Technocrane Debuts BIGMAX Patent-Pending Hoist Mechanism

The new AO series BIGMAX articulated crane by Technocrane Inc., Surrey, British Columbia, is the first of three crane types featuring the manufacturer's POWERLIFT patent-pending hoist mechanism. It is scheduled for release in the first half of 2007.

Unlike a winch, which is externally mounted, the POWERLIFT is a cylinder-actuated hoisting mechanism that is completely built into the boom. Also unlike a winch, which has a reduced hoisting capacity and the speed is correspondingly increased with each additional wrap of cable, the POWERLIFT smoothly lifts its rated load at a constant speed with less stress on the hoisting cable.

Engineered with a built-in anti-two-block feature in the hoist, the BIGMAX crane offers the up-and-over advantages of a standard knuckleboom. In addition, because the crane can lift or lower a load straight up and down, it can position an object (over hold down bolts, for example) precisely.

"When I first showed the concept on paper to a number of crane experts, they all thought it was 'kinda clever and a good idea,'" says Todd Slobogean, Technocrane president and POWERLIFT inventor. "However, it was only when they got to see it work and operated it [that they] were quite fascinated. Actually, it was only then that they fully understood the concept."

The first production model of the AO 45 has been built and is waiting field testing. With a load moment of 32,300 foot-pounds (4.5 t/m), it has a maximum horizontal reach of 19.3 feet and a maximum lift capacity of 4,300 pounds. Maximum lift capacity at the tip will be 1,625 pounds. It will be officially unveiled at the ICUEE show in the fall, according to the manufacturer.

Two larger models are projected for the second half of 2007. Maximum load moment of the next larger model is expected to be 45,000 foot-pounds with a maximum horizontal reach of 21 feet and a maximum lift capacity of 6,200 pounds. With a maximum capacity of 58,000 foot-pounds, the largest model will have a horizontal reach up to 22.5 feet and a lift limit of 7,800 pounds.

With this crane, Technocrane plans to target municipalities, utility companies, construction, and transport companies, and any application where a versatile multi-purpose crane is required. Designed for use in typical knuckleboom applications, it is a fit for work sites "where knucklebooms cannot reach, such as low-overhead and below-ground applications, through windows and doorways where objects must be placed," says Slobogean.

Multiple industries will have need for this type of technology, he says, including water and sewer construction; sump pump installation and service; pre-cast products; residential; road construction and signs; and oilfield for applications such as pump-jack maintenance. Other markets include propane delivery and aquaculture. "As the 'inventor', I'm obviously partial to it, and quite excited about the POWERLIFT and its potential," adds Slobogean.

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