Link-Belt Cranefest Hosts International Crane Market

Link-Belt recently hosted more than 1000 crane owners, distributors, and media at the company’s headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

The week of action started out with over 200 Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) members travelling to Link-Belt during their Fall Workshop to tour the factory and attend a live product demonstration of Link-Belt cranes. SC&RA is an international trade association of nearly 1,300 member companies from 43 nations. Members are involved in specialized transportation, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting, crane and rigging operations, manufacturing and rental.

Link-Belt’s triennial CraneFest hosted a record number of attendees September 24th – 28th. Nearly 800 customers, distributors, and members of the media were treated with Bluegrass hospitality while they observed the best the global crane market has to offer. “It’s a real privilege for us to be able to accommodate such a large contingency of crane owners. Not only do they get to observe our machines first-hand, but we get to show them our appreciation for being great customers of our product,” said Link-Belt Vice President for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support, Bill Stramer.

This year’s CraneFest festivities included dinner at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion where Keeneland’s annual September Yearling Sale had just wrapped up with the top seller being a Shadwell Estate Company colt by Distorted Humor selling for $1.55 million. The next morning at the Link-Belt plant, Chuck Martz, CEO, and Bill Stramer, Vice-President for Marketing, Sales and Customer Support addressed the group prior to a full tour of the factory and a live product demonstration.

The demonstration highlighted transportation and lift features of the entire line of Link-Belt cranes, culminating with the unveiling of the new 248 HSL and RTC-8080 Series II. Lunch was provided afterward and cranes were made available for customer inspection and operation. The show also serves as a catalogue for customers who rarely get to see such an exhaustive representation of Link-Belt cranes.

Link-Belt RTC-8080 Series II Debuts At 2012 Cranefest

Link-Belt introduced its newest member of the Series II rough terrain family, the RTC-8080 Series II, 80-ton with the Link-Belt Pulse total crane operating system and full-power, four section boom at CraneFest.

Link-Belt Telescopic Crane Product Manager, Rick Curnutte states, “The new RTC-8080 Series II hits the mark between the RTC-8065 Series II and RTC-8090 Series II. It has all of the cutting edge features that customers and operators alike have come to expect in the Series II line, plus other new features!” Some of those new features include platform guardrails, a three-piece bi-fold fly, and improved capacity for the RTC-8080 Series II, which replaces the RTC-8075 model.

Lift Capabilities

The RTC-8080 Series II features a 41 – 127ft, four section, full-power, formed boom. To make maintenance easier, the design incorporates Link-Belt’s standard Teflon wear pucks impregnated in the wear pad surfaces so the boom requires no grease. An available remote control boom flood light attached to the base section of the telescopic boom can be used as a spotlight in nighttime settings. The boom, combined with removable, modular counterweights, helps reduce the transport weight to less than 90,000 lbs.

Fly Options

There are three on-board fly options available that feature four manual offset positions of  2, 15 30, and 45 degrees. These fly combinations provide up to an additional 64 ft of on-board reach. One of the three on-board fly offerings is the 3-piece, bi-fold lattice fly, which features a 10 ft  integrated fly that is similar to what was first introduced on the RTC-80130 Series II and HTC-3140LB cranes. It will have two bottom sheaves for mutli-part line reeving and have over 20 USt of capacity. No more hauling a separate specialized fly to the jobsite and then trying to figure out an easy way to install it – everything you need stows neatly on the crane. Link-Belt will also be providing lift procedures for two line, one load operation from the main boom head and from the 10-foot fly. The full 64 ft on-board fly bring the tip height to 199ft.

Under the Hood

Powering the RTC-8080 Series II is the 270 horsepower Cummins QSB 6.7L with a Tier 4i/Stage IIIB emission compliant engine. A direct-mount power shift transmission brings the power to the wheels. It has six forward and six reverse speeds. A switch in the operator’s cab controls the four steering modes: independent front, independent rear, all wheel, and diagonal.

Improving the Ride

The RTC-8080 Series II uses an automotive style, 4-link suspension. The fully independent rear suspension reduces bouncing and improves handling both on and off the road. For an even better ride, Link-Belt’s patented Hydro-gas Ride suspension is available as an option. At higher road speeds, Hydro-gas Ride provides a level of comfort and handling unmatched by other rough terrain cranes.

Winches that Perform

The winches deliver 18,500 lbs (8 391.5kg) of line pull and 460 fpm (140.2m/min) of line speed. Other available features include rollers and last layer/third wrap indication both with and without function kickout. Winch operations are also fully compliant to the latest OSHA standards.

Cab and Carrier Access

For crane operators, there are a total of six points of access to the flat deck of the carrier frame. The front and rear lower steps can be folded to avoid damage during transport. A  ladder has been incorporated into the upper sheet metal to allow access to an upper work platform with a folding guardrail. With large, swing-out doors revealing the entire engine compartment,  it is easy to monitor routine checks of power-terrain components as well as fluid levels.

The operator’s cab features a large viewing window that minimizes blind spots and has well placed controls and readouts, including Link-Belt’s Pulse total crane operating system that incorporates a user-friendly display that is graphically oriented for the rated capacity limiter, boom extend modes, and more.

