For many contractors, truck cranes are mostly rental items, but that doesn’t mean manufacturers don’t focus on technology to increase efficiency, safety and utilization.
By nature, truck-mounted cranes must excel in two things: mileage and robust heavy-duty capabilities. After that, the most significant added value is likely to be the technology that helps managers and crane operators in their day-to-day operations.
For contractors making a one-off purchase of this large item or crane rentals looking for a replacement or upgrade, a number of considerations are paramount.
Truck crane ROI
“Return on investment, reliability, flexibility in transportation and product support are all factors that a crane owner considers when purchasing a truck-mounted crane,” says Andrew Soper, Product Manager at Link-Belt.
“ROI is measured by utilization, and with our cranes leading the way in reach, capacity and portability, it’s easier for owners to fill their work schedules and keep their cranes moving and lifting,” says Soper.
Product support and service are also critical.
“Product support is better than ever with features like telematics that not only improve utilization for crane owners with real-time data, but also give owners the ability to improve the longevity of their crane purchase,” says Soper.
In terms of mobility, contractors and managers are looking for smooth highway performance to get from job to job.
“We know getting the job done is a big deal, and our truck-mounted cranes move around cities and on the interstate at a lower cost than all-terrain cranes,” says Soper. “Once in use, truck-mounted cranes should have a good mix – long range, large capacities and excellent transportability.
“Link-belt truck cranes have a purpose-built chassis that allows us to develop the most efficient transport configurations that also have excellent lifting capabilities,” says Soper. “By optimizing crane transport, the number of overrun trolleys has been reduced. Additional functions such as automatic idling help to keep fuel consumption low. “
Advantages of telematics for mobile cranes
The technology available for truck cranes includes not only telematics to track fuel consumption, location, and other machine performance parameters that aid in tracking and maintenance, but also features for easy set-up, safety, and even lift planning.
“Our latest innovation in the range of truck cranes is our patented SmartFly,” says Soper. “SmartFly is easy to set up and stow away due to its simple but unique design elements. Color-coded, spring-loaded latches indicate which length of fly is being raised or which is being stowed. A hydraulic cylinder and ramp release the fly and return it to its stowed position.
“Patented, interlocking access gates keep the fly safe at all times and guide the operator through the correct steps to attach and detach the fly,” says Soper.
“Boom head speed screws allow quick, full alignment and engagement of the main connecting pins, all with the operator at ground level. All of this results in a logical design that is robust, easy and efficient to use by one person, ”says Soper.
Liebherr’s mobile cranes have the LICCON computer system for intelligent crane control. The LICCON2 crane control can control crane movements from outside the cabin.