With wind turbines growing in height, crane manufacturer Manitowoc is expanding its boom insert offering for its MLC300 lattice-boom crawler crane.

Manitowoc boom kit extension for wind energy work

The wide boom plus kit, when used in combination with VPC-MAX and extended upper boom points, can extend the boom up to 429.8 ft (131 m). This, according to Manitowoc, will be particularly useful for assembling wind turbines.

The height of utility-scale, land-based wind turbines has increased nearly 60 percent in the last two decades, reaching an average of 295 ft (90 m) in 2020 in the USA. Wind turbines are expected to keep growing in size in the coming years, as building the turbines to higher elevations enable the wind towers to harness stronger winds. The Manitowoc boom inserts will enable the 386-ton (350-tonne) capacity MLC300 to construct these increasingly tall wind towers.

Brennan Seelinger, Manitowoc’s product manager for crawler cranes, said wind turbine work above 295 ft (90 m) currently requires a 450-ton (400-tonne) or larger crane, which can result in higher costs for operation and transportation. 

“Our new boom inserts will open up more jobs for our crawler crane owners,” he said. “They will increase utilisation of our MLC300 crane with added flexibility. Where before crane operators would need to bring in a larger crane to reach heights above 295 ft [90 m], now they’re able to employ their MLC300 with boom inserts and take advantage of increased reach from its smaller footprint.”