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“There’s nothing more on 4!”. That was the slogan when we launched our LTM 1120-4.1 mobile crane.
The most powerful mobile crane on four axles and equipped with the longest telescopic boom in this crane class, we started supplying the first of these newly developed machines to our partners all over the world at the end of 2020. Today, two years later, these superlatives still apply. And the fan base of this small Liebherr crane has reached an impressive size. We visited three of these powerful compact machines on various sites. And we listened to crane operators and dispatchers.
Whether it is setting up construction cranes in Europe or erecting mobile phone masts in the USA – more and more of these jobs are now being completed by our LTM 1120-4.1. And this is hardly surprising as the lightweight mobile crane, with its weight on the road of just 48 tonnes delivers more power than any other mobile crane on four axles. In addition, its impressive 66 metre length makes its telescopic boom the longest in this crane class. When fully raised, the highly flexible Liebherr crane delivers outstanding lifting capacity values and easily beats many 5-axle cranes in this respect.
One person who is extremely pleased with the overall concept of the LTM 1120-4.1 is Stefan Grosshaus. He is the Dispatch Manager at ADW Autodienst West Ganske GmbH in Maintal in the state of Hesse near Frankfurt am Main, part of the Hüffermann Group. We meet him on the bank of a small lake a few kilometres from the company’s headquarters. This was actually more down to chance because a couple of drivers were unavailable so the dispatcher had to get behind the wheel of a truck personally to drive the ballast required for his crane, which was scheduled to place an eleven tonne suction excavator into the water. Part of the access route was non-compacted and consisted of narrow field tracks. “Its off-road capability is just another reason why I find this crane so great”, says Grosshaus. “Its 8 x 6 drive and four individually steering axles mean that we can drive the vehicle over difficult terrain and over non-compacted ground. A five-axle crane would have been much more difficult to get here.”
Grosshaus regards the benefits relating to easier road licences due to the small number of axles and low weight of just 48 tonnes in road mode as another positive about his LTM 1120-4.1. “As it is a 4-axle vehicle, it has a permanent permit in all the areas that are important to us. The crane and its extreme lifting capacity due to its great ballasting actually enables us to do just about everything. In addition to erecting tower cranes, the machine has also proved to be very efficient and economical for structural steelwork. As a result of the length of its boom, it can serve a large radius from a single position so we do not have to continually move it. That saves a great deal of time, of course.”
An LTM 1120-4.1 operated by crane and heavy haulage contractor Wasel has a very special environment in which to prove its worth. The small Liebherr crane is often to be seen on the enormous site of the Hambach opencast mine, the largest lignite mine in Europe, located between Cologne and the Dutch border. “The important feature for us is the long boom on the LTM 1120-4.1”, says Christopher Neuhaus, Department Manager at Wasel. “That means that we often don’t have to attach an additional folding jib to carry out the repair and maintenance work on the large machinery and high system components”. Many of the roads on the desert-like site of the opencast mine are not asphalted and the crane vehicles have to overcome gradients of up to fifteen percent. “Our crane is also very impressive when driven off the road. We go up the mountains, we come down the mountains and we always get to where we are needed.”
There are now approx. 300 of our four-axle power pack on building sites throughout the world. Hüffermann Krandienst GmbH, based in Wildeshausen in Lower Saxony alone has three LTM 1120-4.1 cranes in its impressive crane fleet. Because Hüffermann is also an important Liebherr partner in the construction crane rental sector, the erection and dismantling of top-slewing cranes is also very much part of the everyday life of this mobile crane. “We can erect construction cranes with hook heights of up to 50 metres easily using the 120 tonner”, says Christoph Riess, Tower Cranes Department Manager at Hüffermann.
You can drive it almost anywhere.
Paul Rifert has been operating one of his employer’s LTM 1120-4.1 cranes since March 2020. We arranged to meet the experienced crane operator at an enormous construction site in Bremen, where he has travelled to erect a construction crane. He must erect a Liebherr 172 EC-B flat-top crane with an overall height of around 45 metres. A matter of a few hours for Rifert, his nimble crane and the experienced team from Hüffermann. The heaviest parts are the turntable and the enormous 43 metre main boom of the construction crane which must be pre-assembled on the ground. Paul Rifert’s task is to position gross loads of up to nine tonnes precisely at a great height following the instructions issued by the engineers. Not a problem for the experienced operator and his sensitive crane control.
In addition to erecting construction cranes, Rifert and his mobile crane can often be found in refineries, where there is very little space available. But Rifert has found that between the petrochemical plants he and his LTM 1120-4.1 are very flexible. “The enormous boom length means I hardly ever need to attach a jib to the boom. And as a result of the machine’s compact design, I can get it almost anywhere. And VarioBase® as well as VarioBallast® are also extremely useful in tightly packed chemical plants. As far as I am concerned, the crane is simply fantastic!”
This article was published in the UpLoad magazine 01 | 2023.