Liebherr says that the LR 1200.1 Unplugged and LR 1250.1 Unplugged have exactly the same performance specification and load chart as the diesel powered versions of the same machine. They have a maximum rated lifting capacity of 200 and 250 tonnes respectively. The only difference is that they are driven by electric engines with a system performance of 255 kW.
Laing O’Rourke’s plant division, Select Plant, has already orderd an LR 1250.1 Unplugged (called LR 1250e by Select). Delivery is expected in February or March. It will be the first of this series in the UK and only the second in the world.
The cranes can be recharged on a conventional jobsite electric supply (32 A, 63 A) in four and a half hours and optionally with 125 A in two hours 15 minutes. The capacity of the battery is designed for four hours of lifting operation. In accordance with their name, the cranes can be operated without a power cable, thus “unplugged” thanks to the battery-electric drive design.
There are several electric powered mini crawler cranes on the market, from manufacturers such as Unic, Jekko and Meada, but these can only lift up to three or five tonnes. Nothing of this size, and nothing with a lattice boom, has been available in battery power before.
The LR 1200.1 Unplugged and LR 1250.1 Unplugged are produce in Austria by Liebherr-Werk Nenzing, which also makes a battery-powered drilling rig.
“Especially the year 2020 has shown that one must be open-minded and bold to break new ground. With our unplugged cranes we offer our customers an alternative drive design. As we have already seen with the LB 16 Unplugged, the first battery-powered drilling rig, the strategy is a complete success. Strict requirements regarding environmental sustainability in tenders for construction projects increase the demand for advanced technologies. For us, it was clear that we extend and successfully establish the design in further product groups,” says Gerhard Frainer, managing director for sales at Liebherr-Werk Nenzing.
Such is the interest in Liebherr’s latest innovation, the video below had had more than 25,000 views in its first 14 hours.
Nick Hooper, product leader at Select Plant Hire, said: “By modernising our fleet, we are able to ensure that our equipment performs to a high standard environmentally whilst maintaining high levels of productivity. There really is a drive to modernise the construction industry and we’re taking all the possible steps we can in order to support our customers in delivering the UK’s key infrastructure projects. In the coming months, we are looking to get as much feedback as possible from our operators and clients about the new fleet, so that we can ensure that it is performing as expected."