Zoomlion has produced its first spider lift, the 27 metre twin telescopic boom ZX27AE with lithium ion battery power.
The company announced the new model in China around four months ago and has now delivered its first units. The new machine has a three section lower telescopic boom, with an over centre linkage to a three section top boom and articulating jib. Maximum outreach is 14.2 metres at an up & over height of 12.7 metres with 120kg in the platform, while the unrestricted platform capacity is 230kg.
Overall stowed width is 890mm, with an overall length of 5.7 metres with the platform removed and an overall height of just over two metres, the widest outrigger spread configuration is 4.48 metres, while auto level is standard. Total weight is 4,650kg.
The first unit went to work at the Jiangxi Railway station in Jiangxi between Shanghai and Hong Kong. The video clip shows the machine in operation.
Zoomlion’s first spider lift looks pretty handy and well designed, but from what we have seen its something of a ‘Me Too’ product. Spider lifts do not tend to be purchased on price alone, and volumes for this size and type of machine are insignificant in China or developing markets, so one wonders where it will sell in anything more than a few units?
Chinese manufacturers have struggled with spider lifts - as have major western manufacturers. They certainly have some decent potential in China and elsewhere, but there is no escaping the fact that it remains a relatively niche product and not at all practical for the type of mass production that Chinese manufacturers have excelled at in recent years. As a result, they have little to no advantage over the well-entrenched and highly experienced Italian manufacturers.
Sinoboom has discovered this and intelligently switched to badging Falcon machines made in Denmark. Dingli built its first spider lift several years ago and has not been particularly successful with it. It is unlikely to prove a runaway success for Zoomlion until domestic volumes improve, this is more of an attitude that the two big Chinese companies still have of thinking that they need to make every type of equipment from excavators to cranes, to telehandlers and every type of aerial lift - that strategy simply does not work in specialist markets. The question is how long will it take to recognise that fact?