Manitowoc 999 Reborn as MLC25 After Significant Updates and Upgrades – Video
The Manitowoc 999, regarded as the contractor’s choice in the 275-USt crawler class for over two decades, extends its reign to the next generation with the introduction of the new MLC250.
The new MLC250 includes significant updates while retaining the characteristics that have built the 999’s reputation in the infrastructure, refinery, and commercial building end markets. The improvements are designed to make operators and service technicians work more efficiently — and in greater comfort. Fleet owners benefit from the extra flexibility and cost savings offered by this crane as it shares parts with many of Manitowoc’s legacy and current models.
Key specifications largely remain unchanged, with the new MLC250 using the same #82 boom sections that provide a max boom length of 290 ft (88.4 m) and class-leading load charts.
One key change is the switch to open-loop hydraulics, versus the closed-loop system on the 999. Now, every main function (aside from swing) is powered by the same two main pumps, reducing parasitic load. With fewer pumps constantly requiring power, operators will see a more robust overall hydraulic performance, along with faster engine starting in cold weather.
That engine remains the durable Tier 4F Cummins QSL9 that offers one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class, now in a more efficient 340 hp @ 2100 RPM version that complies with EU Stage V regulations.
Several major changes have been made to the carbody. The carbody counterweights now double as part of the upper deck and serve as a more stable walking platform, replacing the 999’s walkways that pivoted over the counterweights. Taking inspiration from the MLC100 and MLC150, the new model features fabricated steel component enclosures with swing-open doors (rather than the fiberglass gullwing doors of its predecessor), which improves compartment access and mobility around the crane. The upper platform is easily reached via new steps mounted onto the undercarriage.
The crawler tracks are offered in standard 48-in shoe width and new optional 60-inch width for greater stability and reduced ground pressure. The crawler drive motor is relocated from the carbody to the tumbler to provide better performance.
Operators will appreciate the improvements in ergonomics with a wider standard cab with an optional 20° of hydraulic tilt. For more space, the MLC250 can be ordered with the Manitowoc Vision Cab™, which is also offered on MLC300 and MLC650 models.
With these cab updates, the legacy EPIC® system is replaced with the more user-friendly Manitowoc Crane Control System (CCS). The CCS features a full-color graphic display and dual-axis electronic joysticks that simplify the entire lifting process and is common with Manitowoc’s MLC range and Grove mobile hydraulic cranes.
“The Model 999 has been a firm favorite with contractors in the heavy construction and energy sectors for 20 years, providing enough reach and capacity to tackle virtually any job,” said Brennan Seeliger, product manager at Manitowoc Cranes. “Feedback received through our Voice of the Customer new product development process showed that users were still satisfied with its performance, but there were areas that could be enhanced to bring it in line with our newer crawlers. Following a wide range of updates, it seemed only logical to move the 999 into the MLC line-up, which shares many of those same features.”