Rough Terrain Cranes: First to the Job

Rough Terrain Cranes: First to the Job
2/15/2018 1:51:03 PM

As the name indicates, rough terrain cranes are used to navigate rough ground and unimproved job sites. They can also maneuver easily through confined areas with tight clearance, making them great for petrochemical facilities where there might be too much equipment in the way for less nimble machines.

Also known as "RT" cranes or "off-road" cranes, they typically have a hydraulic boom, four tires and two axles. Larger RT cranes have replaced the smaller crawler crane as the off-road crane of choice. Most have four-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, increasing maneuverability for off-road operations.Typical capacity ranges from 30 to 130 tons, with boom lengths between 80 and 140 feet.

The steel used to make these cranes can withstand extreme temperatures, while the axles and superstructures can handle mud, snow and rocky surfaces. Cabins can also be fitted to include heating and air conditioning so that operators can settle in for a long shift.Add to their flexibility, their durable construction and low cost of ownership, and it’s easy to see how rough terrain cranes are a natural choice for day-in-and-day-out lifting.

Because rough-terrain cranes mainly operate on unimproved job sites, operators have to be careful to prevent tip-over accidents. Stability problems are generally the result of an operator failing to review the load chart adequately.

Let’s take a look at the "new generation” of rough-terrain cranes making headlines in the construction world.

The Link-Belt 75|RT

The newest rough terrain crane from U.S. manufacturer Link-Belt is the 75|RT, launched at ConExpo (North America’s largest construction trade show representing asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and more). With a U.S. 75-ton capacity and a 142-foot full power boom, it gives the user remarkable control, reliability and capacity.

The 75|RT has an operator cab that offers 20 percent greater visibility than previous versions, thanks to the use of extra-large windows. Visibility is further aided with a full LED lighting package and three on board cameras, plus the cab can tilt up to 20 degrees.

Smith Erectors' Link-Belt

Smith Erectors’ Link-Belt
75|RT (courtesy of

The Manitowoc GRT8100 and GRT880

U.S. manufacturer Manitowoc’s latest rough terrain models are the GRT8100 and GRT880 (the ‘G’ stands for Grove), with capacities of 100 and 80 US tons, respectively. They share the same carrier structure and hydraulic components but have different booms.

The GRT8100 has a five-section, 39.2 to 154.3-foot Megaform boom with three modes of telescopic extension. The GRT880 has a four-section, 41.2 to 134.7-foot full power boom.

The GRT8100 was designed to replace and improve upon the 90-ton RT890, while the GRT880 replaced the 2008 RT880. Longer booms have become much sought-after in most of the applications the RT890 is used in, as has the increased the tonnage.

The Manitowoc GRT8100

The Manitowoc GRT8100 

The TadanoGR-1200XL

Here’s another beast introduced at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017. The Tadano America 120-ton-capacity GR1200XL rough-terrain crane features a 183'7", six-section formed boom complemented with a 33'2" to 58'1" jib. Itsits on a compact two-axle carrier.

The crane features Tadano’s Load Moment Indicator (AML-C) with full onboard diagnostics, a Cummins QSB6.7 direct injection engine (Tier-4-compliant, of course), Tadano- manufactured hoist and telescopic cylinders, and added safety features like multiple tie-off points and safe access and egress points.

Tadano’s GR Series of RT cranes includes seven models, ranging from 15 to 160 tons. The new crane fills the gap between the GR1000XL and GR1600XL models. 
The Tadano GR-1200XL


The Tadano GR-1200XL

Rough terrain cranes are expensive machines, but fleet managers can keep long-term costs down by properly maintaining and repairing them.Here at LC Crane Parts and Service, we manufacture a wide range of RT crane parts and stock high-usage "off-the-shelf" parts. If the parts are not inventoried, we can make new pieces in our manufacturing facility, and we can quickly deliver them anywhere in the world.
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