The heavy-duty cranes used in mining are the toughest of the tough. These beasts carry the heaviest and most dangerous loads and are designed to withstand brutal conditions.
Cranes and hoists used in mining are working in conditions where constant vibrations and heavy-duty service can lead to premature wear and sudden failure. Their computerized components and hydraulics must be protected against heat, abrasive dust and corrosive moisture.
The specific needs of mining operations often call for crane customizations and modifications such as low headroom and spark- and corrosion-resistant construction. Mobile cranes must often be able to fit into and maneuver in tight spaces.
Two cranes, in particular, are often used in mining and extraction: rough terrain cranes and all-terrain cranes. Here, we’ll briefly look at both of them.
Rough Terrain Cranes
Rough terrain (RT) cranes are an excellent choice for mining operations. Their design is compact and rugged, and they’re able to work for long hours at a stretch. Modern RT cranes feature an ergonomic cab to minimize operator fatigue and controls that are intuitive and easy-to-use. Today’s RT cranes feature three steering modes, telescoping booms and a powershift transmission (six speeds forward and reverse) that can easily maneuver into hard-to-reach mining locations.
All Terrain Cranes
All-terrain cranes bring mobility and versatility to today’s mining operations. Combining the features of truck and rough terrain cranes, all terrain cranes can travel at high speeds on public roads and highways. On rough terrain job sites, they use all-wheel and crab steering to maneuver through tight spaces. They typically feature between 2-9 axles and can lift loads up to 1,200 metric tons. For example, the Grove GMK4100L all-terrain crane is a 100-ton capacity crane that offers a 60-meter "twin-lock” boom on a compact four-axle carrier.
Mining Crane Manufacturers
Many of the same names in the construction market are also entrenched in mining. Liebherr offers the broadest range of mining cranes, many with innovative telescopic systems and profile forms. Over the years, Liebherr became known for machines with longer and stronger booms, setting records for payload and lifting height. Another milestone was the Liebherr PowerBoom, a double lattice main boom that increased the load capacity of large crawler cranes by up to 50 percent.
As mentioned, Manitowoc rough-terrain cranes cater to the harsh demands of mining operations with its line of rough-terrain cranes. Their divisions include Grove mobile telescoping cranes, Manitowoc lattice boom crawler cranes, Potain tower cranes, National Crane boom trucks and Shuttlelift industrial cranes.
What about the biggest name in cranes? Terex and Demag cranes can still be found in modern mining operations. However, after acquiring mining equipment manufacturers and developing product lines in the 1980s and growing its mining business with the acquisitions of Payhauler and O&K Mining in the 1990s, Terex divested its mining equipment operations in 2010 and is officially no longer in the mining business.
How LC Crane Can Help
Do you work in mining and mineral processing? Do you supply cranes and other equipment to the mining industry? If you do, LC Crane has the expertise, training and experience to help. Every day we work with fleet managers in the mining sector to help them meet the unique challenges they face.
LC Crane can help you keep your cranes up and running at optimal productivity, even in the harshest conditions. We offer mobile crane repair programs, including proactive maintenance and unexpected last-minute parts and service. Our technicians can help you with equipment recommendations, upgrades and parts replacements.