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Two Grove RT Cranes Start New Chapter for Tri-County Construction


May 16, 2022 - Two Grove rough-terrain cranes from Aspen Equipment are helping an Iowa construction firm fulfill its demanding maintenance contract with an agricultural client.

Tri-County Construction (Tri-County), Eddyville, Iowa, had initially been operating a competitor’s cranes on a large corn-milling facility.

When Tri-County was handed the additional responsibility of leasing the cranes used at the plant, it ordered two of Grove’s highest-capacity RT models: a 120-USt GRT8120 and a 165-USt GRT9165.

Tri-County took delivery of both cranes on New Year’s Eve, and technicians Aspen Equipment technicians arrived the following week to ensure they were operating optimally.

Tri-County’s Crane Operation Supervisor Rod Ashman said he wasn’t surprised by the quality of the Grove cranes, or that Grove went to such lengths to make sure the startup went smoothly. Ashman has been operating Groves since he started out running a Grove RT740 when he was 19.

“Their reliability was expected, but from an operator’s point of view, the new GRTs are probably the most versatile cranes we’ve ever operated,” Ashman said. “Aside from capital jobs, these cranes are generally being used on maintenance tasks, such as changing out gearboxes, conveyors, and roof fans. Sometimes we’ll require every pound of capacity and inch of available boom, and then the very next job might just be hoisting a 2,000-lb. motor onto a 30’ high balcony at a 20’ radius. We can go from main boom picks of 50,000 lbs. to erecting the jib and fly for a tip height of 275’ in minutes.”

Ashman singles out the ease of use of the hydraulically offsettable jibs (from 0°-50° on the GRT9165 and 0°-45° on the GRT8120) as being a key advantage.

“This allows us to set up in a congested or confined area and have the option to offset the jib from inside the cab to get up and over or to get additional radius,” he said. “Also, the longer boom lengths help us reach the top strobe lights on three exhaust stacks.”

Strong Specs

The three-axle GRT9165 was acquired to hoist heavier loads at a greater radius — a key consideration when Tri-County operators expect to lift a loaded rail car that could weigh 125,000 lbs.

Manitowoc says the crane has the best load charts in its class, thanks to its six-section Megaform boom and Twin-Lock boom pinning, which maximize the boom’s structural efficiency and reduce its weight.

When extra reach is needed, the manual or hydraulic bi-fold lattice swing-away extension adds 36.7’–58.4’.

Manitowoc says that the GRT8120’s seven-section Megaform boom also offers the best load charts in its capacity class. An additional pinning location at 90% helps to increase capacities and enhance flexibility in lift planning, in conjunction with the Boom Configurator that simplifies telescoping operations.

“This is the sort of reliable performance we depend on to fulfill our contract with our large agricultural client and to continue our good working relationship with them,” Ashman said. “It all comes down to keeping our cranes maintained and in top working condition. Aside from the bigger reach and capacities, the key advantage of the Grove bid over the other companies we’d considered was the five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus the very attractive offer from Aspen to do all of our maintenance.”

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