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Crane Hot Line

Electrifying Crane Innovations

Sustainable Advancements in Hybrid and Electric Crane Technology


While most of the crane equipment on the market today uses diesel to power drivetrains and hydraulics used to lift loads, manufacturers are steadily transitioning to hybrid and electric products to lower the harmful emissions that come with burning fossil fuel. 


Grove has displayed a GMK4100L-2 hybrid all-terrain concept crane to showcase what’s possible on mobile cranes with hybrid-electric power. The prototype model featured a generator coupled to a diesel engine, a 100-kwH battery pack and the ability to plug into shore power at job site locations. The team at Grove is also focused on ways to fully electrify the crane’s superstructure and hoist functions.


The Liebherr range of zero-emissions products in its unplugged series of crawler cranes now numbers four machines. Available from the manufacturer are the LR 1130.1, a 151-USt capacity model, the LR 1160.1 rated for 200 USt, the LR 1200.1 with a 242-USt rating and the LR 1250.1 featuring a maximum load capacity of 275 USt.

In all models, crane operation can continue while charging the battery using a job site’s electric supply. Battery capacity for an average lifting operation is eight hours while optional additional batteries can extend that time by 20 to 60 percent. The battery can be recharged in 2.5 to 4.5 hours.


The Tadano electrohydraulic e-PACK system on all-terrain models in North America allows units typically powered by diesel to be run solely on electricity by connecting to the power grid.  The e-PACK system features an electric motor for zero-emissions. On-site, the e-pack is unloaded and connected to a common 400V/(32A) 63A electric power supply. 

Tadano's electrohydraulic e-PACK system.
Tadano's electrohydraulic e-PACK system.

Tadano also announced plans to commercialize an electric rough terrain crane that will be able to drive to a job site and complete all lifting operations using battery electric power. The company has been working with a variety of suppliers and partners on the electric RT.

Boom Truck Technology

Capable of powering boom truck cranes, Odyne modular electrification systems for new and retrofit applications are available on truck chassis from a range of major manufacturers. Allison Transmission authorizes the company to install its systems on its 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 series transmissions.

The turnkey, integrated Odyne solution can be applied to most work trucks over 14,000 lbs. GVWR through the power take-off (PTO) without requiring drivetrain modifications and without impacting OEM chassis warranties.

Odyne ePTO components are positioned within the chassis frame rails to avoid any interference with body installation, and the location of the battery can be tailored to meet specific application needs. 

With Odyne’s ePTO system, if the battery becomes depleted due to extended operation, the engine will start, enabling the uninterrupted functioning of the crane while simultaneously and quickly recharging the battery. After the battery is recharged to a set level, the engine turns off.

Looking Ahead

Manufacturers are now focused on more advanced solutions that will deliver zero emissions with an electric motor. Beyond environmentally friendly operation, these systems lower noise, an advantage for operators working in urban areas with noise ordinances, and when completing lift projects at night and indoors. The technologies also provide for a lower operating cost versus diesel-powered cranes, due largely to reduced maintenance requirements.  

Article written by Seth Skydel


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.