with a self-explanatory icon system in the cab.

"ConExpo is the main trade show in North America and was the perfect opportunity to show our new model TRT 80US with TEOS. Our TEOS system received excellent feedback during the show for its clarity, ease of operation and its innovation. We are very excited about delivering this into our customers."

He said Terex considers North America a critically important market, "one where we have been very successful for many years." Because of this success, the company continues to develop products for this region and invest in its parts and service offerings.

"With the already proven RT100US in the market and the TRT 80US undergoing final testing, we are already on to developing our next model for this region."

Tadano America Corp., Houston, Texas, showcased three new RT cranes in Vegas in its flagship GR product line. The GR-1000XLL-4, GR-1000XL-4 and GR-800XL-4, all designed to tackle work in confined spaces, represent a full model upgrade for the manufacturer's 75- to 100-ton lifting class launched in 2011.

At 167.3 ft., the boom on the Model GR-1000XLL-4 is longer than that of its predecessor GR-1000XL-3. Equipped with Tadano's new Smart Counterweight system, the crane offers the operator two counterweight positions to increase lifting capacity. With a redesigned cab, visibility and comfort are improved, as are the controls.

With an upgraded maximum lift capacity of 80 tons and a long boom of 154.2 ft., the GR-800XL-4 has a gross vehicle weight of 99,800 lbs. for easy transportability. It's cab and fittings have been remodeled for work efficiency, operability and visibility. The multi-function color touch panel display is 10.4 in., and contains crane work information and operation settings.

The pressure-sensitive touch panel display allows operation while wearing gloves. The cab instrument panel shape, height and angle of the glass face also have been modified for better visibility from the driver's seat. All three machines feature the new 20-degree cab tilt function, designed to reduce fatigue when operating the crane for long periods of time.

The "Smart Counterweight" system featured on both the GR-1000XLL-4 and GR-1000XL-4 enables the counterweight to offer two mounting positions. It increases the load chart by up to approximately 20%, and its on-board location maximizes crane performance.

Yorkville, Wisc.-based Zoomlion North America displayed 14 earthmoving and construction machines at this year's ConExpo show. "Localized" for the North American market, the group included the rough-terrain Model RT60, designed to T4F emission standards. It has a 142-ft. long boom with a telescoping system that consists of a two-stage hydraulic cylinder with a rope extension mechanism. The crane's formed boom is manufactured with high-yield steel to reduce operating weight and maximize crane performance.

A full-vision operator cab was designed for maximum comfort and ease of operation, while the crane's Cummins QSB 6.7 diesel engine is Tier-Ill compliant. The crane also has an off-settable jib at 0, -20 and -40 degrees, as well as an auxiliary winch.

"Localization has always been central to Zoomlion's internationalization," said Nicky Zhang, manager, North America Zoomlion Heavy Industry. "We strive to provide North American customers with high-quality products and services."

Market adaptability is key to XCMG's approach to North American customers. The Chinese crane manufacturer brought its Model XCR60L5 RT crane to Las Vegas in March. The company touts the RT's best-in-class turning radius and maneuverability between construction sites. An exclusive double-pump design improves operation control and efficiency while the crane's energy-saving hydraulic system and ECO control, automatic start/stop engine, and torque converter with locking function reduce fuel consumption by 5 to 20 percent. CQ

This story also appears on Crane Equipment Guide.

Lucy Perry

Lucy Perry has 30 years of experience covering the U.S. construction industry. She has served as Editor of paving and lifting magazines, and has created content for many national and international construction trade publications. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she has a Journalism degree from Louisiana State University, and is an avid fan of all LSU sports. She resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, who has turned her into a major fan of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs. When she's not chasing after Lucy, their dachshund, Lucy likes to create mixed-media art.

Read more from Lucy Perry here.

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