I don't often get to operate mobile cranes but had the opportunity to drive the Kato NK250 to do some structural erection on a block of factory units, it was a nice change from the diesel tower cranes I am usually operating. This crane has a maximum lifting capacity of 25 tonnes with a retracted jib at 3.5m radius.
We were restricted on our maximum jib height as the airport authorities came to site and quite frantically told me the crane jib was showing up on their radar and was on their flight path. The jib is 33m fully extended out, it also has a fly jib for a bit of jib extension, but after that talk we kept it a little bit below that to keep Sydney Airport happy.
The first thing I noticed was the levers and foot pedals, the hook hoist and slew can be operated by either levers or by foot pedals, it takes some getting used to but when mastered its great.
I loved the operating of the crane, maybe it was the novelty of driving a diesel powered crane after only operating electric but its great, rev the crane up for a bit more power when you need it the accelerator becomes an additional control that you adjust the speed with. The noise, the feeling, its great, makes you feel like a man!
The crane does drive nice and smoothly and with max lifting capacity of 25 tonnes it handled this small job fine, even when having to move the scissor and boom lifts for the riggers so they could access their next sections. Very user friendly and it even has flashing lights on the outside. Red warning 100% capacity, orange 90% and green that within safe lifting capacity. Has an over ride where you can go above 100%, use at your own risk!
The crane has two hook blocks with the small block only capable of 3 tonnes but with a fast hoist speed as it is only reeved in single part. The big block will do max 25 tonnes but we use it seldom as required as it is very slow with multiple reeves.
Unfortunately the crane does not have air-conditioning so make sure you have plenty of water during the day, you will need it.
I enjoyed operating this crane, the cabin was quite comfortable apart from the lack of air con.
The down side is having to set the crane up on site and driving it on the roads in our notoriously terrible traffic. Thankfully this company had a driver to bring it to site and take it away and the riggers were awesome helping set up the crane. All I had to do was push out and level the outriggers which will keep the crane steady (hopefully) whilst I operate the crane.
A good reliable old mobile crane with only a couple of faults (I forgot to mention the display computer was completely in Japanese, so I could read the numbers but the buttons and writing I had no idea) such as air con in the cabin. Whilst I could see myself opening one of these permanently the hourly pay difference between a mobile crane operator and tower crane operator is too much of a deterrent.
I am giving the Kato NK 250 mobile crane 4 out of 5 stars.
Missed an article?
Type what you are looking for in the search bar or click on the archives