April 16 - In South Africa, Vanguard, in a joint venture with Grindrod and private investors, has invested ZAR70 million (USD9.5 million) on a new mobile cranes.

Designed and manufactured by Grove Cranes, a subsidiary of Manitowoc from Germany, the GTK 1100 is due to arrive in South Africa on April 20.

"This acquisition is a massive milestone for Vanguard, which sees the potential of the crane deployed in facilities such as refineries, windturbine farms and power stations. When I saw the GTK 1100 being operated for the first time, during the construction of the boiler sections at a power station outside Cologne, Germany, I was convinced of its capabilities in South Africa. A definite success in the international construction sector, the GTK 1100 brings with it a whole range of opportunities for South African engineering companies in terms of greater flexibility and reduced project costs," says Bryan Hodgkinson, director, Vanguard. 

The GTK 1100 was designed to lift ultra heavy loads to extreme heights. It can lift 100 tonnes to heights of more than 100m and has a 56m working radius, centre operated, without a counterweight. It was designed to compete in the super lift market dominated traditionally by large, crawler cranes with lattice booms.

Another of the unique innovations of the GTK 1100 is that compared to other large super lift cranes, which would need between 20 and 40 truckloads of parts to be mobilised in order to perform such heavy lifts, the GTK 1100 only needs four. Site establishment is therefore expected to be only a third of the cost.

The crane is one of only seven of its kind in the world and has a small footprint of 18x18m (including the boom set-up) for a minimised job site area and its self-levelling function results in minimal ground preparation. The vertical rigging of the self-erecting tower contributes to the fast set-up; one of the key benefits of the GTK 1100 is that it can be ready for operation in just four to six hours. Helping to lower operational costs, this crane is a good choice for restricted sites as it can negotiate gaps of 3.5m wide.