Select says that the arrival of the pioneering crane marks the beginning of a planned fleet of battery-powered machines for the company.
Laing O’Rourke said it is not yet allowed to reveal the first site where its new crane will be working. HS2 Ltd has a tight reign on its suppliers that prevents them saying anything publicly about the project – it seeks to controls the release of all statements relating to any innovations or developments on its sites. Therefore, we should expect a statement from HS2 soon claiming credit for this innovation.
While battery-powered crawler cranes are not new – Japanese manufacturers Maeda and Unic, among others, have made them for years – there has been nothing of this size before. Other electric crawlers cranes typically lift a maximum of about three tonnes, and are designed for indoor fit-out or glazing applications. The LR 1250.1 Unplugged is a full 250-tonne rated crawler for heavy-duty construction site applications.
In so-called ‘socket operation’, the crane’s performance is identical to the diesel-powered version and in unplugged mode can operate for a full shift under normal operating conditions, Liebherr promises. Alternatively, the batteries supply sufficient energy for the erection of the main boom with luffing jib and travel over a distance of approximately 650 metres. The crane can operate fully when connected to a conventional electric supply or be recharged in 4.5 hours.
Select also runs electric concrete pumps, access platform, tower cranes and hoists. "With one of the largest fleets of crawler cranes in the UK, we have always sought to lead the industry by sourcing cranes with the latest technology engines,” said Alex Warrington, business unit leader. “We identified crawler cranes as an area of potential for electric machines and are proud to partner with Liebherr whose exciting product development has made this a reality.”