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New crane attachment for wind turbines

Manitowoc has launched an attachment for its Model 16,000 crawler crane that boosts the crane’s capacity to place the latest generation of wind turbines.

The wind attachment uses existing hardware in a new configuration, and gives the crane enhanced lift ability when working at short radii, as is required in wind turbine erection.

Manitowoc 16,000 wind attachment project leader Kevin Blaney said customers would appreciate the familiarity when rigging the wind attachment.

“From an operational standpoint, customers are using the same components and processes they’re familiar with,” he said. “The wind industry has evolved and turbines have become larger. We’ve evolved our product to meet the changing needs of our customers.”

According to Manitowoc’s crawler cranes global product director Mike Wood, approximately 85% of the 16,000 cranes the company builds are used in wind power work.

In recent years, wind turbines with a 1.5 MW generating capability have been common in many markets, but there has been a shift to 2.5MW and larger turbines. Positioning these larger turbines requires cranes with greater capacity and reach.

The new attachment fits onto any 400t-rated standard Manitowoc 16,000. Lifting duties at shorter radii are the most improved and at a radius of 18m, the crane has a capacity advantage of 44% compared with a standard Manitowoc 16,000, allowing it to install most 2.5MW wind turbines − and several larger ones − on towers between 80m and 85m in height.

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