Whether on construction sites, plant turnarounds or infrastructure projects, due to their versatility and ruggedness, the crawler crane is one of the most popular cranes available. Learn more from Maxim’s own Rob Schultz as he breaks down crawler cranes and their wide range of capabilities.
A crawler crane is a machine that’s designed to actually track on terrain with metal tracks. It gives it more flexibility when you’re traversing through job sites that you can’t necessarily move a rubber-tired mobile machine on.
I’m Rob Schultz, I work for Maxim Crane Works, and I’ve been here for 36 years.
So a crawler crane has usually four main modules, which is your upper works, your lower works, and your two tracks. That’s your core portion to a machine. From that point, then you start adding in your main boom and fixed jib that can be in various configurations from shortest booms being 60 feet to as much as 700 feet depending on the type of machine and how much booming jib you can put in it.
Well, they start out in tonnages in our fleet at 80 ton and then we reach up to a capacity of 2,535 ton, and that would be our flagship crane, which is the Manitowoc 31000. And we run roughly about 400 crawlers in our fleet today, and we keep a pretty good amount of those on jobs every day.
Projects that crawler cranes are best suited for are long-term work, jobs that don’t have level terrain to traverse on, muddy conditions, wind farm projects. You’re starting to see them more on universities, hospitals, areas that you can’t necessarily just drive a rubber-tired machine on to do.
So a couple of the things that customers should really take into consideration when they’re looking at crawler cranes for a project is obviously access and egress to get into the project. These are machines that you can’t just drive onto the project. They come in in scheduled loads, you know, to build.
Small crawler cranes such as 80-ton machines typically take three to four loads and you can move those fairly easy with the fleet that Maxim has, to where the 31000, which is the largest crane we own, takes roughly about 135 truckloads to move that machine to a project. So that becomes a very scheduled event.
The other thing would be the amount of time it takes to build a crawler crane and the actual ground conditions for the crawler crane to sit on.
So Maxim’s strategy to its crawler fleet is to always have the voice of the customer at heart. We try and make sure that we build our fleet around their needs because ultimately it’s about servicing the customer and helping them complete their project on time and under budget.