Manitowoc MLC 300
Manitowoc has introduced a new version of the Manitowoc MLC300 that utilizes a fixed-position counterweight. This new model has many of the same features as the original MLC300, but does not feature Variable Position Counterweight (VPC) technology.

This new iteration of the MLC300 will appeal to customers that want the 300 t (330 USt) size platform and compact footprint of the original-model crawler crane, but without the additional investment in features and moving parts that come with VPC. For this configuration, the MLC300 VPC trolley and tray have been replaced by a two-position, stationary counterweight tray.

The MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight serves all the lifting needs of a conventional 300 t (330 USt) class crane and is ideal for equipment owners that focus on limited duty-cycle applications with lighter loads and more repetitive lifts. The crane's engineering reflects The Manitowoc Way, a philosophy that incorporates customer needs and desires into product design to better serve market demands. In this case, customers working in certain applications voiced the need for an MLC300 with a fixed-position counterweight.

Harley Smith, Manitowoc's global product director for crawler cranes, explained how lifting companies influenced the design and manufacturing of the redesigned crane.

"Manitowoc saw a growing need in the crawler crane market for enhanced versatility in a capacity class that was above the Manitowoc 2250 for a variety of applications," he said. "Equipment owners that focus on duty-cycle applications, such as clamshell operation, bulk material handling or pile driving, for example, didn't need the features and high-capacity performance associated with VPC technology and preferred to invest in a crane that meets their unique job site requirements. Combined with a multitude of load hoist options, including free fall, the MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight is a crane that will deliver strong lifting power and line pull while serving a wide variety of jobs."

Fully featured
The MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight features a 96 m (315 ft) boom and has the option of an additional 30 m (98 ft) fixed jib. A 96 m (315 ft) luffing jib can be added to extend its reach to 150 m (492 ft).

The MLC300 is easily transported anywhere in the world, thanks to its optimized component weights and dimensions. The crane has a removable, live-mast shipping module and its boom inserts are designed to allow luffing jib inserts to ship within them, decreasing shipping costs.

Like most of Manitowoc's newer crane models, the latest iteration of the MLC300 is equipped with Crane Control System (CCS), a standardized operating system across several crane models in different product ranges. CCS reduces training for lifting companies, since the same ergonomic controls and intuitive displays are used across many of Manitowoc's cranes. It also improves parts and maintenance needs, with components working across several crane ranges.

For any MLC300 crane configured with fixed-position counterweight, there will be an aftermarket package available from Manitowoc Crane Care to update to a VPC system.

When less means more
To simplify the MLC300's design, the VPC system and VPC-MAX preparation package are not included—however, all fixed-position counterweight configured machines can be retrofitted to VPC configuration. In the place of the VPC is a conventional, fixed counterweight system that is configurable to two positions depending on total counterweight selected: a standard lift crane position and a limited duty-cycle position that enables the counterweight to match the rotating bed's tail swing. It's a conventional approach to counterweight systems that Manitowoc expects will lead to greater value for a specific segment of its customers.

"We wanted to drive further versatility of the MLC300 for the wide array of Manitowoc customers and their specific applications. Not all customers require the capacity-enhancing features of the VPC technology," Smith said. "The MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight delivers market competitive performance from a capacity chart perspective, while being better suited to tackle limited duty-cycle work when the need arises. It's a straightforward approach that's attentive to customer needs, which is a key component of the The Manitowoc Way."

The MLC300 with fixed-position counterweight will be available in the second quarter of 2017.