VIDEO: Tadano AC 5.250-2 Offers Innovative Solutions

Thu October 19, 2023

Ease of transportation combined with strong lifting capacities — this was the primary development goal that the engineers at Tadano pursued when designing the new AC 5.250-2, which the company showcased in advance at bauma 2022.

Now, as part of the final stretch of development for the crane's launch, Tadano has added a number of additional features that represent a significant upgrade to the AC 5.250-2, particularly in the area of safety.

Just to make it clear, however, the engineers at Tadano had already met all their ambitious development goals by the time the AC 5.250-2 was presented in Munich, and the excellent teamwork between the Lauf and Zweibrücken locations played a key role in that.

"This kind of teamwork enabled us to take full advantage of and combine all the know-how and expertise from both our locations," said Project Manager Peter Kleinhans.

And the extraordinary results can be seen, for example, in the improved lifting capacities, which are 10 to 15 percent higher in many areas, and in certain configurations can even go all the way up to 30 percent higher. This enables the AC 5.250-2 to easily lead the pack with a lifting capacity of 16 tons with a 230 ft. boom length at a radius of 39 to 79 ft. There is also its lifting capacity of 12 tons at a radius of 138 ft. with a boom length of 154 ft., which is also at the very top of its class — to name just two examples, the manufacturer said.

This impressive run is continued by the new crane's system length: the 230 ft. main boom can be extended by 138 ft. with a HAV main boom extension, making it possible to reach a system length of 367 ft. Also notable: All available main boom extensions from 19 ft. to 118 ft. are self-rigging, with no assist crane required.

Sophisticated Counterweight Concept

The crane can self-assemble its total counterweight of 88 tons in three lifts: 54.7 tons with a full 360-degree radius of up to 20.3 ft. followed by two lifts of 16.7 tons, with each split into 11 and 5.7 tons for mounting on the right and left sides of the base package. And if necessary, the counterweight can be split into smaller pieces as well, making it possible to pick up the 6-ton base plate from a distance of up to 66 ft. across the full radius.

"Thanks to the IC-1 Plus crane control system, which comes as standard, the available radius can even be significantly increased at certain slewing angles," Kleinhans said.

In addition, the fact that the counterweight can be split into a large number of elements with none weighing more than 11 tons ensures maximum flexibility for transportation logistics. This increases the transportation options and also means that relatively small trucks can be used when required by space conditions at a work site.

Right On Board: Latest Tadano Technological Features

Tadano designed the AC 5.250-2 to come with comprehensive equipment as standard right out of the gate, not to mention that all new cranes in the Tadano AC family will benefit from the same equipment, with one example being the innovative IC-1 Plus crane control system. This touchscreen-controlled system determines the crane's maximum lifting capacity in real time for every boom position as a function of the superstructure's slewing angle. As a result, the crane is always able to take advantage of the maximum lifting capacity available to it — especially during lifts over the outriggers.

In other words, this feature provides the greatest support when it comes to lifts in which the outriggers are not fully extended and the counterweight is reduced, the manufacturer said. The AC 5.250-2 benefits from this tremendously, as its outriggers can be extended asymmetrically to 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent positions.

In addition, the one-of-a-kind Surround View camera system, which both increases safety while driving and also makes it easier for crane operators to optimally position the crane at work sites, also is optionally available for the Tadano AC 5.250-2: This system uses six crane cameras to show a computer-assisted diagram of the maximum possible extension lengths for the outriggers at the crane's current location.

"With Tadano Surround View, crane operators can take a look at a display in the cab to know exactly how they need to position the crane at their work site in order to extend all outriggers sufficiently and ensure that they are using the required counterweight tail swing radius. This eliminates tedious and time-consuming measurements and testing when looking for a location from which to operate the crane, making the latter ready for use faster," said Kleinhans.

The system also provides assistance on the way to the work site by making it easier for crane operators to notice pedestrians and cyclists when turning.

TailGUARD and Lift Adjuster — Improved Safety During Travel, Operation

Towards the end of development, Tadano also added its TailGUARD active backup assist system as an additional technological innovation in order to maximize safety during travel. This system uses two ultrasonic sensors to monitor the area behind the crane when backing up and works regardless of ambient light conditions. It shows the distance from stationary and moving objects in the monitoring area on the cab's monitor, plays an acoustic warning before reaching obstacles, and will stop the crane itself in the event that there is a risk of collision.

The backup assist system is automatically activated the moment the crane's reverse gear is engaged, making backing up significantly safer — it not only prevents injuries and property damage, but also crane downtimes associated with accidents.

In the future, the AC 5.250-2 will additionally come with one more important safety feature: The Lift Adjuster, which is a one-of-a-kind lift assist system and is scheduled to become available for the crane in the coming year. The system consists of a technical control module that can be activated with the press of a button and that measures the boom's deflection and independently adjusts the lift cylinder in order to compensate for the change in radius caused by the aforementioned deflection and to eliminate the risk of swinging. This way, the Lift Adjuster significantly improves safety in the crane's work environment.

Comfortable, Safe Workstation

When developing the AC 5.250-2, the team at Tadano also made sure to attach special importance to the needs of crane operators. Accordingly, all hydraulic components that emit noise are located away from the superstructure cab, where things are comfortably quiet. Moreover, the spacious design behind both cabs ensures maximum operating comfort and a pleasant work environment. As for safety, the intelligently positioned access points, attachment points for operators' personal safety equipment, and a step that can be extended from the carrier to make it safe and comfortable to enter and exit the superstructure cab all contribute. Moreover, the hill start assist system, which comes as standard, ensures stress-free travel operation when driving up and maneuvering on uphill slopes.

Environmentally Friendly Operation

Finally, the new AC 5.250-2 also makes a compelling case when it comes to its engine, a Mercedes-Benz unit with an output of 522 hp and a maximum torque of 1,917 ft-lb. that provides solid propulsion and powerful lifting capacities. And it goes without saying that the HVO-compatible diesel engine meets the latest engine emissions requirements. In addition, it is particularly cost-effective due to its Eco Mode, which ensures that the engine always outputs the exact amount of power that the crane actually needs at any time, with the IC-1 crane control system taking care of the corresponding calculations, the manufacturer said.

In addition, the crane also has a fuel-saving start-stop feature on board, with the system turning off the crane engine at the press of a button but without deactivating the control software.

Bottom Line

The Tadano AC 5.250-2 tech demo immediately won over a large number of experts and other visitors back when it was revealed in Germany at bauma 2022, which should come as no surprise, as the five-axle crane raises the bar in a large number of areas. This provides the crane with tremendous versatility, which combined with an enormous reach and large lifting capacities makes the unit perfect for erecting tower cranes and for construction projects of all types.

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