Ehingen / Donau (Germany) March 2018 – The Ingolstadt site of crane contractor BKL Baukran Logistik has had a new Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1 mobile crane since February. The first job for the brand-new eight-axle crane, the dismantling of a 75 metre construction crane, was perfect for it. The 85 metre telescopic boom on the LTM 1450-8.1 meant that no extra equipment was required for this job. After a set-up time of less than two hours during the night, the team from BKL Ingolstadt was able to start dismantling the top-slewing crane in the morning.
In autumn 2016, BKL sent its LTM 1500-8.1 to the site to assemble a Liebherr 280 EC-H construction crane, with the new 450-tonne mobile crane now doing the dismantling work. “Having the new LTM 1450-8.1 in our fleet gives us even greater flexibility in ensuring that we provide the perfect crane for our customers’ projects. This is because for jobs like this where the full capacity of the LTM 1500-8.1 is not required, we can safe set-up time, trucks and we don’t need an auxiliary crane,” explains Rainer Speich, BKL Site Manager in Ingolstadt. Previously, the 500-tonne crane had to be set up for the work with a 35-metre fixed jib and parts of the road around Ingolstadt’s North Railway Station were cordoned off.
Flexibility is the key
This job can now be completed at even lower cost with the LTM 1450-8.1. According to Speich, the 85-metre telescopic boom on the LTM 1450-8.1 was not the only reason behind the purchase of this crane model for the BKL crane fleet. “The VarioBase® variable support base, the VarioBallast® ballasting system and the long, very strong main boom mean that the crane is incredibly flexible to use”, explains Speich. “We can get it into narrow alleys where previously the best we could offer was a 200-tonne crane.” That is a great benefit, not only for assembling BKL’s own tower cranes, but also for all hoists and assembly work.
In addition to the ballast radius which can be adjusted variably under load between five and seven metres, the ballasting system on the LTM 1450-8.1 has another new feature. For the first time, the crane can also be ballasted at the rear. To make this possible, the crane places the base plate for the ballast on an adapter plate at the rear end of the superstructure. This is a massive benefit if, for example, the front of the crane has to be placed under an obstacle such as a tree or a railing or the ballast blocks cannot be swung past the side of the crane due to a lack of space.
Based at BKL’s head office in Munich, Rainer Speich and his team started to establish the site in Ingolstadt three years ago. Today, BKL Ingolstadt is a major crane contractor in the region with twelve mobile cranes and one mobile construction crane based there permanently, and has many well-known companies from the industrial and construction sectors among its customers. The LTM 1450-8.1 is now the flagship of the impressive fleet in Ingolstadt, which is exclusively made up of Liebherr cranes, and forms part of BKL’s national fleet in Germany which comprises over 60 mobile cranes with lifting capacities between 30 and 500 tonnes, eight mobile construction cranes up to 140 metre-tonnes and over 400 construction cranes from 13 to 750 metre-tonnes. In his extremely positive assessment of the new crane, Speich also mentions another feature which he regards as a very important one: As a result of the increasing number of road bridges which can only support a restricted load and the resultant reduction in axle loads, the fact that the mobile crane can be reduced to an axle load of 10 tonnes is increasingly important. To achieve this, the telescopic boom must be partly removed and the two rear outriggers taken off the crane. “Although that takes around two hours, if the alternative is a major diversion, it can certainly be worthwhile.”
The LTM 1450-8.1, which in some features get very close to the lifting capacity of a 500-tonne crane, certainly completed its debut job in Donaustadt with flying colours. The telescopic boom extended to its full length suffered hardly any visible bending when the load was attached to it. The final summary of the man who will be the regular driver of the crane in the future left no room for doubt: “It’s just a fantastic machine.”