Articulating Cranes Lift Big in Small Spaces

By Andrew Baltazar, Associate Editor | September 28, 2010
Auto Crane articulating crane

Auto Crane designs its new line of articulating cranes with space limitations in mind. Equipped with multiple joints, the flexible boom makes the crane ideal for lifting in confined areas.

Introduced at Conexpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas last March, Auto Crane's line of articulating cranes joins the company's offerings of telescoping cranes and crane service bodies. The new product line — including 18 different models — is more flexible, more intuitive, and easier to control than other models, according to Auto Crane product manager Kyle Whiteis.

“The controls on each side of the crane are identical in their positioning,” Whiteis says. “What your right hand controls on the driver's side of the crane is what it controls on the passenger side. In some other models, hydraulic design dictates that the controls mirror each other, which can create confusion. That's not the case with these cranes.”

Designed to fit and maneuver within a variety of space limitations at construction and mining sites, the articulating cranes come in models with lift capacities from 31,800 to 332,700 foot-pounds. At maximum reach, the cranes can lift up to 1,990 pounds for the smallest model and 12,480 pounds for the largest.

“Articulating cranes are very popular overseas, where roads are often more narrow and operating space is limited,” Whiteis says. “The geometry of these cranes allows them to be used in more confined environments.”

Because of its lightweight and compact build, made possible by its use of high-tensile-strength steel which weighs less than traditional steel, the new crane enhances the payload capacity of the truck carrying the crane.

When used for demanding applications, the rack-and-pinion rotating system can provide high torque, and the bushings in the rotation system are made of advanced composite material, lengthening service life.

In addition to the cranes' compact and sturdy design, Auto Crane built in several safety mechanisms. The rotation cylinders, for example, are protected by a load holding valve and flow controls, which ensure safe and precise operation. Also, flanged load holding valves prevent erratic crane movements and falling loads by locking the hydraulic cylinders in place if the hose fails.

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Articulating-Crane Specifications
Model Max. Horizontal Reach Max. Vertical Reach Hydraulic Max.Capacity (lb.) Crane Weight(lb.)*
*Crane weight does not include outrigger
AC5-32 16' 25' 8” 4,260 1,420
AC6-46 17'10” 27'7” 5,800 1,984
AC7-55 18'1” 27'11” 6,327 2,028
AC8-59 18'1” 27'11” 6,970 2,249
AC10-69 19'6” 31' 9,480 2,380
AC11-72 19'6” 31' 9,700 2,400
AC15-101 20'2” 31'6” 12,240 3,240
AC20-142 20'5” 32'6” 19,840 4,240
AC24-155 20'8” 32'7” 19,970 4,880
AC33-226 19'6” 32'5” 25,800 6,720
AC36-234 19'6” 32'5” 26,685 6,720
AC46-312 26'1” 39'8” 31,750 8,800
AC50-332 26'1” 39'8” 32,510 8,890