Today we review the Cattano CM371 4 tonne self erecting tower crane. This is an Italian made crane with a 37 meter jib.
There were a few issues that may prejudice my review. The crane was poorly maintained by the crane hire company. When it was erected the hoist rope was completely grease free and they didn't even bother earthing the crane, they didn't bother calibrating the crane for weights, radius, hook height, deflection etc. so the screen on the remote was completely useless.
The crane was too small for the site, it only reached half the site. The site manager quit half way through this job, and the last thing he said to me was 'when I saw the crane they got for this site I should not have joined the company' haha!
It really was the wrong crane for this job, every trade would ask... 'why did they get such a small crane' my reply was always different... 'because it was on special' 'it was the only crane they could get' and other stupid replies
The crane can lift 4 tonne in 4 part and drops to 1 tonne at 37 meter max radius though the 1 tonne was more like 800kg and had to be lifted in 1st gear. If the load was too heavy the hoist up and trolley out were disabled, like most other cranes.
Changing from 2 to 4 part and back was by taking weight off the big block and droping the small block and pinning together or unpinning (although after a while the small block wouldn't drop, causing the hoist rope to spool everywhere, it was a mission getting it back on)
These small cranes are quite reactive and easy to operate but there was a problem with the slew brake, it was always on, the second you stop slewing it would stop you and make the crane a bit jerky. The free slew was different to every other crane, it has an in service / out of service lever on the base of the crane... it did nothing though, every night I would park the crane in the same spot and no matter how windy it would always be in the same spot every morning. The hoist was painfully slow, even for a self erecting tower crane. The Potain HD40 is faster in 4 part setup than this crane is in 2 part.
The jib must of been slightly bent because at about 30 meters radius it made a horrible sound when trolleying... every single time!
The weird thing was that with all its faults the crane never actually broke down to where we had to stop working, we actually kept working when other cranes stopped because this crane goes really well in the wind which usually isn't the case for self erectors.
Maybe its impossible to give this crane a completely honest review as my experience was so badly tainted. At the end of this job I told my employer I could no longer work operating self erecting tower cranes.
It was a terrible choice of crane for the job
The builder didn't know the go
The crane hire company just didn't care
I'm giving this crane 2 stars out of 5
Missed an article?
Type what you are looking for in the search bar or click on the archives