Bocholt-based crane service provider Schares used a Demag AC 160-5 all-terrain crane to erect a tower crane. The machine was the perfect choice for the job, as its compact design enabled it to operate in a narrow access road and lift the loads without requiring any road closures.
Tight space conditions – it would be impossible to come up with a more fitting description for the work site that awaited the Schares team at the Adenauerallee Avenue in Bonn, right next to the bank of the Rhine. There, the team had to erect a tower crane inside a courtyard that could only be attained through a narrow access road. Moreover, this access road had to simultaneously serve as the work area for the mobile crane required for the erection. “A vehicle width of only 2.75 meters, combined with extraordinary maneuverability, made the Demag AC 160-5 the ideal choice for the project,” explains Eric Reichmann, who not only works as a sales manager at Schares but also planned this job. The factor that ultimately tipped the scales in favor of the Demag crane was its innovative IC-1 Plus control system.
The IC-1 Plus control system is designed to provide the crane’s maximum allowable lifting capacity, based on the slewing angle, for every crane configuration. The new control system no longer limits the maximum lifting capacity to a pre-calculated, 360° load chart which was based on the most unstable position of the crane. Instantaneous capacity calculations allow customers to take full advantage of the maximum lifting capacity available at any given slewing position for any crane configuration. This advantage is particularly useful when working with reduced outrigger settings and reduced counterweight. In fact, it enables the Demag AC 160-5 to perform jobs where higher capacity cranes are typically needed. This comes with an added benefit: for many applications, the IC-1 Plus control system not only uses the full potential of the crane’s lifting capacity but also creates the opportunity to use less counterweight as compared to the 360° lifting capacities. This results in reduced transport costs.
All these plus factors would prove to be invaluable at the work site in Bonn. “Thanks to the Demag AC 160-5 crane’s compact carrier, we were able to drive it into the narrow access road in reverse, position it in the narrow work area, and support it in such a way that it was able to operate with a swing radius of nine meters,” Eric Reichmann reports. For this purpose, it was set up with a partial counterweight of 32.6 tonnes and supported asymmetrically by three outriggers extended to different lengths: The rear outriggers were extended all the way to 7.50 meters (100 percent), the front left one to 5.30 meters (50 percent), and the front right one to 2.52 meters (0 percent), which was as far as they could go given the space available. Nevertheless, this allowed the crane to lift the loads, which weighed a maximum of 9 tonnes and had to be picked up from lowbed trailers placed right in front of the crane inside the access road, with radii of 9 to 29 meters and a maximum hook height of approximately 40 meters. For this purpose, the Demag AC 160-5 crane was set up with a boom length of 49.3 meters and three-part reeving. “Of course, we could have also done the job from farther away with our larger AC 350-6 and a luffing jib. However, that would have entailed significantly higher costs, and would have also required a full road closure and the corresponding permits,” Eric Reichmann reports. By using the Demag AC 160-5 crane, the team was able to avoid all that.
Advance planning with the Terex Lift Plan online planning tool
The Schares Engineering Team’s meticulous advance planning also played an important role in ensuring that the project would go smoothly. As part of their efforts, the team used the Terex Lift Plan online planning tool. They are still amazed at how easy it is to use the tool: “It allowed us to determine, in advance, that the crane is able and allowed to work according to EN 130000,” Eric Reicmann reports.
“A textbook job”
Thanks to this conscientious preparation, the Schares team was able to successfully complete the job in less than one and a half days. The previous evening, the Demag AC 160-5 crane, together with the counterweight truck carrying the 32.6-tonne counterweight and a BF 3 escort vehicle, arrived at the work site, where the three drivers set it up and got it ready to go in just one hour. The next day at 4 PM, the crane was disassembled just as quickly once the work was done. “As far as we’re concerned, this was a textbook job. Together with its IC-1 Plus control system, our Demag AC 160-5 crane proved that it can operate with asymmetrically extended outriggers in lifting capacity ranges that are normally the exclusive purview of larger cranes,” points out Terex Sales Manager Helge Prüfer, who was also on site representing the manufacturer. Eric Reichmann’s closing statement echoes the sentiment: “The AC 160-5 is a wonderful crane with an extremely wide range of applications – its dimensions enable it to work as a 100-tonne unit without a problem, and its long boom enables it to keep up with the 160-tonne class as well. Together with the IC-1 Plus, this makes the crane an extremely profitable machine.”