Other standout features of the RTC-8080 Series II and all Link-Belt Series II cranes

  • Confined Area Lifting Capacity or CALC™ feature allows for three  different outrigger positions (fully extended, intermediate and fully retracted) and is also fully compliant to the latest OSHA requirements.
  • Electronic throttle for improved throttle response
  • Hydraulic disc brakes for both service brakes and parking brake
  • Single or dual axis joystick controls for smooth, precise control
  • Weather proof electrical connectors and relays throughout for outstanding long-term reliability
  • Color coded and numbered wiring is protected by a flame retardant polyethylene insulation
  • Full lighting package includes cab lights, headlights, turn indication, marker, backup, and stop
  • No deducts in capacity when telescoping loads
  • Powder-coated tubing is utilized throughout the crane
  • Hand-held outrigger controls
  • Pre-painted components and plated hardware
  • O-ring face sealed hydraulic components with staggered fittings
  • Well organized electrical and hydraulic routings throughout
  • Supported 24/7 by Link-Belt Preferred including online manuals, literature, a ground bearing calculator, and 3D Lift Plan

All New 248 HSL At Cranefest 2012

The all-new 200-ton 248 HSL was introduced at CraneFest ’12, in Lexington, Kentucky. It is the next generation of the highly successful 248 HYLAB 5 series started over twenty years ago.

The 248 HSL joins the 238 HSL and the newly upgraded 298 HSL in the 150-250 ton market. The 248 will prove its value in steel erection, bridgework, pile driving and more. It is loaded with all the features and the latest technology.

Design Inspiration

Like the 238 HSL, customer input drove much of the new design for the 248 HSL. The crane comes standard with folding upper guardrails and full-length right and left catwalks with grab handles. The crane operator will be assisted by an on-board high-resolution back up camera that will help monitor jobsite conditions. An outside audio/visual travel alarm system informs crew members on the ground. The HSL monitoring system provides the operator all critical lift information, is extremely intuitive and allows the operator to set swing and other control parameters creating virtual walls with audio and visual alarms.

ECO System

Greater fuel efficiency is offered with the new ECO system, resulting in lowered operating cost, less engine RPM under load, and fewer emissions. When activated by the operator, ECO allows maximum line speed with lighter loads while the engine remains under 1,000RPM. Also, standard equipped as part of this system, the operator-selectable auto-engine shutdown will turn the engine off after extended periods of inactivity, so long as critical operating criteria are met.

Engine Components

The heart of the 248 HSL is the 282-horsepower Isuzu 6HK1 Tier 4i engine, Link-Belt tested to ensure critical uptime while producing reliable, clean-burning power. The high-performance tandem main piston pump and gear pump package provide total horsepower control by maximizing available power for high flow/speed, as needed, with the highest level of fuel efficiency. The proven Link-Belt hydraulic, pilot operated control system directs and regulates flow to deliver millimeters when needed – every time and with great feel in the levers providing valuable feedback to the operator.

Drum Hoist

Piston motors drive the swing and travel systems, front/rear winches and the boom hoist. The matching performance 26mm main winch grooved drums come standard with power up/power down with automatic brakes.

Optional “wet-style” main drum hoist brakes for free fall operation are available on one or both main drums. The foot-operated, dynamic style, swing brake controls manual overlap of the braking and swing applications, giving the operator greater control under a wide range of conditions.


Like its predecessor, the 248HSL has a strong, heavy duty lower with two carbody counterweights to provide a great lifting base and long life with all sealed rollers, idlers, and drive components, along with full contact 44 in shoes, and a 25” clearance in its working configuration. Car body jacks come standard with a remote control for fast, easy assembly with increased lowboy clearance both in width and height.

Ease of Transport

Because it’s so easy to transport, the 248 HSL makes money every time it transports. The modular upper counterweight removal system lowers the counterweights to the ground from the remote control station, much like Link-Belt’s 218 & 238 HSL style.

The hydraulic cylinders detach in one piece with the base counterweight to reduce the weight of the main transport load. The upper counterweights consist of a 20,000 lb “A” counterweight and six 15,000 lb biscuit counterweights. Main counterweight release and engage pins simplify the assembly/disassembly process. For even quicker mobility, the 35,000 lb side frames attach via hook and pin. The main load with base and self-erection equipment weighs less than 87,000 pounds. Two 17,650 lb carbody weights help provide a strong lift chart in a compact package.


The 248 HSL has a main boom length of 55–285 ft and incorporates lifting sheaves in the boom base section for fast assembly and disassembly. A fixed jib ranges from 30-100 ft for a maximum tip height of 345 ft.

Operator’s Cab

The operator’s cab of the 248 HSL is highly functional and comfortable. In addition to the full complement of backlit gauges and adjustable armchair-mounted controls, the ergonomic design offers the operator several advantages: greater visibility, more room, adjustable boom, swing, and load hoist controls; six-way adjustable seat, and AM/FM digital clock radio. For those hot days, high-output air conditioning is standard. As a result, the 248 HSL is a great place to work.


ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. has finalized the purchase of a dozen of Link-Belt’s newly introduced RTC 8080 Series II rough terrain cranes. As the buyer of the first large package of yet another new Link-Belt crane product, ALL has once again demonstrated their confidence in Link-Belt’s ability to deliver to the market innovative and high-specification new models. This purchase agreement also includes an additional 12 units consisting of 65-ton and 130-ton rough terrain cranes as well as 75-ton and 100-ton truck cranes.

According to Link-Belt North American Sales Manager, Skeeter Collins, “Time and again, ALL Erection has stepped forward to take advantage of the competitive edge provided by Link-Belt’s latest technologies. We value ALL Erection’s confidence in our products, and we look forward to providing outstanding service and support for the life of these cranes.”

Cleveland-based ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. is the largest privately held crane rental company in North America, and offers an extensive, technologically advanced fleet of lifting equipment that services jobs all over the world.

“We have confidence in the quality of Link-Belt cranes,” says Michael Liptak, President of the ALL Family of Companies. “That’s especially important right now when we are so busy, and Link-Belt’s new rough terrain model meets a tonnage and classification demand that is currently very high. We also appreciate the extensive customer support we know is behind every Link-Belt crane that we add to our fleet. In today’s market, that’s a competitive advantage for us and our rental customers.”


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