When Construction Equipment initially reported on the GTK1100 high-lift crane in the February 2007 issue, we quoted the Manitowoc Crane Group (MCG) as saying that the new crane was "launching a brand-new technology for the world's lifting industry" and that the "crane utilizes a new concept in lifting engineering." Recently, the GTK1100 made a series of inaugural lifts in Germany as it assembled a wind turbine. The five lifts, ranging in weight from 50 to 77 tons, included three tower sections, the turbine nacelle, and the three-rotor-blade assembly.
The GTK1100 uses a six-section, telescopic, vertical tower that extends to 251 feet, and at the top of the tower is an upperworks that incorporates the hoist drums and a five-section, telescopic, luffing boom that extends to 196 feet. Massive outriggers at the base of the crane are connected via pendants to four lattice-like spreader beams at the top of the tower, an arrangement that serves as "central ballast" for the crane. According to the MCG, the GTK1100 is capable of lifts exceeding 70 tons to heights of nearly 400 feet.