Higher lift capacity and advanced Bluetooth control systems are just two capabilities of Defence’s new Liebherr C6 mobile slewing cranes.
CAPTION: Australian Defence Force personnel on a trial course to operate the Liebherr 1060-3.1 medium crane at the School of Military Engineering at Holsworthy Barracks. Story and photo by Corporal Luke Bellman.
These 24 new cranes are the first of 13 variants of earth-moving and manual handling equipment to be introduced across the three services as part of the Land 8120 Phase 1 rollout.
The equipment will be used in Australia and overseas on operations, ranging from conflict to disaster relief, that require heavy lifting, moving, clearing, repair and construction.
Fully delivered by July, these new cranes can be set up from inside or outside the cab using a remote control, allowing operators to focus on set-up and riggers to focus on organising the lift.
They also have adjustable counterweights and a variable-base stabilisation system that provide greater lift options, with the ability to work in close-quarter areas.
This will allow individual crane supports to be positioned according to conditions rather than having all of them extended.
A computer then calculates what loads can be lifted.
Corporal Braden Pritchett, at the School of Military Engineering, said that with a lift capacity of 48 tonnes and a boom length of 48 metres, the cranes will fill a capability gap.
“We only have 20-tonne and 30-tonne mid-lift capacity cranes available, so these will help with building military structures, infrastructure, or just lifting stores more efficiently,” Corporal Pritchett said.
“It’s an all-terrain vehicle and has market-leading technology.
“It’s the best there is and we are lucky to get them.”
Technical adviser for the project Warrant Officer Class One Aaron Watts said 10 introduction-into-service courses would be run in Sydney, Amberley and Townsville in July.
Able Seaman Solomon Camilleri-McDonald completed the first trial course, delivered by Ventia, at the School of Military Engineering in mid-May.
“No other crane in Defence has the ability to set up the outriggers and the boom from inside the cab,” Able Seaman Camilleri-McDonald said.
“These cranes are very advanced, high tech and fun to use.
“They are helpful with everything we do.”