Scotland’s first 700t capacity Liebherr mobile crane
Currently marking 75 years in business, Edinburgh based, Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes has taken delivery of Scotland’s first 700t capacity Liebherr mobile crane. The eight axle LTM 1650-8.1 model is only the second of its type to enter service in the UK. The new Liebherr will replace the company’s 500t, LTM 1500-8.1, which has delivered sterling service throughout the last decade.
“The new Liebherr LTM 1650-8.1 puts our business into a different league as a supplier of heavy lifting solutions,” enthuses Mark Rafferty, Managing Director at Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes. “The variety of applications it will suit is incredible. Some of our customers are already starting to plan work for the 700 tonner,” Mark adds.
Tipping the scales at 105t in basic road trim, the LTM 1650-8.1 is powered by a 700hp, eight-cylinder Liebherr engine that drives a ZF 12 speed automated gearbox. All eight axles on the chassis are steerable, whilst axle numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 are driven. All the planetary driven wheel sets come with either transverse or longitudinal differential locks. The 700 tonner is kitted out with both 50m and 80m booms, a Y-guide boom system for additional capacity, a lattice boom-type fixed jib of 62m and hydraulic actuation of the lattice boom. A hydraulic variable radius counterweight system is included as standard, allowing the operator to extend or retract the counterweights using hydraulic cylinders. Benefitting from Liebherr’s revolutionary VarioBase system controlling the outrigger spreads, the single-engine unit, LTM 1650-8.1 carries its 50m boom, Y-guide and rear outriggers while remaining below the 16-tonne axle spread.
First unveiled at the 2019 Bauma Trade Fair, Bernard Hunter’s Jim and Mark Rafferty were present at the event to order the 700 tonner immediately after its launch. “We’d been waiting for the updated model with great anticipation, as our 500t LTM 1500-8.1 was the last Liebherr crane model due for a refresh. We had no hesitation in ordering the new LTM 1650-8.1 and planned a two-year lead time to permit us a straightforward integration into the fleet. That timescale also guaranteed no interruption to our customer service schedules,” Mark reports.
Only the second of its type to enter service in the UK.
Representing the Edinburgh crane hire firm’s largest investment since its founding in 1946, the flagship 700 tonne, LTM 1650-8.1 joins a fleet of Liebherr cranes at Bernard Hunter’s Gilmerton base. This specialised fleet has a range of lifting capacities from 40 tonnes upwards. The company also operates Spierings mobile tower cranes and a Böcker truck crane, in addition to several traditional lorry mounted Hiabs on four, three and two axle rigid chassis. Mini crawler and mini spider cranes round off the more compact end of operations here, alongside a Böcker Junior inclined lift device. “The new 700 tonne Liebherr is a major milestone for our business and will keep us at the forefront of mobile crane operations,” Mark concludes.
Continuing to invest in and receive new equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic, with five new cranes delivered between March 2020 and May 2021, proved a major challenge for Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes. The owning Rafferty family’s commitment and drive for continual improvement made this decision easier. In operations, both the firm’s customer base and personnel will benefit from the new products.
The LTM 1650-8.1 carries its 50m boom, Y-guide and rear outriggers while remaining below the 16-tonne axle spread
Source Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes, Edinburgh, Scotland