Liebherr MK Mobile Cranes Support U.S. Construction Projects

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Liebherr's MK series of mobile construction cranes have officially arrived in the U.S., marking a milestone in the lifting and construction industry. These cranes, which combine the height and reach of a tower crane with the maneuverability of a mobile crane, are capable of positioning themselves directly alongside buildings or infrastructure.

Their rapid deployment enables contractors to move from site to site, transforming the workflow of construction projects.

“Our family first saw the MK series in action at the Bauma trade fair in Munich over ten years ago, and we have been eager to utilize this type of crane in the United States ever since. We are proud and grateful that Ideal Crane will become the first provider of MK cranes in the U.S.," said Robert Kalhagen, president of Ideal Crane Rental.

Ideal Crane Rental, a family-run business based in Madison, Wisconsin, values the versatility of the MK cranes.

“Tasks that previously required a larger crane with multiple counterweights and jib extensions can now be managed with a crane that carries its own counterweights and can be set up in a fraction of the time. The MK 140-5.1, our largest MK crane, has a reach of more than 200 ft., a hook height of up to 309 ft. and is fully operational in less than 30 minutes,” explained Kalhagen.

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Deploying MK Cranes

Ideal Crane Rental is preparing to deploy its new fleet of MK cranes across the Midwest supporting a wide spectrum of projects including HVAC installations, roofing projects, steel construction, solar panel installations and other diverse infrastructure tasks.

“We are proud to lead with this technology. As our family transitions to the next generation of leadership, we look forward to shaping the future with Liebherr’s mobile construction cranes,” added Kalhagen.

One of the first tasks for these cranes will be replacing a traditional mobile crane for roofing work, where the MK’s radius and height-adjustable cabin will support safety.

Founded in 1973, Ideal Crane Rental maintains a large fleet of Liebherr cranes, including over 20 K-series tower cranes, LTM mobile cranes (up to 500 t) and LTR and LR crawler cranes (up to 330 t), so Ideal Crane Rental is very familiar with both the fast-erecting and mobile crane models. “We have a long history with Liebherr and greatly value their reliable, high-quality products,” Kalhagen concludes.

"I selected the MK 88-4.1 for its exceptional versatility and rapid deployment capabilities. The key advantage of integrating an MK into our fleet is its ability to be positioned so close to a building and operate in tight spaces where a standard mobile crane cannot," said Stephen L. Chasse, president of Chasse Steel in New Hampshire.

The MK 88-4.1 will primarily serve construction sites in New Hampshire and Massachusetts with initial projects including construction support to a number of four- to six-story timber frame residential buildings. These buildings, utilizing prefabricated panels, are located in congested, urban areas where space is limited.

Made for Cities

Liebherr mobile construction cranes are designed for North America's cities, characterized by crowded centers, tall buildings and heavy traffic. Capable of being positioned directly next to structures, the need for road or lane closures can often be completely avoided. Their capacity to operate in tight spaces is a factor driving companies like Ideal Crane Rental and SL Chasse Steel to invest in them.

In addition to their versatility, the MK cranes can be operated by a single person who can drive, set up and operate the crane without any other support assets.

Liebherr mobile construction cranes are versatile and can be utilized across most American states. They come with the reliable Liebherr service, including access to skilled service technicians, local sales teams and available spare parts.

The MK cranes come packed with safety features. Crane assembly and disassembly are fully automated and the crane’s intelligent operating system automatically recognizes its configuration status allowing it to inform the operator of safe working limits.

Camera systems provide the operator with a view of the jobsite, facilitating load monitoring and slewing radius checks for potential hazards. To ease road travel, the driver cabin has an expansive and unobstructed windshield, a reversing camera and multiple driving modes.

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Quiet Operation

For projects where noise is a concern, these cranes can be plugged into a power supply and operated using site power or another external source. This feature is designed for nighttime construction and noise-sensitive environments such as residential areas or hospitals.

The current MK series of mobile construction cranes includes three models, including 3, 4 and 5-axle options, hook heights up to 309 ft., lifting radiuses over 200 ft. and varying lifting capacities.

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