Liebherr, BlueSky Solutions Named Platinum Winners in 2013 Lift and Access LLEAP Awards

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Lift and Access has announced the new and innovative products that were Platinum Winners in its Leadership in Lifting Equipment and Aerial Platforms (LLEAP) competition for 2013. This year’s LLEAP competition is the seventh edition in the long-standing series. It honors products that were introduced or upgraded between April 1, 2011, and February 28, 2013. LLEAP recognizes products that are new, innovative, and improve the mobile access and lifting industries.


The LLEAP competition considers entries in five categories:

  • Aerial lifts: Self-propelled boom or scissor lifts, manually or self-propelled vertical lifts, specialty lifts, trailer- or truck-mounted aerials.
  • Material handlers: Rough-terrain telescopic or straight-mast forklifts.
  • Cranes: Rough-terrain, all-terrain, truck, telescopic boom crawlers, crawler cranes, boom trucks, and self-erecting cranes with capacities less than 150 tons.
  • OEM-Developed Features/Essential Components for OEMs: Features developed by an OEM for a new or existing aerial work platform, material handler, or crane.
  • Aftermarket Support Products or Services: Products and services developed and sold specifically for end users.


Sixteen judges evaluated the entries. The panel included six members from the staff of Maximum Capacity Media (MCM) staff, which publishes Lift and Access, Crane & Rigging Hot Line, Industrial Lift & Hoist, Lift & Hoist International, and Scaffold & Access. The panel also included 10 experts who work in various aspects of the lifting, access, rental, construction equipment, and safety industries.


The panelists used their expertise to judge each LLEAP entry, based on:


Innovation: Is this an innovative product?

Influence: Will this influence the market in a positive way?

Benefit: Will this product benefit the owner and/or operator?

Leadership: Is the manufacturer a leader in the industry?


The product with the top average score in each category earned a Gold Award. The entry with the second-highest average score earned a Silver Award. The remaining entries in each category were named Finalists. In addition, one machine (aerial lift, material handler, or crane) and one support product were selected as Platinum Award winners for best all-around innovation.


Here are the two LLEAP Platinum Winners for 2013.



Liebherr LT C 1045-3.1 Mobile Crane

The compact Liebherr LTC 1045-3.1 mobile crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 50 U.S. tons is a new three-axle addition to Liebherr’s range of all-terrain cranes. It offers the excellent driving characteristics of a classic all-terrain crane, while its compact design makes it the ideal lifting unit for operations in confined spaces, such as industrial buildings.

For road travel, the crane cab is moved forward to the front of the vehicle on a telescopic arm and secured in place mechanically. The position provides optimum viewing conditions for the driver. The entirely new concept of the movable cab has enabled Liebherr to solve the problem of restricted vision in city cranes. The view over the right side of the vehicle is not restricted either, because the bottom edge of the telescopic boom sits above the driver’s line of sight.

The turning radius over the stowed telescopic boom with 14.00 R25 tires is only 24'3". In particularly cramped conditions, the boom can be raised so that the carrier’s 19'3" turning circle is the only factor that needs to be considered.

The chassis is 29'2" long and can be reduced to 25'3" by removing the front stowage box. Even with 16-in. tires, the carrier’s overall width stays within 8'3", and its low overall height lets it travel easily through factory doors only 9'8" high.

The new LTC 1045-3.1 is an “all-in” crane. That means its 79,200-lb. gross weight and 26,400-lb. axle loading include the complete 14,300-lb. counterweight, the double swing-away jib, 16-in. tires, the Telma eddy current brake, the 6x6 drive, and a hook block.

The 50 U.S. tonner comes to a jobsite ready for immediate action. Hanging the hook block and setting up the outriggers is carried out conveniently and safely by remote control using the BTT-Bluetooth terminal, and the ZF automatic transmission with torque converter guarantees precisely controlled movement on site.

The compressed-air disk brakes, which Liebherr introduced on mobile cranes, reach even higher standards of safety and performance on the new LTC 1045-3.1. Compared to conventional drum brakes, they provide perceptibly better braking, even at high operating temperatures.

