Can a GMK crane drive long-distance on Africa’s roads?

In Solutions by Alisa Evans

Paterson Simons recently hosted Klaus Kroeppel (Manitowoc Grove VP Sales Europe and Africa) and Paul Rogers (Manitowoc Grove Sales Director – Africa) on a tour of  Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, where we introduced them to existing and prospective mining, ports, oil & gas and rental customers. A recurring question surfaced on the week-long visit:

“Can you drive the Grove GMK All Terrain long distances in Africa?”

“Yes!” is the emphatic answer.

As a sales team we routinely emphasise the Grove All Terrain’s Megatrak ® suspension which allows each wheel to travel independently, which absorbs uneven road conditions. Independent means just that – each wheel remains on the ground at all times – the differential is attached to the carrier which gives a ground clearance of up to 600mm which the rigid axles of competitors are unable to match.

The superstructure maintains a level position whilst the Megatrak ® suspension does the work to absorb the shocks of the road. A low loader does not have the same suspension so uneven road conditions can shock the crane superstructure and it is not uncommon for technical problems to arise as a result of such transport. We are also aware of at least one incident of a crane falling off a low loader in the territories we cover.

We believe that it is far better to drive the crane than use a low loader.

With attention to tyre choice, route planning and ensuring the crane is configured for transport per the operators manual (eg counterweights removed, tyre pressures adjusted, correct steering mode selected etc) it is cheaper to drive the crane to its detsination, with the added benefit of being able to go straight to work.

“But have you seen our roads?!”

The Grove GMK All Terrain Crane with Megatrak ® suspension are designed to suit exactly the conditions of the region on and off road. The video above shows a crane crossing a raging river in Brazil best demonstrates the true All Terrain capabilities of the Grove GMK range! No other crane manufacturer has Megatrak ® – it is perfect for African roads.

If you want advice on moving your Grove GMK All Terrain crane around West Africa please contact us for guidance – we are happy to assist and are interested in your stories of successfully driving these machines in any conditions.