Manitowoc Launches Powerful Six-Axle AT at Bauma


The GMK6400 from Manitowoc, Manitowoc, Wis., which launched at Bauma, is the world’s most powerful six-axle all-terrain crane, according to the company. The crane has a 450-ton maximum capacity. Neil Hollingshead, Manitowoc’s global product director for all-terrain cranes and rough-terrain cranes, said the company wanted to build the strongest possible crane without compromising usability.

“We’ve concentrated on all aspects of owning and operating cranes, particularly the issues our customers care about, including fuel efficiency, versatility, reach and productivity,” said Hollingshead. “Above all, we focused on strength. Customer feedback told us not to compromise the load chart for a few extra meters of boom. We followed that advice, and when customers see the charts, there are clear advantages over other cranes in this class. This crane is a new design and we believe it sets new standards in heavy lifting for six-axle all-terrain cranes.”

One prominent feature on the GMK6400, which will be branded as the GMK6450 for sale in the U.S., is the Mega Wing Lift capacity-enhancing attachment, designed to help give the crane its superior lift duties by providing extra support to the boom. It also has a patented self-rigging system that mounts on the chassis and connects to the boom. When the boom is in the working position, the Mega Wing Lift extends laterally to stiffen the boom, allowing it to lift greater loads.

With its Mega Wing Lift extended, the GMK6400 offers significant lift capabilities. Strong load charts made customers demand the 450-ton rating. The Mega Wing Lift weighs approximately 11.2 tons, and can be transported on a single trailer. Its transport height is approximately 8 feet.

There are additional innovations, especially in travel. The GMK6400 has a hybrid drive system for travel at lower speeds and is the only crane in this capacity class with this feature. This system, called MegaDrive, is lighter than typical drive systems. It allowed Manitowoc engineers to make other components in the crane more robust while maintaining the same vehicle weight.

MegaDrive also gives better traction on poor surfaces for easier on-site maneuver, especially when combined with Grove’s Megatrak independent suspension system. In also gives the crane more efficient fuel consumption, a lower center of gravity and longer lasting parts. MegaDrive powers the crane when it is accelerating to speeds of approximately 20 km/h, and then conventional drive takes over. MegaDrive activates when decelerating below a similar speed and provides smooth acceleration from standstill and automatic retardation at slower speeds.

Hollingshead said the crane has only one engine, reducing weight and providing better fuel economy.

“Our engineers discovered that smaller engines, which are typically used to power lift operations in the superstructure, use more fuel when they operate at the higher RPM needed for actions like slewing, telescoping and luffing,” he said. “Using a larger, single engine operating at lower RPM, as featured on the GMK6400, is actually more fuel efficient.”

The GMK6400 has a Mercedes OM 502 Tier 4i (Euromot IIIB) eight-cylinder engine that produces 405 kW at 1,800 rpm, powering a ZF AS Tronic 12 transmission. For when the crane is idling, Manitowoc has included an auxiliary power pack to most efficiently run functions such as electrics, the heater or air conditioning.

Main boom on the new crane is 197 feet, and it has the latest design of Grove’s Megaform shaping with a more rounded top half, again for better strength to weight ratios. Luffing jib length will be approximately 259 feet. Like the GMK6300L (the other new six-axle Grove mobile crane), the GMK6400 has the new carrier cab. Steer-by-wire in the carrier provides better control and space utilization.

Grove’s ECOS control system and EKS 5 load monitoring program are included as standard, and the operator’s cab can tilt to 20 degrees. Maximum line pull is 125 kN, and 1247 feet of 1-inch wire rope is provided on the main drum. Five outrigger positions are available to give operators maximum flexibility when positioning the crane on site.