Check out our 2024 Corporate Sustainability Report!

Crane Hot Line

First Demag AC-45 City Crane in U.S. Hits 10,000-Mile Mark in Two Years

June 8, 2021 -  In 2019, Steel Giraffe LLC, a welding, fabrication, and crane rental company in Rhode Island, bought the first Demag AC-45 city crane delivered in the U.S.

The AC-45 can lift up to 50 USt, has 102.4’ of telescopic boom, and offers up to 145’ of boom and jib.

In the past approximately two years, Steel Giraffe has put 10,000 miles on the rig traveling between lifting jobs. That’s about the same distance as from the company’s Portsmouth, Rhode Island, headquarters to Sydney, Australia.

When Steel Giraffe owner Stephen Kelly was looking to expand his fleet, he needed a crane that could adapt to many environments and also could tackle a variety of projects.

Kelly was looking for a crane that roads easily, maneuvers well, has good lifting capacities, can telescope with a load on the hook, can travel off road, offers retracted outrigger capacity charts, and has an excellent on-rubber lifting capacities.

The Demag AC 45 City crane checked all the boxes. 


First-Time Demag Owner


Steel Giraffe had never owned a Tadano or Demag mobile crane before, so Kelly was a bit skeptical. Kelly said, however, that the quickly exceeded his expectations, both for its performance and for how quickly his operator learned to run it.

“Working a 114’ radius with such a small foot-printed crane was quite an experience at first,” said Kelly. “We would often pull up to job sites and people would ask, ‘Is this crane going to reach?’”

Kelly said customers are blown away with how compact the unit is compared to the total boom-and-jib length it offers. He described a long-reach job to replace the flag halyards at historic Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island. “Installing the double swing jib was fast and easy,” Kelly said. “On the other end of the spectrum, the crane can often be found loading and unloading 40’ shipping containers that weigh around 30,000 lbs.”

Kelly is also happy with the crane’s fast and efficient setup. “Setup and breakdown times are extremely short,” he said. “We often find ourselves in different locations on the same job site throughout the day. The AC-45 lets us complete a lift and quickly move to the next one.”

Kelly also commented about how quickly the crane moves between different job sites.  “The ease of moving the crane is really notable. It’s not uncommon for us to have three to four jobs in a day, spread all over Rhode Island. The crane’s 50 mph top speed allows us to cover 100% of our state.”

Kelly said that three-axle steering and multiple steering modes let the AC-45 fit almost anywhere. He also said that the differential locks come in handy. “Sometimes you just get stuck, but once you engage the locks, the crane always climbs out without issue,” he said.

As for learning how to operate a crane from a manufacturer new to the Steel Giraffe fleet, Kelly said the IC-1 Plus computer software was extremely intuitive. “It’s basically like using an iPad. The full-color display really brings it to life and makes it easy to read and see in all conditions,” he said. “Switching between parts of line, crane modes, telescope modes, and general situational monitoring is as easy as touching the correct icon on the screen.”

In two years owning the crane, Steel Giraffe has used it in every imaginable setup: jib offset, runner, runner with searcher hook and offset, extensive pick-and-carry duty, varied outrigger positions, and reduced counterweights. Kelly said the three boom telescoping modes make the crane configurations virtually endless.

He also talked about some interesting projects Steel Giraffe has tackled with the Demag AC 45 City crane. They include installing the mast on a super yacht, moving MRI medical equipment, bridge work, installing art, loading the America’s Cup sailboat onto the Antonov Cargo Carrier aircraft, and building small to medium modular home.

After two years of lifts and 10,000 miles of travel, Kelly says he’s elated about Steel Giraffe’s purchase of the Demag AC-45 City crane.


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