Heavy Equipment Guide Logo

First Demag AC 45 City deployed in North America


Company info

200 Nyala Farm Road
Westport, CT
US, 06880


Read more

Related products

"Large lifting companies with multiple cranes have options to get jobs done. I don't have that luxury," comments Steve Kelly, owner/operator of Steel Giraffe LLC. The Portsmouth, R.I.-based "boutique" crane company doesn't search out the typical residential and commercial construction projects. Rather, Steel Giraffe completes specialized lifting projects, and 90 percent of its lift jobs fall within a 30-mi (48-km) radius of the headquarters location.

Many lifting projects last less than a half-day, so Steel Giraffe needs a flexible crane that can get in, quickly finish and get to the next job. However, the company's 25-U.S.-ton (22.7-t) carry deck crane previously used didn't quite fit, and the transport costs were cutting into profits.

Steel Giraffe needed a different type of crane, one that better fit its needs. While Kelly had a 35-U.S.-ton (31.8-t) crane in mind, Justin Melvin, general manager for Empire Crane, an authorized Demag Mobile Cranes distributor says, "His business model needed the 50-U.S.-ton (45-t) class Demag® AC 45 City crane. It was built for companies who need mobility and work in crowded metropolitan areas."

A great fit

Kelly worked with Empire to get a preview of the AC 45 City.  It has a single cab from which the operator both drives the crane to the project and operates the boom. "For our work, a second cab is just wasted space and time," he adds.

The crane's capacity chart and boom design were what sold Kelly on working with Empire Crane to purchase the AC 45 City. The three-axle crane offers a maximum main boom of 102.4 ft (31.2 m) and a maximum 145-ft (44.2-m) system length. Boom extension is fully hydraulic, allowing Steel Giraffe to extend or retract the boom with a load and without the need for pinning a boom section.

Melvin explains that pinned boom designs are commonly found on larger cranes for strength but limit the versatility of smaller city-class cranes. Kelly adds, "We handle a lot of pick-and-carry loads, and the ability for us to fully extend or retract the boom under load is critical."

Tight quarters

Steel Giraffe took delivery of the Demag AC 45 City crane in late March. The crane's versatility and capacity chart were instrumental in helping the company land a tricky project on the Mt. Hope Bridge connecting the Rhode Island towns of Portsmouth and Bristol. The 90-year-old structure that predates the Great Depression is currently in the midst of a10-year, $52 million restoration project.

The current construction phase consists of repairing the bridge pier anchors' degraded concrete. Work crews needed to have construction materials and containers transferred to the work platform at water level. "One option was to position a crane on a barge in the water to transfer the materials, but this would have been costly," explains Kelly.

Steel Giraffe quoted the project using its AC 45 City crane positioned on the bridge deck to lower materials more than 100 ft (30.5 m) to the work platform below. The first challenge was to ensure the deck could hold the weight of the crane with load. "The planning software was helpful in determining the weight, radius and outrigger setting to provide printed proof the bridge deck had the capacity," he adds. "Both Empire Crane and Demag worked with us to help prepare the plan."

The next challenge for Steel Giraffe was to hoist the materials without blocking both traffic lanes. Melvin explains, "The Mt. Hope Bridge only carries two lanes of traffic, and each lane measures only 11-ft (3.4 m) wide, so this was a perfect test of the AC 45 City's compact design." From counterweight to boom to jib, everything rides on the crane's trim 28.4-ft-long by 8.3-ft-wide (8.7- x 2.5-m) carrier.

The plan called for the AC 45 City crane to be positioned in one lane, leaving the other open to traffic. Steel Giraffe devised a plan using a 26-ft (7.9-m) boom radius with small outrigger basis. The night lift also helped to minimize traffic disruptions.

Steel Giraffe drove the AC 45 City approximately 6 mi (9.7 km) to the project site and arrived by 9 p.m. The crew had the crane rigged and hook-ready to by 10 p.m. Kelly appreciated the ability to drive and operate the crane from the same cab without needing to exit.

