Emission Reduction Innovations Drive Eco-Friendly Construction Operations


While most cranes in use today are powered by diesel, manufacturers are steadily developing hybrid equipment and electric products and deploying other emission reduction innovations to lower the harmful pollutants that come with burning fossil fuel.

These advanced solutions are focused on delivering zero emissions.

For eco-friendly construction operations, these systems also lower noise, an advantage for operators working in urban areas with noise ordinances, and when completing lift projects at night or indoors.

The technologies also help reduce operating cost versus diesel-powered cranes,  largely through reduced maintenance.

“We are driving forward the electrification of our machine portfolio,” said Wolfgang Pfister, head of strategic marketing and communications at Liebherr-Werk Nenzing Gmbh. “Many municipalities and cities are increasingly demanding minimal CO2 emissions and a significant reduction in noise pollution on construction projects. With the Liebherr unplugged series, we are responding to these challenges.”

Pfister noted that Liebherr’s “unplugged” models are fully COneutral when powered by electricity from renewable sources.

“In idling mode, the sound level of three unplugged cranes is equivalent to that of a normal conversation, a significant advantage when crawler cranes are typically idling for 60% of their time on job sites,” he said. “In addition, whether attached to the electric supply or not, the performance and range of application remains unchanged because the electro-hydraulic drive in these battery-powered units has the same performance specifications as conventional crawler cranes.”

Liebherr’s range of zero-emission products was expanded recently, and its unplugged series of crawler cranes now numbers four machines.

They 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, which can lift 275 USt.

All models can continue crane operation while their battery is charging from a job site’s electric supply.

Battery capacity for an average lifting operation is eight hours, and optional additional batteries can extend that time by 20% 60%.

The battery can be recharged in 2.5 to 4.5 hours.

Eco Mode Technology Cuts Emissions

Another approach is the Tadano Eco Mode system, which controls maximum engine speed during crane operation.

The solution reduces CO emissions by up to 22% when Eco Mode 1 is deployed and up to 30% in its Eco Mode 2 setting.

Tadano also has plans to offer their new electrohydraulic e-PACK system on in North America, including on the manufacturer’s AC 2.040-1, AC 3.045-1, AC 4.070-2, and 4.080-1 all-terrain models.

e-PACK features an electric motor for zero-emission, environmentally friendly operation, especially in tight urban spaces and indoor areas.

With quick coupling hydraulic hose connections, when on-site the E-Pack is unloaded and connected to a common 400V / (32A) 63A electric power supply.

Part of Tadano’s approach to developing emissions reduction innovations is to develop machines that are typically powered by diesel to be run solely on electricity by connecting to the power grid.

In the concept phase, for example, there is a hybrid all terrain crane that allows the superstructure to run on battery power or be plugged into the grid independent of the on-board diesel engine.

An electric rough terrain crane that will be able to drive to a jobsite and complete all lifting operations using battery electric power is in the works at Tadano as well. The company has been collaborating with a variety of suppliers and partners on the new electric RT.

For Tadano, an electric powered rough terrain crane is one of many steps being taken to meet environmental targets under the Tadano Green Solutions initiative. Eco-friendly construction equipment solutions that eliminate emissions while operating the crane are a key part of achieving that objective.

“Equipment advancements will help us attain our long-term environmental targets, including a 35% reduction in CO emissions from product use by 2030, and achieving overall net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Lance Rydbom, director of product management & engineering at Tadano America Corporation.

Seth Skydel is a writer with 38 years of experience covering the trucking, utility, construction and related markets. 


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