Sometimes it’s the subtlest change that makes the most powerful difference when spanned out over time. This is true of the planetary movements in our galaxy, the ageing of scotch and the function of truck mounted cranes.
Since 1965, Italian manufacturer, Effer, have been defying both gravity and market trends with their crane designs. The company dedicate a hefty portion of the brains in their research and development department to formulating subtle upgrades that may not seem like much on the design floor but make a massive difference to the workers operating them.
Payload boosting with structural lightness
One of Effer’s big drives is creating structural lightness, giving their cranes all the capacity and robustness of a machine you’d expect to be a whole lot heavier. This has many benefits, not the least of which being boosted payload which translates to time and money saved for the end user. However, they’ve recently fitted their machines with some brand new status upgrades that sparked our interest even more. We chatted to Effer fan and national sales manager at Maxi Lift, Craig Donnelly, to find out the details on Effer’s latest updates to their truck mounted cranes.
The Maxi Lift crew are like machinery connoisseurs, importing cranes from Italy and Japan in the same way you might import a fine wine or scotch. Craig has a longstanding appreciation of Effer who have been making cranes since the days of black and white photos.
“They’re the world’s leading manufacturer of large cranes. Over the years they’ve put a lot of energy and resources into building large capacity cranes because that’s what they saw a global need for.”
While they have a heavy focus on the bigger end of the truck mounted crane spectrum (300TM being their largest model) Craig explained the company is always paying attention to the industries they supply and feedback from customers. What they were hearing shifted the locus of their inspiration and they started work on upgrading their smaller models (the 3TM to 60TM end of the crane continuum).
“They’ve always been strong, tough, reliable cranes but, in terms of physical design, the new models are more modular, and streamlined with weather resistant covers for the oil cooler and all of the components that will be out in the thick of things.”
Continuous slew on smaller truck mounted cranes
The standout upgrade comes on the 20TM crane. Until now, the industry standard has been to have only a 400 degree slewing angle. So you couldn’t have the freedom and efficiency of continuous slew unless you forked out for a larger capacity crane. Being experts in cranes of all sizes, Effer could see that continuous slew would be a definite advantage in a smaller crane. So they boosted their Icon range with this power, making it the only crane of its capacity to be able to do full spins and save you having to go back the other way with your load.
“They’re going to be adapting it into other models too which is exciting. Other manufactures have it in their range but you’ve got to get up to a 50 or 60 tonne/metre crane before you see it.”
This is great news for scaffolders, steel erectors, delivery drivers, and general transport workers who tend to use this size crane. They don’t need the big rigs so have never had this capability before within their reach before.
Side wear pads to keep your boom true
Craig says feedback has been all good so far but what people have raved about the most is actually the extra wear pads Effer have also included on the 20TM truck mounted cranes. Every manufacturer will give you wear pads on the top and bottom but Effer have them on the side. Booms are, by design, long reach. So, the laws of physics being as they are, when a boom is nearing full extension it can get a bit of a bow in the end. With the Effer cranes, the side wear pad design means the boom goes out dead straight every time.
“This simple upgrade means all of your wear pads will last a lot longer and won’t wear out. While the wear pads aren’t an expensive thing to replace, it does take time and stripping the crane down to put them in. Effer’s philosophy is, if you can make that area reliable so the customer doesn’t have to pull them down and replace them every few years then that’s a worthy benefit.”