This week we review the Potain HD40 self erecting tower crane. The crane has a max lift of 4 tonnes at 11.2 meter radius and 1 tonne at 35 meter radius.
Up until 2007 you could operate the self erecting tower cranes with a normal CT tower crane high risk licence. Now you are required to have a CS tower crane licence. Why? Because the crane folds out or in when setting up / dismantling. Yes it makes no sense to me either and a lot of crane operators do not bother getting the CS tower crane license.
This crane is no longer manufactured and has been superseded by IGO 42, but you can still see plenty around. A testament to these cranes durability. I have operated these cranes off and on all through my career and they never seem to break down.
The HD 40 is great for beginner crane operators. It has an extremely responsive slew, whilst the hoist isn't the fastest you can only use these on low rise so it isn't a problem.
The trolley only has two speeds- fast and faster, operators must learn how to catch the trolley swing on this one. A third trolley speed that is slow would be a nice addition.
The one main fault of this crane is it operates terribly in the wind due to the crane having its counter weights on the ground, no counter jib and only one slew brake. Even 50km winds are enough to blow through the slew brake and give you a hard time operating.
These cranes have their own outriggers, so unlike a regular tower crane that needs a concrete pad to be built these cranes can be set up on a concrete slab on ground or suspended slab (with back props) no problem. This and the fact the crane is sent to site as a single unit (apart from counterweights) and sets itself up with its own hoist motor makes them much cheaper to install and dismantle than a regular tower crane.
A word of warning. If getting one of these cranes be 100% sure it is suitable. Where the crane is placed makes a huge difference as it only has a short jib of 35 meters and over 24 meters lift capacity falls from 4 tonne to just 1 tonne. You don't want to think you are saving money getting this crane and find you cannot lift things to where you want on site.
Its a small crane but for the right job its perfect. A workhorse that's durability cannot be matched.
I'm giving this crane 4 out of 5
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