Liebherr LR 1700-1.0W narrow-track crawler crane for modern wind farms

Liebherr has unveiled the new LR 1700-1.0W narrow-track crawler crane, the successor to its 600-t LR 1600/2-W. With more power and greater lifting height, this new 700-t model is ideal for wind farm developments at the present time.

The first Liebherr narrow-track lattice boom crawler crane was developed 20 years ago, the LR 1400/2-W. However, in the intervening years, wind turbine towers have become taller and wind power components heavier. For this reason, Liebherr launched the more powerful LR 1600/2-W back in 2010, of which around 50 units are currently in operation worldwide. Today, assembly of the latest generation of wind turbines requires cranes with an even higher lifting capacity.

For the new LR 1700-1.0W, Liebherr has applied its successful crane concept. The model features a narrow crawler travel gear and a new centre section with star support for the existing slewing platform. The boom systems from the standard crane can be adopted to a large extent. At 5.9 m, the crawler travel gear is only 10 cm wider than its predecessor. When driving, the supports are folded forwards and backwards.

The main differences with the predecessor, the LR 1600/2-W, are the new crane’s significantly higher lifting capacities and greater lifting heights. This is due to a more powerful basic machine as well as the 3.5-m-wide H-lattice type sections in the lower area of the main boom, which increase the lateral stability of the entire system. Comparing the longest wind-turbine boom with the derrick system on the predecessor model (156-m main boom plus 12-m lattice type fixed jib) with the new crane with the same boom length results in a 64% increase in lifting capacity (from 73 to 120 t).

Furthermore, the LR 1700-1.0W can be built up higher: with derrick system plus 15 m, without derrick system plus 6 m. This new crane thus meets the more challenging requirements of working on modern wind turbines with hub heights reaching 170 m. Liebherr also offers the LR 1700-1.0W with a luffing jib – an option that was not available for its predecessor.

The V-frame and VarioTray systems are available on the new LR 1700-1.0W. The VarioTray is a small counterweight frame that can be unbolted quickly and easily as required. This eliminates the need for tiresome stacking and unstacking of counterweight plates. The V-Frame ballasting system is a hydraulically adjustable folding frame that allows the ballast radius of the 700-t crawler crane to be adjusted continuously between 13 and 21 m. As such, a rigid ballasting system is no longer required for large radii.

The new narrow-track crane also features a modern lattice type fixed jib, which can lift up to 170 t and is designed for both single and parallel operation. Limited rope length is no longer an issue, because two winches can work simultaneously over the jib. A particularly wide hook block prevents twisting. To save weight, the whip line is integrated on the head section.

Since crawler cranes – and especially narrow-track models – have to cope with longer distances and inclines on wind farms, Liebherr has placed a special focus on maximising the performance of the new LR 1700-1.0W’s drive train. It incorporates components designed for the crawler cranes in the next higher load class.

The powerful drive of the new Liebherr narrow-track crane raises driving and steering to a higher level while reducing wear. The four-way drive for the travel gear is standard equipment, as are the 2-m-wide crawler pads.