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Crane Hot Line

Even Better - Link-Belt’s new 218|V improves on its popular predecessor, the 218 HSL.

Link_Belt 218|VLink-Belt’s new 218|V lattice-boom crawler crane is the fifth and newest generation in the 218 family of 110-USt lattice-boom crawler cranes.

The new model combines the proven strengths of its popular predecessor, the 218 HSL, with powerful new features that simplify setup, make operation easier, and boost productivity.

And although the 218|V has the same 110-USt maximum capacity as the 218 HSL at an 11' radius, the 218|V lifts an average of 5% more everywhere else.

Link-Belt will unveil this new and most-advanced edition of the 218 in booth F 9213 at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, from March 14-18.

Link-Belt expects to start shipping the 218|V during the second quarter of this year, shortly after ConExpo ends.

First unveiled in 1987, the original 218 and its successive generations have been a staple in the lifting industry for 35 years. 

Before the 218|V, the family had seen its most-recent major updating in 2008 with introduction of the 218 HSL.

Industry-Wide Impact

The new 218|V will undoubtedly draw strong interest from all types of lifting customers.

“The 110-U.S.-ton class of crane is used extensively in every part of the lifting industry,” said Pat Collins, Link-Belt’s director of product marketing. “Rental companies, general contractors, steel erectors, bridge builders, marine contractors, and almost every other segment relies on this class of crane.”

Link-Belt’s product manager for crawler cranes, Brian Elkins, added that the 100- to 110-USt lattice-boom crawler crane class has been the industry’s biggest seller for at least 30 years.

“Larger cranes often get more publicity for making eye-catching big lifts, but the daily, versatile workhorse in the crane industry is this size of machine,” said Elkins. “The benefits that the new 218|V delivers will be ideal for a wide swath of the industry.”  

The “218” in the 218|V model number indicates that the new machine carries on the performance, reliability, and features that have earned generations of the model a strong reputation and lots of loyal fans over the decades.

The V — the Roman numeral for five — says that this is the fifth generation of
the 218.

The V also indicates that this model sports a Stage V diesel engine that meets the world’s most stringent emission regulations.

Here are some of the key features and benefits that help the Link-Belt 218|V continue building the family reputation.


Clean, Fuel-Saving Engine

The Cummins QSB6.7 Stage V engine in the new 218|V delivers 281 hp at 1,800 rpm (about 11 more horsepower than the 218 HSL). 

Just as importantly, it meets Europe’s Stage V diesel emission regulations.

That’s a step cleaner than the U.S. EPA’s current Tier 4 Final requirements. 

If a job spec calls for the latest or cleanest technology available, the 218|V fills the bill.

Also, this Cummins QSB6.7 engine can run on diesel fuel or environmentally friendly hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), interchangeably or mixed.

Two Link-Belt features that help the 218|V save fuel, reduce emissions, and cut down on noise are Auto Idle and Auto Stop, each turned on or off by the operator as needed.

Auto Idle throttles down the engine after a chosen length of time when no crane functions have been used. 

As soon as any function is activated, the engine instantly throttles up to provide the required power. 

Auto Stop turns the engine off after the crane has been idle for a selected time.

In addition to saving fuel and cutting down noise, Auto Stop reduces needless accumulation engine hours.


Winch Delivers Power, Helps Save Fuel


The 218|V’s winch delivers 44,565 lbs. of single-line pull and up to 356 fpm of line speed, same as the 218 HSL. 

New on the 218|V, though, is Eco Winch, a feature that comes standard and is turned on and off by the crane operator. 

Eco Winch lets the crane lift lighter loads on a single-part line at nearly full speed and full line pull while the engine eases along at just above idling speed. 

The combination of high line speed and low engine rpm delivers productivity while saving fuel and reducing emissions.

As a winch-related time saver, the load line now comes standard with a button termination that makes connecting swivels and blocks faster and easier.

Also new on the 218|V: The service interval for hydraulic oil has gone from 2,000 hours to a whopping 4,000.


Convenient Counterweights


Link_Belt 218|VCounterweight is an area in which the 218|V has taken a big step forward in convenience and setup simplicity.

