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Manitowoc unveils biggest Potain topless crane at bauma 2019

New Potain MDT 809 is the largest topless crane ever produced by Manitowoc.
New Potain MDT 809 is the largest topless crane ever produced by Manitowoc.

Towering over the Manitowoc stand at bauma 2019 was the new Potain MDT 809, the largest topless crane ever built by the manufacturer. While delivering unprecedented lift capacity and reach, the new crane also boasts an advanced design that provides reduced operating costs and easier assembly for owners. 

Thibaut Le Besnerais, Manitowoc's global product director for tower cranes, said the introduction of the MDT 809 marked another significant development from the industry leader. 

"The launch of the MDT 809 is one of the most significant Potain tower crane launches of recent times," he said. "Over the past 10 years we've seen consistent growth in demand for topless cranes, with customers benefiting from their fast assembly and compact design, which makes it easier to get more cranes onto a job site to complete work quicker. 

Alongside this we've seen an increase in modular construction, with contractors needing to lift heavier loads. It's clear to us that there is strong demand for bigger topless cranes. But we wanted to be sure that any new model we launch not only satisfied demand for greater capacity, but also preserved the easy transport, fast assembly and industry-leading performance our other topless cranes deliver. The MDT 809 provides all that and more." 

Lower costs/higher performance

With its highly optimized assembly and disassembly, owners can install the crane on site in the shortest possible time and move it off site rapidly once work is completed. Alongside that, the crane offers up to 40 t of lift capacity and can accommodate up to 80 m of jib. For transport, the crane is especially compact, with everything but the slewing mechanism capable of traveling in a standard container. 

The whole crane transports in either 10 or 11 containers, depending on the winch option selected, which is four to five fewer containers than is typically required for a crane of this size. Smart design features to aid shipping include protective packaging for the jib sections; optimized space usage for containerization and a cab that rotates for transport. The crane also has a new 8 m cross base that offers the performance characteristics of a 10 m chassis, but which requires only one container for transport. 

Groundbreaking Potain innovations rolled out in quickfire product development cycles, underlining company’s progress under The Manitowoc Way.

High-speed assembly

The Potain MDT 809 is not only fast to transport, but also fast to assemble once on site: typically, around twice as fast as other 40 t cranes and also requiring less space. With its full complement of jib, the crane can be assembled at a 50 m working height in less than three days. The 8 m cross base is not only easier to transport but also faster to set up than the 10 m alternative. 

There are dedicated slinging points on the crane to aid on-site assembly and jib sections can be assembled either on the ground or in the air, depending on site conditions and available space. The rotating cab and easy-connect points for the counterjib further simplify erection. Options for assembling the jib range from the 30 m minimum up to the 80 m maximum in 5 m sections. 

"We've designed the jib not only to be easier to assemble but also to make it easier to service," Le Besnerais noted. "Overall the MDT 809 represents a new way of thinking in terms of high-capacity topless cranes. It is ideal for large construction sites yet also offers an ability to be assembled on projects where space is constrained. We're already seeing strong interest from the construction, industrial and shipyard sectors." 

High performance

From the range of regular frequency-controlled hoists, options for the crane span from the 100LVF to the 270LVF. An optional 150HPL is also offered, from the High Performance Lifting range, for the ultimate in speed and strength. These winch options give the crane a maximum available capacity of 25 t, 32 t or 40 t. Tip loads of up to 9 t are available at the 80 m maximum. With the new reinforced K-mast system, freestanding heights of up to 80 m are possible. 

Users can choose from a two-fall configuration on the trolley for faster duty-cycle lifting, or four-falls for heavy lifting. Inside the cab a simple push-button solution enables the operator to activate the cable-tensioning system automatically. This is particularly useful for long-running job sites, where tensioning is required more frequently. The Crane Control System (CCS) features too, with its customizable operator profiles; simpler commissioning; load curve P+ functionality and much more. 

Potain MRH 125

Alongside the MDT 809 at bauma 2019 was the second groundbreaking crane from Potain, the MRH 125. The innovative crane is the first in the European range to combine luffing jib and topless capabilities; and it also uses hydraulic power for the luffing movement, for greater efficiency. Maximum capacity for the crane is 8 t while the maximum jib is 50 m, with a lift capacity of 2 t at the jib end. Users can configure the crane in freestanding heights of up to 57.9 m, while line speeds of up to 118 m/min are available with the 50LVF20 hoist winch. 

As with the MDT 809, Manitowoc has placed a strong emphasis on return on investment for owners. The crane has an adaptable design making it suitable for all kinds of congested urban job sites, while transport and assembly times have also been optimized. 

"The MRH 125 has an optimized transport cost for a luffing jib crane in its capacity class," Le Besnerais said. "It can also be mounted on our standard 1.6 m or 2 m K-masts for better optimization for fleet owners, and it offers lower power consumption than traditional luffing jib crane alternatives." 

Just four containers are required to transport the upper portion of the crane, with the counter jib and jib foot traveling as a single package. The unique VVH hydraulic luffing mechanism and cylinders are pre-connected at the factory, meaning no assembly is required on site. 

A further advantage over traditional luffing jib cranes is that the hydraulic power of the VVH mechanism means there is no requirement to install luffing rope during installation. The hoisting winch, maintenance derrick and jib wind side plate are also pre-installed. Plus there is no need to adapt the wind-sail plate on site, no matter what length of jib the crane is erected with. 

On-site the crane delivers outstanding operating performance, no matter how constrained the job site. The jib can be raised from the horizontal to near vertical (88°) in just two minutes, while the counterjib measures just 7 m and is simple to connect during assembly. The out-of-service weathervaning radius of just 10 m, whatever the jib length, adds to its impressive features for tight job sites, while the cab has the option to attach to either side of the mast to suit project conditions. 

Potain MDT 219 with Cab-IN elevator

Rounding out the Potain tower crane display at bauma 2019 was the MDT 219. The MDT 219 is the highest capacity unit in the MDT CCS City tower crane range with a 10 t maximum capacity and up to 65 m of jib available.

This crane is shown with the new Cab-IN, an elevator for the operator that fits inside the crane mast. The Potain Cab-IN allows for fast, easy and safe travel to and from the crane cab, while retaining regular mast ladder access. It fits inside all K-mast systems of 1.6 m, 2 m and 2.45 m sections. The system is also compatible with all Potain bases/chassis, meaning it can be fitted into both existing and new crane models. The elevator has a maximum weight limit of 200 kg, allowing up to two people to utilize the lift at the same time. Maintenance technicians will also benefit from the lift, as it provides superior mast visibility and access all the way to the top. 

Another significant benefit of the Potain Cab-IN is its cost-effectiveness. As it is fitted inside the mast, the installation is parallel to the crane erection time and no additional transportation cost or storage space on the yard is required. 

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