Manitowoc has introduced a new attachment for the company’s Model 16000 crawler crane designed to boost the crane’s capacity to place the latest generation of wind turbines. The Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment, which uses existing hardware in a new configuration, was engineered to give the crane significantly enhanced lift ability when working at short radii, as is generally required in wind turbine erection. “Since the Manitowoc 16000 launched four years ago, it has become one of the leading cranes for wind turbine erection in the U.S.,” said Mike Wood, global product director for the Manitowoc, Wis., company’s crawler cranes. “Approximately 85 percent of the Manitowoc 16000 cranes we build are used in wind power work. The cranes are quick and easy to erect and disassemble and are equally easy to transport.”
By not requiring any modifications to the base crane, Manitowoc made it simple for customers to take advantage of the new attachment. “From an operational standpoint, customers are using the same components and processes they’re familiar with,” said Kevin Blaney, project leader on the development of the wind attachment. “The wind industry has evolved and turbines have become larger. We’ve evolved our product to meet the changing needs of our customers.”
In recent years, wind turbines with a 1.5-MW generating capability have been common in many markets, including North America. More recently, there is a shift to 2.5-MW and larger turbines as wind farm operators maximize the power generating productivity of their land. Positioning these larger turbines requires cranes with greater capacity and reach, which is what the wind attachment was designed to offer.
The attachment, which not use longer fixed or luffing jibs, fits to any 440-ton rated standard Manitowoc 16000. Lifting duties at shorter radii are the most improved, and at 60 feet the crane has a capacity advantage of 44 percent compared with a standard Manitowoc 16000, according to the company. This allows it to install most 2.5-MW wind turbines (and several larger ones) on towers between 262 feet and 279 feet.
Aside from the wind attachment, the Model 16000 offers superior line pull—35,000 pounds—especially useful for wind turbine installation. Blaney said this powerful line pull was particularly well-liked in wind turbine applications. “In wind farm assembly, our customers like the power and speed they get,” he said. “It means they get their components in the air and assembled faster with the reassurance of Manitowoc’s strength. It’s simply more productive.”