Tadano has announced the RT models for its re-entry into the European Rough Terrain crane market as laid out in its strategic update last week - see: Tadano sets out strategies.
The company will kick off with three two axle models in the form of the new 70 tonne Tadano GR-700EX-4, 90 tonne GR-900EX-4 and 100 tonne GR-1000EX-4. All of which use the same basic drive train and control features. These units are also available in the Middle East and Asia Pacific/Oceania regions.
The GR-700EX-4 is rated at three metres and features a five section 47 metre rounded profile main boom which utilises two telescope cylinders, one which extends section two – the first telescopic section – while the other three sections are fully synchronised with ropes and sheaves. The boom is topped by a 10.1 to 17.7 metre bi-fold swingaway extension which offsets by up to 45 degrees and offers a maximum tip height of just under 68 metres. The crane has 4.35 tonne integrated counterweight.
The GR-900EX-4 has the same 47 metre boom and extension as the 700 but features a 9.1 tonne two position ‘Smart Counterweight’ that can be easily removed or installed by the crane itself. Ir can also be extended rearwards by dropping in onto a chassis mount frame lifting it to the rear position on the frame and slewing round and reinstalling it. The 900EX can handle one tonne at a radius of 40 metres with the counterweight in the forward position and 1.2 tonnes in the rear or extended position.
The GR-1000EX-4 has a 51 metre five section boom with the same twin mode telescope system as the other two and can telescope from fully retracted to fully extended in 170 seconds. It also features the two position Smart Counterweight system but with 11.2 tonnes, which increases the capacity at a 42 metre radius from 900kg to 1.1 tonnes. Dimensionally the 100 tonner has an overall height of just under 3.8 metres, an overall width of 3.35 metres and an overall length of just under 15.2 metres.
All models are equipped with Tadano’s ‘Smart Chart’ control system with asymmetric outrigger set up and automatic monitoring. They offer four standard footprint positions - fully retracted, two mid extension positions and full extension - which, the company says, extends the working area from a standard circular cone to a square pyramid.
The standard Tadano ‘View System’ combines cameras and sonar to improve the operator’s view, with the right front and rear view cameras also helping improve visibility while driving. The winch drum monitoring camera provides a clear view of the cable, while the integrated ‘Clearance Sonar’ detects obstacles behind the crane, providing audible and visual alerts when an object is detected.
The camera feeds are displayed on a new larger 10.4 inch/264mm multi function touchscreen, which can also display load charts, crane configuration and operating settings. The Clearance Sonar alerts are shown on a dedicated display which sits on top of the main screen. The pressure sensitive screen allows operators to quickly navigate through menus and change settings, even while wearing gloves. A reconfigured instrument panel puts all controls within easy reach and is lower to improve forward visibility. Tadano’s Hello-Net telematics is standard with mobile connectivity.
The tilt cab has also been re-designed with a new three step, angled extension ladder and door design that aligns with the steps. A new catwalk on the cab permits entry from any slewing position, while an improved heating and ventilation system has been installed. Longer wiper blades on the windscreen and skylight help to improve visibility in rain or snow.
Moving to the carrier, the Stage V compliant engine is coupled with a fully automatic electronically controlled, transmission with six forward speeds - three high and three low - and two reverse speeds. The axle/suspension arrangement is classic American/international specification, with a fixed front and oscillating rear axle with non spin differential. Maximum travel speed is 18kph.
A new pump disconnect feature automatically stops the crane’s hydraulic pump after the engine has idled for a pre-set period, helping reduce fuel consumption. A standard Fuel Monitoring System, Eco-Mode and Positive Control are said to further improve fuel consumption, while also reducing CO2 emissions and noise.
These three cranes ought to do really well in Europe, although the market remains limited, with the greater volumes found in the Middle East where these three units have also been launched. They will sell well as long as the price is reasonably competitive with the simpler cheaper models that are widely distributed in the region.
The company appears to have developed a product that can be summed up as sophisticated simplicity. It offers all the bells and whistles you could wish for in an RT, but does not appear to be quite as complex as some of its Japanese market products. As such it will appeal to a great many buyers.