Rental Company Designs Water-Treading Access Machines
Specialized lifts help engineers reduce traffic-lane closures
By Tudor Hampton


The two units have been operating in the field for roughly a year following an earlier design that was a telescopic aerial lift mounted on a Hummer civilian chassis.

"We can go in during some inclement weather and without having lane closures," says Harry Stoltzfus, owner of Paradise, Pa.-based Harcon Corp.

The firm’s "Bridge Tracker" is a combination telescopic aerial lift and crawler machine with a maximum platform height of 36 ft. Its rubber tracks can traverse rough terrain while immersed in water and it can climb 35° slopes front to back and 25° side to side.

The Bridge Tracker has replaced the firm’s Hummer Bucket, which Stoltzfus says had limitations due to its bulky size (ENR 2/12/01 p. 49).

Also new to the company’s fleet is what it calls a "Lift Boat." It is a 32-ft scissor lift mounted on a pontoon platform.

Oliver Clemons Jr., bridge division manager for consulting engineer Alpha Corp., Dulles, Va., says renting the Lift Boat costs double the amount for a typical underbridge inspection truck, but it has cut time and labor by 50%. "For one project, it took us one week to inspect instead of two," he says.

Stoltzfus says both machines meet federal safety regulations and have U.S. patents pending.

Grove Mixes Designs in New 90-Tonner
European-style boom meets U.S.-style chassis
Continuing a recent trend in the development of hybrid lifting machines, Manitowoc Crane Group, Manitowoc, Wis., has introduced a new concept for hydraulic truck cranes built by its Grove division in Shady Grove, Pa.

The heart of the design is a telescopic, all-terrain crane boom, which typically lifts more capacity than a truck crane. The European-style boom is coupled with a domestic chassis, which is designed to be roadable across U.S. highways.

"The concept originated because everyone using truck cranes wants them to pick more and weigh less," says Doyle Bryant, director of product development for Grove. The machine, designated TMS900E, has been in development for two years. It carries a 90-ton capacity and replaces model TMS87C, rated at 75 tons.

The TMS900E reaches 150 ft at standard tip height. It also can be fitted with an optional 33 to 56-ft lattice jib for a maximum tip height of 237 ft, which experts say is an "impressive number" for a 42-ft-long vehicle.

But traveling over highways without needing permits is more of a concern to crane owners, Bryant says. "Roadability is key on truck cranes. You can achieve 20,000 lb per axle when trailing the boom, with counterweight on the crane," he says. Top speed is 65 mph.

The manufacturer began taking orders last fall for January delivery and 12 units already are in the field. The company says the unit’s list price is about $800,000.

Crawler Crane
Longer Conventional Boom

The 238 HYLAB 5 is a new 150-ton lattice boom crawler crane with enhanced features that help increase crane capacity. It is equipped with 260 ft of new conventional tube boom, which is 10 ft more than the nearest com-petitor, says the manufacturer. Bar pendants are new and attach to the boom extension for easy storage. A fan-post-style luffing attachment is available with a 347-ft maximum tip height. The 238 HYLAB 5 also has a completely new and roomier operator cab, a new SML-10 load moment indicator as well as slab-type counterweights. Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co.; 859/264-6268;

French Manufacturer Offers Wireless Control
"Hands-Off" Machine Is Fully Operable and Driveable

Pinguely-Haulotte, L’Horme, France, has introduced to the North American market an alternative lifting device for picking and placing light materials on jobsites. Company representatives believe it is the world’s first mobile crane to be completely operable and driveable by radio-remote control.

The machine may seem like a foreign concept for most construction fleets, but the manufacturer thinks it will help contractors reduce labor costs. "We believe it helps facilitate people on the job because you don’t need another operator to use the machine," says Alan Dotts, product support manager for the company’s U.S. importer, Haulotte U.S., Glen Burnie, Md. However, Dotts says a rigger is still needed to load and unload materials from the crane.

The manufacturer had roots in building cranes since 1881 until it sold its product line in 1995 in favor of manufacturing access devices exclusively. Pierre Saubot, chief executive officer, claims his company is now the third-largest manufacturer of aerial work platforms worldwide, having expanded into North America in 2001.

Dubbed "Easy Crane," the machine provides users with 3,080 lb of capacity at a 40-ft maximum lift height. It also is available with a fork attachment. At its maximum radius of 33 ft, it can lift up to 1,980 lb, and the machine crosses worksite terrain at a leisurely 1 mph.

Dotts says the unit meets U.S. safety requirements. The company will begin taking orders for the unit in May. List price is expected to start at $125,000.

Transformer Machine
Aerial Work Platform to Telehandler

The JLG/Gradall model TF6-42 Transformer is the first machine that can be converted from a boom lift with drive and lift controls in the platform to a telehandler with cab controls, the maker says. It meets both ANSI A92.5-1992 and ASME B56.6-1998 Standards. When used as a rough- terrain telescopic ma-terial handler with Gradall controls in the SAE FOPS/ROPS certified cab, the machine provides a 42-ft maximum lift height with a 6,600-lb load and a 28-ft reach capability with an 800-lb load. JLG Industries Inc.; 240/420-8721;

Aluminum Cylinder jacks
Offer Strength of Steel

A line of single and double acting jacks with aluminum cylinders utilizes the latest in alloy technology, coatings, seal design and bearing materials that can be used for construction and other heavy load applications. Each series offers lifting capacities ranging from 20 to 150 tons and stroke lengths up to 10 in. Enerpac; 800/433-2766;

Telescopic Handler Addition
Increase In Lift Capacity

The Lull 944E-42 is the second addition to the company’s new PlaceAce Series line of rough-terrain telescopic handlers. It delivers a 12.5% increase in lift capacity over the previous model. Equipped with Lull’s PlaceAce system, the 944E-42 provides up to 80 in. of horizontal boom travel without having to reposition the machine. The unit also offers a 6,000 lb maximum lift capacity with a maximum lift height of 42 ft. OmniQuip Textron; 262/268-4432;

Articulating Boom
New Innovative Lift Structure

The Z-80/60 is the newest and tallest addition to the maker's product line of articulating booms. It offers a working height up to 86 ft, outreach up to 60 ft and 29-ft up-and-over clearance. To maximize productivity, the design allows the operator to ascend and descend from the ground to 80 ft with a single function of the primary boom. The lower riser does not need to be lowered to bring the platform to the ground. Genie Industries; 800/536-1837;

n equipment rental firm specializing in bridge inspection gear and having a "zero-lane-closure" policy has developed two unusual-looking tracked and floating devices to make bridge inspections easier.