IC-1 Plus - a game changer

A plus for companies like Steel Giraffe, especially on a tight-quarters project like the Mt. Hope Bridge, are the crane's IC-1 Plus control system and asymmetric outrigger positioning. The system automatically determines the available lifting capacity, based on outrigger set-up and  slewing angle, so it does not limit lifting capacity to a 360-degree load chart.

"This is a game-changer for me," says Kelly. "If we cannot fully extend one of the outriggers, we are not limited to the 360-degree load charts." Melvin continues, "This allows companies to plan their lifts for maximum available capacity over the outriggers, which can enable them to complete heavier lifts with less counterweight, as it was the case with the 360-degrees load charts."

Kelly also noticed significant differences with the IC-1 Plus display compared to other crane models in this class. He compared the black-and-white displays with pushbuttons found on other cranes to an old hand-held video game. "The AC 45 City has a nice full-color screen and intuitive touchscreen control to easily navigate," he says.

Ease of crane operation helped Steel Giraffe to complete nearly 20 picks in less than five hours, where crew members lowered a variety of equipment from compressors and generators to paint and tools to the work platform. The heaviest lifts consisted of two, 10-ft (3.0-m) steel shipping containers loaded with equipment, weighing 6,000 lb (2.7 t) each. Finishing all lifts by 2:30 a.m., the crew then derigged the AC 45 City to make its 10-minute trip back to headquarters.

Kelly believes it might have been possible to complete this project with the company's old carry deck crane, but it would have been much more time consuming and cumbersome for transport and prep. "We would have needed a lowboy to move the carry deck crane. Transport limited us to completing only one half-day job per day with the carry deck crane," he explains. "It was so quick and easy to get back to the shop driving the AC 45 City. We are now completing two to three jobs per day with the AC 45 City."

Navigating the AC 45 City crane through the crowded Portsmouth streets is getting Steel Giraffe noticed, not only for the crane's unique giraffe decaling but also for the crane's capabilities. "We are now receiving calls from larger crane companies to handle their overflow work. We did not get those calls in the past," explains Kelly.

Steel Giraffe finally has the crane it needs to match its small "boutique" lifting company business model in the Demag AC 45 City. "With its capacity and boom length, I know the AC 45 will give me the flexibility to handle many lift jobs," he says. "If I could design a crane for what we do, this is the crane I would design." 

More from Industry News

Kryton adds wireless real-time concrete monitoring to product offerings

Kryton International Inc. announced the company has acquired a 30 percent interest in Sensohive Technologies ApS of Odense, Denmark. The acquisition makes Kryton Sensohive's largest shareholder. Kryton will also be the exclusive North American distributor of Sensohive's award-winning Maturix technology, which uses advanced sensors and software enabling contractors and engineers to wirelessly monitor the concrete hardening process in real time from virtually any internet-connected device.

Sunnen offers new line of drill heads and consumables for Sandvik-style tooling

Sunnen Products Company now offers a new series of drill heads, inserts and pads that are directly interchangeable with Sandvik deep-hole drilling tools. The new line, Sunnen DirectDex, features BTA/STS (Single Tube System) and DTS/Ejector (Double Tube System) style deep-hole drilling tools designed to produce a low cost-per-bore with consistent performance. The new product series directly corresponds to the previously available line of Sandvik drill heads, inserts, and guide pads, with additional product series set to be released soon.  

ICUEE 2019: What to see at the demo expo, part four

ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, will take place October 1-3 in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE is the utility industry's largest trade show, covering 28+ acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and bringing together more than 18,000 utility professionals every two years.

ICUEE 2019: What to see at the demo expo, part three

ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, will take place October 1-3 in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE is the utility industry's largest trade show, covering 28+ acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and bringing together more than 18,000 utility professionals every two years.

John Deere extends 944K Hybrid wheel loader warranty

Confident in the strength and long-lasting design of its machines, John Deere is extending the eight-year/20,000-hour power electronic components warranty on the 944K Hybrid Wheel Loader. The warranty supports John Deere's commitment to the durability and reliability of its popular 944K Hybrid Wheel Loader, which was recently named as a finalist for the Diesel Progress Summit Awards in the Electrification Application of the Year category.

