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We can only be satisfied when our customers are satisfied too.
In 1949, Hans Liebherr presented his first mobile tower crane at the Frankfurt Autumn Fair in Germany – but the presentation was quite a disappointment for the company founder. “After the fair, I could have actually stopped my crane production,” he commented. Instead of giving up, Hans Liebherr fought his way through, and thanks to his determination and entrepreneurship, turned what was then still a small construction company into a leading global manufacturer that helped shape technological progress in many industries. All his perseverance has paid off. At the first Bauma in 1954 in Munich (Germany), Liebherr was able to exhibit numerous other machines, including one of Europe’s first hydraulic excavators as well as a a wide range of construction and truck-mounted cranes. With his down-to-earth manner, Hans Liebherr always took great interest in the needs of his customers. We have upheld this principle to this day, and will continue to embody it in the future, in line with the motto of our company founder:
A journey through the years at Conexpo Before Conexpo: Liebherr coming to America
After twenty successful years in Europe, Liebherr expanded to the North American continent. In 1970, Liebherr-America Inc. was founded to be closer to customers and provide the level of service consistent with Liebherr’s core values. Liebherr-America started supplying the North American market with crawler excavators, material handlers and tower cranes, with more products to follow as it started to grow to the size we know today.
Conexpo got its start in the early 20th century. Originally called the Road Show, it was held in a variety of large cities across the country, including Columbus, Detroit, and Chicago before finding its home in Las Vegas in 1996. There it officially became the largest exposition held in the Western Hemisphere. Various organizations sponsored and hosted the show throughout the years, eventually forming the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) with Liebherr becoming a member in 1992.
1981 was one of Liebherr’s earliest Conexpo shows, unveiling the second-generation of hydraulic excavators, including the R 942, that featured their new “Hydra-Force” system. This was a complete redesign that allowed operators to always use 100 percent of the engine’s horsepower. The second generation lineup consisted of seven new excavators, which were introduced slowly leading up to the show, with the R 942 being one of the first released to the public.
This was Liebherr’s first step towards standardization of its product lines worldwide, featuring not just an improved hydraulic system, but also a high lift circuit and mono-block gooseneck boom that allowed for an increased lift capacity of 25 to 30 %. Other features included a reinforced, all-welded undercarriage and several new safety features in the redesigned cab. Details and features like these come standard today and were some of the earliest in their time, illustrating that Liebherr has always put safety and quality first.
By 2002, Conexpo had become very similar to what we see today: taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the second largest tradeshow worldwide. With this larger scale came more impressive machines, and Liebherr’s newest line of tower cranes were no different. The TT crane model introduced a novel functional principle to the fast-erecting cranes sector – the telescopic jib. This allowed the crane to vary the horizontal outreach of the machine while under load. The line consisted of three different models, including the 32 TT, all offering maximum operating flexibility. Various jib lengths, hook heights, and jib angles gave an ideal crane configuration for any task. It was the only telescopic tower crane that could continue operation immediately, as soon as the desired hook height was reached, distinguishing Liebherr from competitors and making it a spectacle at Conexpo.
Today, Liebherr comes with a whole arsenal of new products and technologies across various product segments to highlight at Conexpo, including energy efficient options like the LR 1700-1.0 crawler crane, the zero-emission battery powered drilling rig LB 30 unplugged, and a range of digital solutions and assistance systems to enable customer success in the construction and earthmoving sector as well as in the material handling industry.
The LR 1700 1.0 crawler crane incorporates many of Liebherr’s crawler crane developments and technical innovations. This crawler crane is specifically designed to work in the often-remote locations of wind turbine sites. It is one of the many machines Liebherr has designed to put sustainability in the forefront and usher in the energy revolution. With the LR 1700 1.0, operators get a 10 to 15 % higher lifting capacity, making it the best in its class. It also features increased safety standards, accommodating new methods in wind turbine assembly, like installing rotor blades individually.
Not only can Liebherr machines help assemble clean energy systems like wind turbines, they can also contain clean energy systems by replacing their diesel engines with zero emission battery power. Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH offers nine different battery powered models, one of which is the LB 30 unplugged drilling rig. Operators can experience identical performance when compared to the diesel-powered rigs. The LB 30 also offers the flexibility of either being plugged in or battery powered, depending on the job requirements.
The optimum powertrain has a decisive influence on the efficiency of machine operation. With this in mind, Liebherr pursues a technology-open approach in developing hydrogen engines with high efficiency and very low NOx emissions with the same service life and maintenance intervals as diesel engines. In response to the trend of decarbonization, Liebherr also develops various hydrogen injection solutions for medium and heavy-duty engines, as well as large engines in the 427 to 610 in³ (7 – 100 l) displacement range.
Conexpo attendees can also view the latest machines and technologies offered in Liebherr’s earthmoving and concrete technology segments. The TA 230 articulated dump truck is one of the newest members of the earthmoving family. Designed for rugged off-road use, its efficient drivetrain, permanent 6 x 6 all-wheel drive, reliable traction control and solid axle mounts enable the Liebherr dump truck to tackle any terrain. The new machine design of the new TA 230 is service-based and access to the entire engine bay facilitates daily maintenance work. Moreover, the new Liebherr mid-sized wheel loaders celebrate their premiere in North America at Conexpo 2023.