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Crane Hot Line

Manitowoc MLC100-1 Works 2,500 Faultless Hours on Tunneling Project

Sept. 22, 2020 – A Manitowoc MLC100-1 lattice-boom crawler crane worked 2,500 hours with100% availability for Triad Engineering and Contracting on a tunneling project. Its performance helped Triad complete the project ahead of schedule.

On the project, the 110-U.S.-ton capacity MLC100-1 worked double shifts for months on end with no issues.


Triad is headquartered in Walton Hills, Ohio, near Cleveland. It got the MLC100-1 from Manitowoc dealer Cleveland Crane and Shovel Sales Corp., of Bedford, Heights.

Manitowoc reports that everyone at Triad, from the president to operators, is impressed with the MLC100-1’s performance, thanks to its line speed, capacity, and reliability.

The company received its Manitowoc MLC100-1 in Aug. 2019 and immediately put it to work on the London Road Relief Sewer project on the east side of Cleveland.

Operating continuously two shifts a day, the crane notched 2,500 hours of faultless operation in its first 12 months. 

Cliff Kassouf, president of Triad, said the consistent performance of the MLC100-1 helped his company complete the project ahead of schedule. “When Manitowoc introduced the MLC100-1, it was exactly what we were looking for,” he said.

“We needed it to work across two shifts continuously for several months, so reliability and efficiency were always going to be important,” Kassouf added. “It completed a 6,600’ tunnel without a single issue.”

Kassouf noted that flawless performance is rare for a crane in tunneling. “Typically, any machine will have an issue at some stage, but this thing never stopped,” he said. “To have a machine operating that dependably across two shifts for so long is huge. In the end, we mined the 6,600’ tunnel section ahead of schedule.”

The London Road Relief Sewer project forms part of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District utility. It’s formed by a three-pronged network of relief sewer tunnels, leading to a drainage structure that connects to a nearby water treatment plant.

Much of the crane’s work involved lifting railcars loaded with material that had been excavated by the tunnel boring machine. The cars were part of an underground rail system that carried material from the cutting machine to the vertical access shaft, where the crane sat at ground level.

The MLC100-1 lifted each loaded railcar up the 60’ tall shaft to ground level and dumped its contents before lowering the empty car back down into the tunnel. Each fully loaded car weighed about 16,000 lbs., and the crane cycled through 50 to 60 cars per shift. It covered shifts that started at 6:30 a.m. and didn’t stop until midnight.

Smooth Operation, Precise Controls 

The MLC100-1 is a 110-U.S.-ton capacity crane with a maximum moment of 2,680,000-ft.-lbs. It can be equipped with up to 200’ of main boom and can also have a 60’ fixed jib.

The crane is powered by a 300-hp Cummins 6.7-liter Tier 4 Final engine. Operators are also able to adjust the controls to suit the task at hand — a feature that helped the sewer project run smoothly, according to Kassouf. 

“The line speed, line pull, and precision control were all important factors when we were looking for a crane,” he said. “We can calibrate the controls on the MLC100-1 to regulate the speed at which we lower something … get it down to small increments so it’s accurate, then speed it up when we need to move faster. Putting the crane together is pretty quick and efficient, and fuel consumption has improved. There are a lot of benefits with this new machine.” 

The self-assembly system of the MLC100-1 allows full setup without an assist crane. Like most current generation cranes from Manitowoc, it has the company’s Crane Control System for a familiar cab layout and easier interchangeability of parts.

Also, the wide-body cab offers operators 10% more legroom than previous models. That was a hit with operators on the job, according to Triad equipment manager Rick Chipka.

“Our operators liked it a lot. It’s convenient and comfortable to operate,” he said. “Also, our mechanics were working with the team from our local Manitowoc dealer, Cleveland Crane & Shovel, to make sure everyone understood the computers and controls. The guys at Cleveland Crane & Shovel worked around our schedule on the project, so it didn’t impede our progress. This crane has done really well for us — it really has.” 

Triad purchased its MLC100-1 through Andrew Forepaugh, vice president of sales at Cleveland Crane & Shovel. “I would like to thank Cliff Kassouf and Rick Chipka and the rest of their team members for putting trust in Cleveland Crane & Shovel and Manitowoc to meet their needs in this demanding business requirement,” Forepaugh said. 

Triad is a tunneling specialist, founded in 1987 and operating out of facilities in Cleveland, Ohio and Charleston, South Carolina. Cleveland Crane & Shovel, based in Bedford Heights, Ohio, is one of the oldest Manitowoc dealers in the U.S. The company provides sales and support services for both Manitowoc crawler cranes and Grove mobile cranes, and is a certified Manitowoc Crane Care Elite partner. 


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