Stellex Capital Management to sell Morbark to Alamo Group

Stellex Capital Management, a middle market private equity firm, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Morbark, LLC,  the manufacturer of high-performance equipment and after-market parts for the forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill, land clearing and biomass markets, to Alamo Group for $352 million. The sale includes all assets and operations of Morbark and its affiliate brands. 

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Screening manufacturer MAJOR partnering with dealer for training program

MAJOR, a manufacturer of high-performance screening media, introduces a training program — Hands-On SMS — to give operations the tools they need to maximize uptime. MAJOR is first offering the program through General Equipment & Supplies, a Fargo, North Dakota-based dealer. The training includes hands-on experience with all aspects of a vibrating screen. It can be a stand-alone presentation, or a supplement to training already provided by the dealer, including material handling and crushing courses.

Check out The Site Visit, a new podcast from Vancouver construction entrepreneurs

Construction industry entrepreneurs James Faulkner, Christian Hamm, and Andrew Hansen today announced the launch of The Site Visit, a podcast focused on leadership in construction with perspective from the jobsite. The podcast has already produced 18 episodes, has 500+ subscribers and has hosted guests that include senior executives from Fusion Projects, Ram Consulting, Faber Technologies, Landa Global, Clearview Demolition, Pit Stop Portables and Colony Construction. 

Automated trucks hit public roads as Daimler Trucks starts testing

Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are actively developing and testing automated trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads. The initial routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered. All automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics. All safety drivers hold a commercial driver's license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.

WOLFFKRAN appoints new CEO

On August 1, 2019, Dr. Peter Schiefer handed over his position as CEO to Duncan Salt, the former Head of Sales and Service. Schiefer will remain Delegate of the Board of Directors and increase his focus on the strategic development of WOLFFKRAN.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Generac Mobile awarded Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract

Generac Mobile is now part of Sourcewell cooperative purchasing. Sourcewell, formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), helps government, education and nonprofit agencies operate more efficiently by helping save time and money with contract purchasing solutions nationwide. Generac Mobile equipment with related accessories and attachments can now be purchased through this program.

3D printing technology finds place improving quality at Volvo Trucks factory

Volvo Trucks North America is utilizing 3D printing technology to produce tools and fixtures used in the manufacturing process at its New River Valley (NRV) plant in Dublin, Virginia, where all trucks for the North American market are built. The implementation of 3D-printed manufacturing tools enables quicker production and continuous quality improvements.

AGF Access Group contributes to Darlington Nuclear refurbishment

Montreal-based AGF Access Group, Inc. has been selected to provide a modular access solution manufactured under its Winsafe brand for Canada's largest clean energy project: the Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Southern Ontario, a joint venture refurbishment project led by SNC-Lavalin Group, Inc. and Aecon Group, Inc.  

ShearForce joins forces with former Terrafirma team to serve northern Alberta

ShearForce Equipment and key former employees of TerraFirma Equipment has announced that they are joining forces in northern Alberta to provide sales, rentals, parts, and repair and maintenance services for hydraulic excavator attachments. They are not only expanding their regional support capacity across northern Alberta, but also the product lines they can service and repair.

Case announces 2019 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” award winners

Case Construction Equipment has named its 2019 "Diamond Dealer" and "Gold Dealer" award recipients as part of its North American Construction Equipment Partnership Program. The awards recognize dealerships across the U.S. and Canada for excellence in five categories including sales performance, marketing and communications, product support, parts support and training.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Halrai of Quebec to distribute Venturo cranes

Venturo, a producer of truck- and van-equipped cranes, has announced a new distribution partnership with Halrai of Quebec. This Canadian equipment dealer will distribute the entire line of Venturo products with a focus on fully hydraulic cranes, including models equipped with Venturo Logic Controls (VLC).

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more