Prominent contractor Miron Construction recently made its first lifts using a new heavy-duty jib that Grove has developed for the 165-USt GRT9165 rough-terrain crane.
The stout new jib, developed in part through discussions with Miron, broadens the 165-USt crane’s range of uses and delivers a competitive edge for setting precast concrete panels.
The jib transforms Grove’s largest rough-terrain crane into an economical alternative to traditional crawler cranes for tilt-up work.
The 12.5' jib is equipped with two tip sheaves in order to handle up to four parts of line, and can be offset hydraulically from 0° to 50°.
It can lift up to 68,600 lbs. and, overall, provides best-in-class lifting capacities that average up to 20% more than its closest competitor.
Having one multi-part load line over the boom point and another over the jib tip gives operators tight precision when positioning panels.
Adding to that precision, the crane operator can change the jib’s offset angle hydraulically while the jib is under load. The positioning is controlled easily and quickly with a switch inside the cab.
The heavy-duty jib was designed to meet the fast-changing precast concrete panel market. Precasting has become one of the most common off-site techniques used in construction, and is expected to grow 5.6% from 2021-2027.
Its benefits include efficiency, cost reduction, speed, and more consistent quality. Precast concrete also yields environmental benefits. Because of the voids that form a panel’s hollow core, a precast panel may use only half as much concrete as a poured slab. That reduces a building’s CO2 construction footprint by as much as 25%.
Miron Construction Co. Inc., a design-build contractor headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, is the first customer to use the new jib on a Grove GRT9165.
One of the United States’ larger contractors, Miron has six offices in Wisconsin and one in Iowa, but it regularly does work from coast to coast.
In 2021 and 2022, it ranked 68th on Engineering News-Record’s list of the country’s top 400 contractors.
Miron’s clients, who are located all across the United States, are rapidly shifting to precast concrete for healthcare, warehouse, manufacturing, and higher-education projects.
The size of concrete panels is growing along with demand. They now average 12' wide, more than 24' high, and weigh 60,000 lbs. or more.
A loyal Grove and Manitowoc customer for more than 30 years, Miron was at a crossroads when evaluating cranes to augment its fleet.
“It takes a larger crane to lift and rotate the concrete panels and set them vertically,” says Pete Klosterman, executive vice president of field resources at Miron. “We were initially kicking around the idea of using a telecrawler, but our precast jobs have a shorter duration so we wanted to minimize transport and setup costs.”
Miron talked about its needs and possible solutions with its dealer, American State Equipment, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and with Grove’s product development team. The conversation led to creation of the stout new jib.
Miron’s 100-USt Grove GRT8100 rough-terrain cranes already use a heavy-duty jib, so Grove engineers applied the proven concept to the larger, 165-USt, GRT9165 to make that model a strong performer for precast applications.
“We took feedback from Miron to develop preliminary charts, then stayed in close contact through the testing phase, making real-time modifications to deliver a final product that meets the market need from day one,” said John Bair, Grove rough-terrain product manager.
Miron made its maiden lift with the jib in June. It set panels for a new high school in western Wisconsin. The GRT9165 was configured with its full 56,800 lbs. of counterweight and was working at a 50' radius with the jib at a 0° offset and a jib-tip height of 124'.
As each panel was rotated, the jib capably held the panel’s full 48,000-lb. weight. “It’s great to have the ability to luff the jib up and down for increased or decreased separation as needed, and it is quick and easy to install and uninstall,” said Luke Rathke, project superintendent with Miron.
“The GRT9165 with the heavy-duty jib is perfect for what we need. It has strong capacities and precision control for precast and is a solid all-around crane for the wider range of work we do,” said Klosterman.
The crane’s long boom paired with the heavy-duty jib is a bonus when working under height limitations. It has allowed Miron to win extra industrial work, such as at paper mills, where overhead piping and ductwork limited other cranes of similar size.
"We must be efficient and versatile in how we approach jobs," said Klosterman. "You've got to stay ahead of the game and it helps when the equipment we buy makes that happen." Klosterman said.
The heavy-duty jib can be ordered on new Grove GRT9165 rough-terrain cranes or as a retrofit.