Largest Potain MDT Features Folding Jib and Counterjib

Introduced in January, Manitowoc’s largest Potain tower crane from its MDT product line was on display by the Manitowoc, Wis.-based company in Paris at Intermat this spring. The MDT 368 is available in two capacity versions. Since January, Manitowoc has also secured a patent for the folding jib design featured on this model.

“The first crane in the line was the MDT 178, launched at Intermat 2003. Customers immediately liked its dimensions, great lifting ability, [and] ease of assembly, dismantling and transportation,” explains Clay Thoreson, vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc’s tower cranes in North America. “These characteristics are featured in each new model that joins the line.”

The MDT 368 L12 is a 13.2-ton capacity machine with a maximum jib length of 246 feet and a maximum capacity at jib end of 3.5 tons. The 368 L16 has a maximum capacity of 17.6 tons, a jib length of 246 feet, and a capacity at jib end of 3.3 tons.

Jib and counterjib

The crane’s patented folding jib was designed to be a problem solver, and it has proven to be just that on cooling tower projects in the nuclear industry. The feature shines when it is time to dismantle the crane. For example, if the jib’s radius is greater than that of the cooling tower it cannot be “climbed down” without the jib coming into contact with the newly built structure. The folding jib is an industry first for topless cranes and could be incorporated on future MDT models.

Manitowoc also touts the crane’s counterjib section, which can be folded for transport. Because of the crane’s excellent outreach and strong lifting ability, it requires a 71-foot counterjib, which is too long for transport on a standard truck. However, design engineers met the challenge with ingenuity—a hinge allows for more compact transport.

“Manitowoc’s engineers knew that a two-piece solution for the counterjib would detract from the crane’s features and benefits. They began to look at alternatives and the innovative folding counterjib is the solution,” says Thoreson. “This makes assembly much easier and faster than if the counterjib is made up of several pieces that must either be assembled at ground level before being lifted into place or assembled in the air.”

Several configurations are available. Most of the crane’s jib sections are interchangeable with those used on MDT 268 and MDT 308 models. A choice of mast sections is available too, with the standard 6.5' x 6.5' or larger 8' x 8' K mast available.

Asked if customer input was a part of these new design enhancements, Thoreson says Manitowoc’s Voice of the Customer process is used in all new crane developments. The process involves getting detailed feedback on how cranes are moved, rigged, and used on the jobsite. It focuses on what customers require to get maximum productivity from a crane. “This information is then fed back to the product development team who use it to help engineer the best solution,” he says.

Maximum jib length on both the L12 and L16 versions of the MDT 368 is 246 feet. Maximum height-under-hook is 307 feet. For the L12, there is a choice of either the 75 LVF 30 Optima or the 100 LVF 30 Optima hoist, while for the L16 version there is a choice of either the 75 LVF 40 Optima or the 100 LVF 40 Optima. On the MDT 368 L16, there is also a new trolley that can reach speeds of 329 feet per minute with a 4-ton load.

While at Intermat, visitors also had an opportunity to see the company’s new CraneStar asset management system on the crane. CraneStar uses telematics to communicate data about the crane, such as its lifting history and hours, which can then be accessed by fleet managers from any online source.

To read this Crane Spotlight in its entirety, check out the July digital issue of Crane Hot Line.