The new Tadano GTC-1800EX telescopic boom crawler crane

Unrivalled in its class: Tadano presents the new telescopic boom crawler crane in the 180-tonne capacity class

One could argue that the new Tadano GTC-1800EX telescopic boom crawler crane anticipated a development: developed and built in Zweibrücken, it made its concept debut at Bauma 2019. Now that Demag is part of the Tadano Group, the crane is being relaunched as the Tadano GTC-1800EX.

There are good reasons for including the telescopic boom crawler crane in the Tadano brand: Tadano has a long tradition with these products and a very strong line of telecrawlers. This makes the integration of the crane from Zweibrücken into the Tadano portfolio an ideal addition and consistent, from a technological point of view. The move is also a logical step in terms of corporate strategy: “Our goal is to become ‘One Tadano’. With the first telecrawler produced in Germany and branded by Tadano, this vision is now becoming a reality,” explains Ingo Nöske, Director Product Management, Crawler Cranes. He added that this will strengthen cooperation between German and American colleagues in the Tadano Group in the future. The group can take advantage of synergies and the “best of both worlds” can flow into the development of new products – as is the case with the GTC-1800EX telecrawler, which has the Demag IC-1 Plus control as well as the IC-1 Remote telematics system technology. “With the integration of the GTC-1800EX into the Tadano brand, we’re bringing the lone warrior into the family, so to speak,” says Nöske.

A flexible tool

The crane closes the gap between the 130 and 220-tonne capacity classes. The Tadano GTC-1800EX has an actual lifting capacity of 156 tonnes and a maximum load moment of 590 meter-tonnes, which makes this all-rounder an extremely versatile and flexible tool: it has a track width that can be adjusted as necessary in both symmetrical and asymmetrical configurations so that it can be used for applications in which space is at a premium, such as bridge construction projects. It is also perfect for doing construction work, where it is not only able to move and telescope components, but also luff down and retract the boom and then travel underneath roof structures to get to where it needs to be. In addition, the crane is also able to bring its strengths to bear as an assist crane, as well as when carrying out wind turbine pre-assembly work. And since the load charts for its 60-meter-long main boom are excellent even when lifting on inclines of up to 4°, its use requires less topographical ground preparation on-site than a lattice boom crawler crane. For example, it can lift a full 34 tonnes at a radius of twelve meters when working on an incline of 4° with the main boom at a length of 30 meters.

Four main boom extensions

With its main boom length of 60 meters, the GTC-1800EX already features the longest reach in its class, yet it can be increased further if necessary. Main boom extensions with lengths of 5, 11, 17, and 23 meters that can be mechanically and hydraulically offset are available, meaning that a maximum system length of up to 83 meters is possible. The five-meter extension can be folded onto the side of the main boom for transport to save space.

Manoeuvrable and powerful crawler drive

In addition to a large lifting capacity, the GTC-1800EX provides nearly the same manoeuvrability and ease of operation as an excavator with its travel pedals. Moreover, the fact that the joysticks can be used to control the tracks complements the machine’s convenient controls. Part of this is feasible thanks to the unit’s outstanding traction force and durable B9HD track components with bolt-on double grouser shoes or flat track shoes. This robust design, which features a powerful travel drive, provides the crane with a traction force of 1,450 kN – the highest of its class. This is even far higher than that of competitor models in the larger 220 tonne class and also allows the GTC-1800EX crane to turn on the spot under load, even with the narrowest track width. The crane’s gradeability is 50 percent, while its maximum travel speed is 2.3 km/h and its ground clearance is 420 millimetres.

Of particular note are the different track widths with three standard positions of 3.5, 4.75 and 6 meters, as well as the continuously variable track widths, which can also be used in an asymmetrical configuration. The tracks can be adjusted both when stopped and when traveling while the control system monitors the relevant parameters to ensure the crane remains within an allowable configuration. The machine is equipped with an intelligent control system based on the proven Demag control system IC-1 Plus. It automatically determines the permissible lifting capacity under consideration of a number of factors, including ground incline, slewing angle, and track adjustment.

A design optimized for transport

The transport width and height of the base crane are three meters each – making the GTC-1800EX an extraordinarily compact crane for its class. The heaviest transport unit weighs 47 tonnes. However, if necessary, this weight can be reduced to 42 tonnes by simply removing the extension beams used to adjust the track width. The two crawler units have a gross weight of approximately 18.5 tonnes each when equipped with one-meter track shoes; the two central ballast units weigh 7.5 tonnes each; and the counterweights, including the base plate, weigh 45 tonnes. The maximum operating weight of the crane is just under 150 tonnes.

Efficient setup

The engineers have attached enormous importance to safety and ergonomics when it comes to the crane’s setup. Since most assembly steps can be controlled with the remote control or from the cab, the rigger does not have to work in the danger zone.

In addition, most of the couplings are hydraulic quick-connect, which enables fast and efficient work. The GTC-1800EX crane is equipped with permanently installed outriggers including outrigger pads, which enable the base crane to be conveniently unloaded from a lowbed trailer.

In addition, the self-assembly operation of the GTC-1800EX includes the installation of two 7.5-tonne central counterweights that mount on the carrier, the crawler frames, the 45 tonnes upper counterweight stack on the superstructure and the second hoist.

Ergonomics at every turn

The accessibility concept of the GTC-1800EX is designed to enable comfortable and efficient work on the crane. This is the case during transport, setup, and operation – even when the tracks are being adjusted as the placement of the permanently installed grating platforms adjusts automatically. The crane can even be fuelled while on a lowbed trailer, and the cab can be easily accessed during setup in order to start the machine for self-assembly. Permanent ladders and ladder attachment points for the included loose ladder are located strategically around the crane for access to key components during all stages. The crane also features anchors for a personal fall protection system at the intended ladder support points.

Powerful and environmentally friendly engine

The GTC-1800-EX crane is driven by an MTU 6-cylinder engine with an output of 230 kW and a torque of 1,300 Nm. This engine complies with EU Stage V specifications, as well as with Tier 4 Final specifications for the US market. There are two operating modes that should be highlighted in particular: At a speed of 1,500 rpm, the diesel engine will run in an ECO mode that optimizes fuel consumption, while at a speed of 1,800 rpm, it will have a Power Boost function available. This provides a noticeable output increase and makes it possible to carry out simultaneous movements at high output or speed during crane operation.

The two hoists of the GTC-1800EX also offer a unique technological feature. The primary and auxiliary hoists are technically identical, with both featuring a 245-meter-long, 26-millimeter-thick, wire rope with a high line pull of 13.9 tonnes. The wire rope’s high line pull makes it possible to lift heavy loads with low reeving, saving time during setup and re-reeving.