Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services recently increased its heavy lift capabilities, with a new Liebherr LR 1600/2 joining the fleet. The new crawler joins other Liebherr heavy lifters including the LTM 1750-9.1 and the LTM 1650-8.1.
Embracing innovation and new technology is important if Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services is to stay ahead of the competition.
Leading the market and not following is the only way Shawn Borger, Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services’ general manager and his team know. “In my opinion, innovation is a key factor to succeeding in the crane hire business. And the introduction of the new LR 1600/2 and the arrival of the first LTM 1650-8.1 in the country mid last year are a testament to this approach. If we see a crane that will change the market, we want it in our fleet,” he explained.
“Liebherr delivered the LR 1600/2 at the end of last year and it’s been in our Newcastle yard since then. It has been set up in all the various configurations and it is now working on a project in Glen Innes in northern New South Wales,” he said.
Although the LR 1600/2 was initially designed for the wind farm sector, Borger can see many applications for the crawler in other industry sectors. “The new crawler will certainly help Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services compete for more work in the wind farm sector. In my opinion, it’s not as good as the Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 for this type of work, but our cranes can’t be everywhere.
“The LR 1600/2 will work well in the wind farm sector, but it is also ideal for large infrastructure projects and for some of the large mining projects which are in the pipeline. It will suit most projects where you need to lift over 500t,” said Borger.
The LR 1600/2 is one of the most popular crawler cranes designed by Liebherr. Although it was primarily designed to work in the wind farm sector, there are 223 operating on varying projects right across the world. In addition to the standard LR 1600/2 version, a version with narrow crawler track, known as the LR 1600/2-W, was also marketed successfully over a period of 10 years.
The main feature of this version was the fact that it could travel along narrow crawlers in wind farms considerably easier than the standard version. The narrow track version accounted for around one-quarter of all these cranes in use worldwide.
Initially, the LR 1600/2 was delivered in its SL4DFB configuration, designed for wind turbines with a hub height of 130 to 135 metres. In this configuration, the crane had a main boom of 138 metres and a fixed jib of 12 metres. This was the benchmark for turbines with a hub height of 135 metres.
Over the next few years, however, the size of wind turbines increased dramatically up to hub heights of 150 metres or more. This altered the requirements for the crane, which the designers at Liebherr followed closely.
The lifting capacities and hoisting heights of the boom systems were continuously modified with the SL10 and SL13 versions, which both became established on the market. These booms enabled the crane to handle wind turbines with hub heights of 150 metres.
The Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services teams can’t wait to get their hands on the new crane. “Our crews always love to work with new equipment, and I know it will be the same with the LR 1600/2. As I said, the Newcastle crew have had some time with the crane and worked on its various configurations so it will be really interesting to see how it performs during the first project,” said Borger.
The Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 has proved to be a very valuable addition to the Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services fleet, said Borger. “The LTM 1650-8.1 has been deployed to 20 jobs so far, which is exceptional for a heavy lift all terrain. It has proven to be a great addition to the fleet. With its VarioBallst counterweight positioning it has provided clients with options they have never had before.
It is the same size as many of the 500t capacity all terrains, but it can lift considerably more, which is an obvious benefit. The Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 is designed to deliver maximum performance.
The eight-axle all terrain is designed to deliver maximum flexibility and fast set-up times. The LTM 1650-8.1 travels with an axle load of 12 tonnes complete with its 54 metres of telescopic boom and the front supports. To minimise the set-up time, however, the rear supports are installed as a complete support box in a single hoist and connected using quick-release couplings.
As with all new developments over the last few years, Liebherr can offer the LTM 1650-8.1 with a very wide range of transport weights and axle load versions to ensure cost-effective global mobility for axle loads both above and below 12 tonnes.
As with its predecessor, the LTM 1500- 8.1, which dominated the large telescopic crane class for 20 years, Liebherr can supply the new crane with two telescopic boom lengths – 54 metres or 80 metres.
Customers can also buy both lengths and change them easily by replacing telescope section three and roller head with telescope sections three to five. In keeping with the concept to deliver the ultimate crane on eight axles, the load capacity increases, compared to its predecessor, are between 15 and 50 per cent, depending on whether the telescopic boom includes guying or not.