Another contribution to economy of performance is provided by the substantially longer service lives. Disk brakes also offer an advantage because their linings can be changed more rapidly and easily, and they are provided with wear indicators.

Speed-dependent, rear-axle steering makes the crane stable at high speeds and maneuverable at low speeds while also reducing tire wear. The LTC 1045-3.1 provides high lifting capacities over the entire operating range. The large dimensions of the telescoping ram and the optimized crane control enable the boom to be telescoped even with heavy loads—a major advantage when doing assembly work inside industrial plants.

With the 118-ft. long, five-section telescopic boom and the 27-ft. to 43-ft. double swing-away jib, the LTC 1045-3.1 can reach hook heights of 157'4" and radii of up to 115'0". Integrated into the swing-away jib is an erection jib that is 4'9" long and capable of being angled up to 60°. With the erection jib and an optional second winch, the LTC 1045-3.1 is ideally prepared for assembly work in even the most confined spaces.

Judges' Comments

  • Liebherr is the first recognizable company to use this cab design—very neat machine.
  • The epitome of innovation. Leave it to Liebherr!
  • Could be an overall winner.


Support Product

BlueSky SkySiren Anti-Crushing Device

As the cause of a significant number of deaths and injuries worldwide, crushing in the platform of a boom lift is a significant issue for the global access industry. Responding to this, BlueSky Solutions, an international leader in the development of safety innovations for AWPs, developed SkySiren as a pioneering, comprehensive, and retrofittable solution designed to significantly reduce that risk when used alongside appropriate operator training, site knowledge, risk-assessment skills, and equipment familiarization.

Based on previous instances of crushing in boom lifts, the SkySiren innovation has been designed to take effect when an object from behind or above pins the lift operator against the boom lift’s control panel.

In these situations, the two most likely causes of injury are the initial crush force, which can be considerable, or asphyxiation. In instances of trapping, where the initial crush force is not severe, an operator could be pinned between an overhead obstruction and the AWP control box, unable to breathe. In those cases, it is vital that the operator be freed quickly and first aid then administered. SkySiren is designed to provide this instant and alerting solution.

As a retrofit solution, SkySiren is different from many other anti-crushing systems in that it can be fitted to the vast majority of boom lifts already in service, rather than only being integrated into a lift during manufacturing. The ability to be retrofitted makes SkySiren an ideal solution for North America’s vast fleets of rental equipment. Being compatible with so many brands and ages of boom lift gives SkySiren the potential to help improve the safety of  the largest number of powered access users in the industry.

SkySiren is the first retrofit system that aims to prevent death or injury caused by crushing while simultaneously alerting coworkers to an incident with a flashing light and audible alarm.

The system is designed to be as unobstructive as possible. It works by reacting to sustained pressure on a rubber strip located between the operator and the AWP control panel. The pressure, which may indicate a trapped operator, is converted into a signal to stop the boom lift’s operation immediately, then sound an alarm and turn on a flashing light to alert coworkers and others in the area to the operator’s plight, so they can rescue him or her and administer first aid. In situations where SkySiren is activated but the machine operator can rescue himself or herself, a reset button located next to the control panel allows the aerial lift to return to normal operation.

The launch of a retrofit program in November 2011 prompted a major international contractor to mandate that anti-entrapment systems be used on all lifts working on its job sites. The safeguard has already been used on more than 30 jobsites across the United Kingdom. BlueSky Solutions is currently in discussion with distributors, equipment rental companies, and OEMs about using SkySiren in North America. Until volumes and distribution methods have been determined, it is difficult to establish exact pricing, but BlueSky Solutions currently expects it to be in the range of $42 to $84 per week.

Judges' Comments

  • Saves lives. What bigger impact could you have?
  • First retrofit system for anti-entrapment devices means well-protected operators on any AWP.
  • Flashing light and audible alarm that alert coworkers of trapped operator will help save lives.