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Hofmann new LR1800 Flagship crawler crane

Two 5.7 MW Nordex wind turbines were erected on a former military site in the Bitburg-Prüm district. The partner for these complicated lifts was the crane company Hofmann based in Paderborn (part of the Bracht Group). The two N163 5.7 turbines with a hub height of 160 metres were erected by the brand-new Liebherr LR 1800-1.0 lattice boom crawler crane at the end of May 2024.



Ehingen (Donau) (Germany), 8 July 2024 – A radio station that was abandoned over 20 years ago is the ideal location for the two high-performance wind turbines. With a rotor diameter of 163 metres, they are capable of supplying several thousand households with electricity. Nordex site manager Frank Stanitzek and his team erected the turbines in just two weeks. This was the first job completed by the LR 1800-1.0 high-performance crawler crane, which was specially procured for wind power and large-scale assembly work. This state-of-the-art crawler crane offers a lifting capacity of up to 800 tonnes and hook heights of over 200 metres.



In April 2024, the large crane was transported directly from the Liebherr plant in Ehingen to Prüm and assembled there for the first time in collaboration with Liebherr fitters – in the HSL4 boom configuration with a 165-metre main boom and a 12-metre lattice type fixed jib. The new HSL4 system is currently the most powerful system available for the LR 1800-1.0 for wind power installations. With a 174-metre main mast and 21-metre lattice type fixed jib, it can erect wind turbines with a hub height of up to 179 metres.  

Crane driver Valerij Ren has been with Hofmann since 2011 and has been operating large Liebherr cranes for five years: "I was previously on the LR 1700-1.0 and can say that Liebherr crawler cranes are generally simple and easy to operate. In particular, the monitors embedded in the armrests for monitoring the winches really make the work easier."



Hofmann's dark blue giant, which is powered by a 455-kW Liebherr diesel engine, was ballasted with 170 tonnes on the slewing platform, 70 tonnes in the undercarriage and a further 400 tonnes of suspended ballast. The total ballast is only required for erecting the boom, after which the crane was able to carry out the lifts with only a small amount of ballast on the VarioTray. With a radius of around 28 metres, a 68-tonne nacelle, 74-tonne drive train and 63-tonne hub had to be lifted for each wind turbine. These comparatively easy-to-assemble tower elements weighed "only" 76, 73 and 51 tonnes, respectively.

Crane driver Ren emphasises: "We have to completely dismantle the LR 1800-1.0 within a week and reassemble it near the second system in Prüm, 300 metres from our current location. This can be done with six people and a 100-tonne auxiliary crane. The new Liebherr crawler crane is extremely easy to assemble."



The heaviest components are the two 60-tonne crawler carriers. The slewing platform can be quickly connected to the centre section of the chassis thanks to Quick Connection. The large crane system, which weighs around 900 tonnes in the version described here, is moved to its new location on around 60 low-loaders. In order to reduce the number of transport vehicles when moving to a new operating location, the 6- and 12-metre long segments of the main boom, luffing jib and fixed jib can be pushed into each other three times. Following its deployment in the Eifel region, the Blue Giant will install the next generation of Nordex turbines with a hub height of 179 metres in northern Germany. It won't be returning to its home base in Paderborn for many years, explains Dieter Abt, Head of Operations at Hofmann, with certainty.

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