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Friday, March 13, 2015

LHM 800 ~ the largest mobile Harbour crane with 308T capacity

Commerce is sale of goods and services and goods are moved from one place to another ~ to places where they are required and where traders can make money.  In early days, transportation was determined by the muscle power of manual workers.  The size of the unit, primarily bagged cargo was limited by onerous conditions that prevailed before such product was moved from plantation to port.  It was pack of mules and load animals and native porters – decades later containerisation was to change the way goods were transported.

It is not only unitised cargo – the ones, in bags, pallets, drums and in containers – in between there would be bulk and heavy material as well, many of which cannot be handled by humans and required mechanical assistance in lifting and handling.  Cranes have played a major role at construction sites, at factories and at Ports.  At Ports, you have fixed cranes, derricks on vessels and portainers which move.  Cranes were very novel – it was about moving machine to the cargo.  Fixed equipment will earn money when in use – but there could be long periods arising out of seasonal traffic and from many other causes.  Even when they not productive, huge costs would be incurred in maintenance.  The moving cranes meant taking the equipment to the cargo i.e., wider choice of jobs. 

A mobile crane is "a cable-controlled crane mounted on crawlers or rubber-tired carriers" or "a hydraulic-powered crane with a telescoping boom mounted on truck-type carriers or as self-propelled models." They are designed to easily transport to a site and use with different types of load and cargo with little or no setup or assembly. Now there is news of ‘giant crane’ catering to the ever growing vessel sizes and heavy industrial goods.  Those cranes that we see on road, as one could have observed generally handle around 12T or little more.  Can you imagine the capacity of this new machine ?


It is unbelievable  – 308T, far  exceeding the maximum capacity of the so far strongest mobile harbour crane, type LHM 600, by not less than 100T. Thus, the new giant  really raises the bar and opens up new fields of application. As industrial goods are getting bigger and heavier, the new crane is a forward-looking solution for ports worldwide.

It comes from a Company which has more than 1,200 cranes in nearly 100 countries all over the world:  that’s the outcome of 40 production years of  mobile harbour cranes. Manufactured in 1974, the very first cranes were exported to France, Italy and Spain.  Since 2012, it’s 1000th  mobile harbour crane has been handling bulk at the French Atlantic Coast.  The Company’s website states that it took 31 years to sell the first 500 mobile harbour cranes, whereas the goal of the next 500 was accomplished in less than seven years – between 2005 to 2012. Since 1974, Spain has been a very important market for this versatile cargo handling solution.


It is the ‘Liebherr Group’,  a large German equipment manufacturer based in Switzerland specializing in cranes, aircraft parts, and mining.  Established in 1949 by Hans Liebherr,  the company started building tower cranes, expanded into making aircraft parts - it is a significant supplier toEurope's Airbus plane maker - and commercial chiller displays and freezers, as well as domestic refrigerators. The group also produces some of the world's biggest mining and digging machinery, including loaders, excavators and extreme-size dump trucks.

Introduced in 2015, the LHM 800 is the largest mobile harbour crane in the market. The giant crane  is designed for challenging tasks, providing a lifting capacity of up to 308 tonnes and an outreach of 64 metres. Weighing in at 745 tonnes, the crane has a boom length of 64 metres and can load and unload ships with a width of up to 22 rows of containers.   In terms of container and bulk handling, the LHM 800 is  considered the new benchmark. The crane is based on an x-shaped undercarriage design with adapted wheel sets to ensure optimal load distribution.  Utilising rubber-tired undercarriage, the crane is fully mobile and can even be mounted on a rail-based directory or on a barge.

In tandem operation two LHM 800 can lift a maximum of 616 tonnes using Liebherr’s tandem operation tool Sycratronic. The company estimates each crane can handle up to 38 boxes per hour in standard configuration and even 45 boxes per hour if the crane is equipped with Liebherr’s hybrid power booster Pactronic, allowing for as much as 2,300 tonnes per hour throughput.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th Mar 2015.

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