For starters, the lowerworks counterweights have been moved from outside of the crawler frames to the front and rear of the carbody between the crawlers. 

That new position lets the crew change the crawler stance between wide and narrow without having to remove and reinstall them. 

Also, those two counterweights now total 30,200 lbs. instead of 22,200, helping boost stability for the 5% extra lifting capacity offered by the 218|V.

But the even bigger news is that the upperworks counterweight can be installed completely from the ground using remote control.

Because no one has to get up onto the machine to install the counterweight, there is no longer a stowed ladder to position and climb.

The counterweight system also now includes counterweight sensing, which lets the operator know how much upperworks counterweight is installed.

All told, the 218|V uses 12,000 lbs. more counterweight than the 218 HSL, but the number of counterweight pieces is the same, and installation is faster and easier.


Swing-Out Axles Simplify Crawler Extension

Another new design that will save significant setup time and work on the 218|V are its redesigned carbody axles.

The new axles always stay conveniently mounted to the carbody and simply swing out to support the crawlers for the crane’s wider stance. 

Earlier generations use four axles that have to be lifted and installed individually. 


Better Visibility, More Comfort


Operators will certainly appreciate the advancements they experience in the 218|V’s cab.

The cab shell is the same one used on the 218 HSL, with the same ample-sized entrance and the same large windows for a clear, wide-angle view of the job site.

Inside, however, the cab layout has been revised to make the view clearer, operation easier, and the operator more comfortable.

The slightly redesigned internal layout lets the operator make even better use of the wide-angle view afforded by the large windows.

Operators will also notice extra comfort, smoother operation, and reduced fatigue, thanks to the redesigned and repositioned control pedals.

The pedals have been relocated closer to the seat and their travel shortened so that operators can rest their heels on the floor during operation, rather than having to hold their legs up. 


More Information, Intuitive Operation


Operators will also immediately notice the new computer display, which has doubled in size to 12" and is now a full-color touchscreen that seems familiar because it works much like a typical tablet-sized computer. 

The all-in-one display is easy to navigate and gives the operator a wealth of information, including boom-and-jib configuration, amount of counterweight, load-moment indicator, operator alarms, diagnostics, limit-system checks, tilt sensor, engine and hydraulic system monitoring, and — new on the 218|V — real-time ground-bearing information.


Expanded Camera System and New Options


The 218 HSL came with a rear-view camera as standard.

The new 218|V also includes winch-view and swing-view cameras as standard.

All of the cameras on the 218|V include night vision to give the operator clear, crisp view after dark. 

The monitor in the cab shows the rear-view camera by default but automatically switches to the appropriate camera for whichever crane function is in use.

Other options include new lighting packages for the boom and at the sides and rear of the crane.

All the lights are efficient LEDs that deliver powerful illumination while using little electricity.

The side lights are angled downward so they illuminate a large area without glaring into workers’ eyes.


New Quick-Reeve Boom Top, Compatible Straight Extensions


The 218|V boom features a new base and a new quick-reeve boom top that makes block changes faster and easier. 

Though the boom base and top are new, all straight sections of tubular boom from the 218 HSL can be used on the new 218|V. 

Also, the 218|V uses the same fixed jib used on the 218 HSL. 

That enables 218 HSL owners to maximize use of their existing inventory of tubular boom and fixed jibs. 

To help simplify shipment and speed up boom assembly, each new straight boom extension comes with holders that allow its corresponding pendants to stow along its top chords, so they’re readily available when the boom is being assembled.

The 218|V’s maximum boom length is 230'. Its maximum fixed-jib length is 75'. And its maximum boom-and-jib combination (200'+75') gives a 279' tip height. All are the same as the 218 HSL.


Main Load Weighs Less Than 100,000 Lbs.


The 218|V’s main shipping load weighs 99,960 lbs. It includes both crawlers, the boom base, the load line, the weight ball, and the quick-draw self-assembly cylinder.

That means it can be transported most places with the crawlers on and arrive ready for quick self-assembly and rapid deployment.

Shipping the 218|V with full counterweight, maximum boom, maximum jib, and hook block takes just one main and four overflow loads. 

Link_Belt 218|VLink_Belt 218|V


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