Equipment Type

Grove GSK55 Hits the Highway

Manitowoc revived a long-gone crane form with the introduction of the Grove GSK55, which is basically a GMK3055 all-terrain-crane upper mounted on a specially designed on-road trailer chassis. Customers can use the road tractor of their choice to haul the 60-ton crane. “The GSK is a more affordable option for our customers that want Grove all-terrain performance from their cranes but do n...

August 01, 2009

Manitowoc revived a long-gone crane form with the introduction of the Grove GSK55, which is basically a GMK3055 all-terrain-crane upper mounted on a specially designed on-road trailer chassis. Customers can use the road tractor of their choice to haul the 60-ton crane.

“The GSK is a more affordable option for our customers that want Grove all-terrain performance from their cranes but do not necessarily need the off-road ability that the GMK range offers,” says Michael Preikschas, Manitowoc’s senior product manager for all-terrain cranes. The combined cost of a GSK55 and standard tractor to pull it is expected to be about 15 percent less than a 60-ton all-terrain crane.

The crane’s lifting specifications match the GMK3055, with 141 feet of main boom and swing-away jib options that extend maximum tip height to 190 feet. Outrigger footprint is virtually identical, and the working envelope of the cranes is the same. A 139.5-horsepower Iveco diesel powers the crane and outriggers.

The truck and trailer’s 45-foot coupled length is a bit longer than the GMK3055, but the articulated combination has a significantly smaller turning radius to help compensate for any loss of maneuverability on site.

Gross vehicle weight for the combination is less than 46 tons if the crane is counterweighted to 12.75 tons. Counterweight can be carried in three locations on the trailer. With two tractor axles and three axles on the trailer, loadings do not exceed 10 tons on any axle.

Towing the crane with a commercial tractor has advantages, not the least of which is highway speeds faster than typical all-terrain cranes. Not only is the overall acquisition cost of the crane and tractor lower than an AT, but the commercial tires are less expensive as well. Rebuilding axles and drive components is far less costly than rebuilding all-terrain running gear. And when the transport end of the combination is worn out, it can easily be replaced with another tractor.

Of course, the GSK55 is not an all-terrain crane. The only drive axles are those on the tractor, and it rides on on-road undercarriage. It will have to be dispatched to more developed sites.

“But when the customer has the choice to send this crane, the GSK55, or an all-terrain crane, it’s a good opportunity to save some money,” says Preikschas.

Some users may find value in being able to drop the crane in working position on a site and use the tractor for other tasks. In that case, however, the crane will be stationary until it can be hooked up and towed again. One potential downside: The transportable nature of trailers could make the GSK55 quite desirable targets for thieves.

Basic GSK55 Specs
Capacity 60 tons
Boom height 141 feet
Max. tip height 190 feet
Gross vehicle weight 46 tons


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