Liebherr LR 13000 crawler crane with 3,000 tonnes maximum lifting capacity ushers in a new dimension
With the LR 13000, which is currently under construction at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH, Liebherr is extending the range of crawler cranes - onwards and upwards. The new flagship unit, with a maximum lifting capacity of 3,000 t at 12 m outreach, ushers in a whole new dimension in size for crawler cranes of conventional design.
The most important area of operations for the new LR 13000 is going to be the power station construction sector. With the latest generation of nuclear power plants in particular, the lifting of extremely heavy unit items is an essential. Added to this is the fact that pre-assembled modules increasingly re-quire lifting as complete units, which again drives the unit weights upwards. In refineries, too, there is a growing de-mand for industrial columns to be set up which weigh 1,500 t and reach 100 m in length. And larger and larger cranes are also needed for the preliminary assembly of offshore steel structures such as oil platforms.
New types of solutions and universal boom system
The new 3,000 t crawler crane provides a maximum system length of 246 m, which is achieved in the configuration of a 120-m main boom and 126-m luffing fly jib, resulting in a maximum hook height of 240 m. A new boom system pro-vides extreme flexibility, with the main boom and the luffing jib allowing for four different boom systems to be combined - light, medium heavy, heavy, and super-heavy, depending on the operational requirements.
The new LR 13000 from Liebherr is the only crawler crane in this size class which can work without derrick ballast. This is achieved by an extremely powerful slewing ring, developed and manufactured by Liebherr themselves. This slewing ring is capable of transferring high torque, by contrast with the solutions from other manufacturers with ringer systems on the crawler travel gear. In order to achieve the best possible lifting capacities without derrick ballast, the standard slew superstructure ballast is raised from 400 t to 750 t. This means that the crane can be used universally in the part-load range when the maximum lifting capacities are not called for on a particular site, and it also makes handling a great deal easier.
A suspended ballast system is provided on the 54-metre long derrick boom, which can be adjusted over the derrick boom without a guide, steplessly from 20 m to 30 m ballast radius. This arrangement has already proved its value on the 1,350-tonner from Liebherr, the LR 11350, with best possible results. As an alternative, Liebherr can offer a new concept in ballast trailer systems for the LR 13000, for which the standard suspended ballast arrangement is combined with heavy lift module trailers (SPMT).
Challenges for transport logistics
Against the background of the enormous size and capacity of the new 3,000-tonner, coming up with a concept for the transport of the crane components which would be practical and rational was a major consideration. This conceptual challenge meant that no single component weighs more than 70 t. The new LR 13000 in operational order tips the scales at 3,500 t, which includes 400 t of superstructure bal-last and 1,500 t of derrick ballast.
Most of the components are transported with a height of 3.6 m and 4 m in width. A crawler carrier is over 3.5 m high, 20 m long, and weights about 210 t. The track, weighing 82 tonnes, is taken off, and when dismantled can be economi-cally transported in containers. The 128 t of the track carrier is divided in half, and travels on two low-loaders. The slewing ring, 4.5 m wide, is transported in a diagonal position, in order not to exceed a width of 4 m. The ballast slabs, weighing 25 t, are made of reinforced concrete for rea-sons of costs. They have exactly the dimensions of a 20-foot container and can be loaded with a spreader
And when it came to the boom design, economical transport logistics were again a key issue. This meant, for example, that for transport the intermediate elements of the luffing fly jib are pushed into the intermediate elements of the main boom with the aid of rollers.
Powerful drive units
The drive for the LR 13000 makes use of two Liebherr V8 diesel engines, producing a total power rating of 1,000 kW / 1,360 hp. These are designed in a redundant format in order to increase crane availability still further.
The cables have some impressive dimensions too. 52 mm thick, a total length on each hoisting winch of about 2,000 m, and a line pull of 62 t. To guarantee maximum operational reliability and ensure easy maintenance, all the winches are driven by several independent motors on an internal gearing of the cable drum. This means that the crane can continue working even if a drive unit breaks down, and the unit can be replaced rapidly and easily.
The hook block weighs 111 t and is 9.7 m high, for lifting up to 3,000 t. It is of modular design and consists of a maximum of two hooks and six pulley sets, with five pulleys each. It can be configured easily for different operational purposes.
Liebherr have of course integrated their famously high safety standards for crawler cranes in the design of the new LR 13000. This means that a large number of ladders, plat-forms, and catwalks, with all appropriate guardrails, are pro-vided for best possible safe access during the assembly and operation of the crane.