The standard VarioBase variable support base delivers additional increases in performance in the zone above the supports. The designers used the time-tested technology from the LTM 1500-8.1 for the Y-guying of the new LTM 1650-8.1 – although they upgraded the single-rope system to achieve better performance. The benefit of easy handling was retained.
The experts from Ehingen focused on achieving an easy, fast, and safe set-up process during the design process. A range of lattice booms enables it to work efficiently and with a fixed lattice boom from 6 to 62 metres in length, the telescopic boom can be extended particularly easily and quickly. It is attached at an angle of 0°, 10°, 20°, or 40°. As an option, the fixed boom can be adjusted between 0° and 38°.
The luffing lattice boom, with a length of 21 to 91 metres, delivers maximum height, radius, and performance. Both lattice booms can be attached to the 54-metre and the 80-metre telescopic boom.
High performance normally requires a large ballast radius, but often there is simply not enough space on sites. This means the ballast radius must be as small as possible. Liebherr meets this challenge with its VarioBallast innovation.
The new LTM 1650-8.1 has adopted the timetested system from the LTM 1450-8.1 where the ballast radius can be infinitely adjusted using a simple hydraulic slewing mechanism – on the LTM 1650-8.1 between 6.3 and 8.4 metres.
The new Liebherr eight-axle crane operates with a maximum ballast of 155 tonnes. To enhance economy, the ballast plates are compatible with the slabs from the LTM 1350-6.1, LTM 1400-7.1, LTM 1450-8.1, Liebherr’s nine-axle mobile cranes and the LR 1350/1 crawler crane. This means that all large LTM cranes have standard ballast slabs; a massive step forwards in logistics for crane operators.
An eight-cylinder Liebherr diesel engine in the undercarriage, which develops 505kW/677hp and torque of 3,160Nm provides the LTM 1650-8.1 with all the power it needs. The engine satisfies the new stage V emissions directive and can also be built to comply with the regulations that apply in countries outside of Europe, for example Tier 4f for the USA or stage III for low regulated countries.
The power is transferred to the crane axles using the innovative 12-speed ZF TraXon Torque gearbox. A torque converter enhances manoeuvring and starting. ECOdrive is a new feature, providing an additional eco mode that delivers enhanced drive properties, which both save fuel and reduce noise.
Meanwhile, Hillstart Aid makes starting on gradients easier. The intarder, a zero wear hydrodynamic brake integrated in the gearbox, acts as a retarder. In addition a Telma eddy current brake is standard.
The Liebherr single-engine concept has now proven itself in over 800 cranes and also features on the new LTM 1650-8.1. The superstructure is powered by a mechanical shaft. Gear shafts are routed from the distributor gear in the substructure via two mitre gears through the centre of the slewing ring to the pump distributor gear in the superstructure.
A mechanical shaft ensures a particularly high efficiency level and low engine speeds in the chassis engine provide sufficient power for crane work.
This ensures the economy of the new concept in terms of fuel consumption. The benefits of not having a separate superstructure engine include reduced maintenance work and lower weight. The lower weight can be used for loadbearing components, thus increasing the crane’s load capacity.
In ECOmode, the complete pump drive can be disconnected automatically when the engine is idling and then reconnected by the intelligent controller in a matter of seconds. Borger has been impressed with the performance of the Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1. “Everyone in the business has been impressed with the performance of the LTM 1650-8.1. We had high expectations from the beginning, but it has surpassed these expectations. Our crews think it is well ahead of its time with the new technology with many of its features and it is most definitely providing Borger Cranes with a significant competitive advantage.”
“It is not a difficult crane to mobilise and de-mobilise and it is not dissimilar to the LTM 1500-8.1 and the LTM 17509.1 in size, so we have allocated trailers which enable the crane to be sent to site in a timely manner.”
“The addition of the LTM 1650-8.1 has made a very positive contribution. It gives Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services the additional capacity we needed within the heavy lift division, and it is providing customers with further confidence that we can always supply the right crane to solve whatever the challenges they might be facing,” said Borger.