GH Cranes & Components cites delivery of the world’s first rubber tire gantry crane running 100 percent on battery power. Inaugurated last month at a U.S. precast concrete operation, the 30-ton rated GH35i has a lithium battery power bank producing 480 volts and storing enough power to run an eight- to 10-hour shift. A built-in battery charge system requires only standard 3-phase 480 volt power source; it automatically adjusts the compartment temperature and optimizes the full recharge cycle over a few hours. Crane-mounted solar panels can augment the main charging mechanism.
Battery charge levels do not affect GH35i lifting capacity and speeds, but are indicated on multiple displays for quick operator reference. GH Cranes engineers integrate safeguards so that battery charge levels will not drop below a non-recoverable critical point. The power bank and electronic controls for crane functions are substantially lighter than an equivalent diesel hydraulic power unit.
Alarms and beepers aside, GH35i operation is almost silent. The machine features four-wheel steering and drive; adjustable height; and, four independently controlled hooks—two or all of them capable of rotating and flipping architectural panels weighing up to 66,000 lbs. All machine functions can be controlled remotely or from a newly designed, climate-controlled cabin.
While the GH35i is the first of its kind, the machine is not unfamiliar territory for GH Cranes, which has been building traditional diesel hydraulic rubber tire gantry cranes and electric overhead cranes for 60-plus years. With improvements in battery capacity and technology, the manufacturer notes, it is time to bring a power source thoroughly proved on rail mounted lifting equipment to mobile, precast concrete yard-ready gantry cranes. — GH Cranes & Components, Terrell, Texas, 972/563-8333; www.ghcranes.com