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New 85-USt RT is Easy to Move, Use, and Maintain

In an exclusive interview, Link-Belt experts told Crane Hot Line about the new 85-USt 85|RT the company will launch at CraneFest, Sept. 27-Oct. 1, and begin shipping in the fourth quarter of this year. Link-Belt is taking orders for it now.

Link-Belt 85-USt RTTrue 85-USt Rough Terrain

“The 85|RT is a newly designed 85-USt rough-terrain crane, not a scaled-down larger model,” said Brian Elkins, Link-Belt’s product manager for rough-terrain cranes. “As a fresh design, it optimizes capacity, transportability, and price for a crane in this capacity range.”

Elkins added that although the 85|Rt is a new design, it incorporates the high-value features found in other models of Link-Belt’s new-generation RTs, like the 100|RT and 120|RT. 

“The new cab, new flat deck with non-skid surfacing, Pulse 2.0, V-calc, vision package, formed boom, and easy maintenance features are all there,” Elkins said, “as well as competitive  capacities and excellent reach, of course.”

Easy to Move

Rental fleets and contractors both put easy transportation and quick setup high on their wish lists. “They asked for the highest capacity crane that could move as one or two loads,” said Elkins.

With full wire rope on both drums, a fully reeved load block, and a weight ball, but no counterweights, the 85|RT can ship on a single lowboy at 86,000 lbs.

The crane quickly and easily installs or removes its counterweights hydraulically, and the two identical 9,600-lb. plates can go on in either order for quick and easy self-assembly. Companies that own a 100|RT or 120|RT can benefit from the flexibility of the 85|RT using the same counterweight plates as
those models.

With its full 19,200-lb. counterweight, the 85|RT transports complete at under 105,000 lbs. Elkins says that weight is allowed most places in
North America. 

As a result, the 85|RT can often come off the trailer ready to work.

The crane is powered by a 270-hp  Tier 4F Cummins QSB engine, with a six-speed transmission delivering plenty of travel power. 

Link-Belt 85-USt RTReach, Capacity, Performance

The 85|RT’s five-section, full-power, 38'-142' formed boom delivers competitive capacities and excellent telescoping under load.

“Potential customers told us that competitive lifting capacity was most important at the most-used working radii, from 30' to 80',” said Elkins. “And the 85|RT delivers.”

Though final capacities are subject to testing, a preliminary chart shows the 85|RT picks 53,100 lbs. at 30', 24,300 at 50', 15,300 lbs. at 65', and 10,700 lbs. at 80'. 

The crane is designed to make most lifts with the main boom. Users who want more reach can choose the optional two-piece, 35'-58', swing-away jib for up to 208.7' of tip height.

The jib can be manually offset 0°, 15°, 30°, or 45°. Its SmartFly technology lets one person erect it easily with ground controls and minimal work at height.

Another jib option is a 9.5' offset jib that reeves up to four parts of line and can lift up to 25 USt. It’s ideal when two load lines are needed together, for example handling precast panels. 

Identical main and auxiliary winches come standard. Each delivers up to 18,603 lbs. of single-line pull and line speeds to 485 fpm. Both use 19mm diameter rope. The main winch holds 850'. The aux winch holds 600'.

Operator Comfort,Easy Operation

The 85|RT uses the same roomy cab as Link-Belt’s 100|RT and 120|RT, so operators will be equally familiar and confortable when operating any of them.

It has a large entrance and all the RT Series comforts like Bluetooth, more storage, interior lighting, and automotive HVAC.

The Pulse 2.0 LMI system is intuitive and easy to use. Its 10" color touchscreen offers a capacity limiter, diagnostics, monitoring, and telematics that even allow software updates by Wi-Fi. 

The 24V electrical system and five-node CANbus system make running diagnostics easy. The system also enables some functions to operate while others are diagnosed or serviced. 

Link-Belt’s V-CALC system offers virtually infinite outrigger configurations with real-time 360° capacity charts. Each outrigger can be positioned wherever needed, and the Pulse 2.0 system then previews real-time capacities that match the out-rigger configuration. 


The chassis offers six points of access, so at any turret angle, the operator can always step out onto a flat deck whose walking surfaces are all coated with durable slip-resistant paint.

Anchor points near the boom foot and on both sides of the boom top provide places to attach safety lanyards.To make maintenance easier and safer, electrical and hydraulic junctions are centralized and easily accessible from the outside of the crane, as are filters and fluid checkpoints.The vision package includes cameras that let the operator view the winch drums, the view from the right side of the turret, and the view from the rear of the turret. It also includes two floodlights on the boom.Optional lights include a high-intensity work light on top of the operator’s cab, one on the right side of the turret facing forward, one on the work platform, and one on the left side of the turret facing out.  

“We’re looking forward to unveiling the 85|RT at CraneFest,” said Elkins. 


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