The new fifth generation of Link-Belt’s established 218 series of lattice boom crawler cranes, the 218|V, made its debut at ConExpo 2023.

The 110-ton (99.79 tonne) capacity crane has a new design that Link-Belt Cranes believes will appeal to general contractors, crane rental houses, engineering firms, and owner/operator companies, just as its predecessors have.

The crane has a new 12” (30.4 cm) touchscreen LMI operating system which Link-Belt says offers better visibility with improved sightlines. Also, ergonomic foot pedals are closer to the cab floor to give better unobstructed views of ground level.

The new display has an operator interface with new counterweight sensing for live readout of stacked counterweight, live goundbearing, swing angle indicator, list and trim indicator, engine RPM monitoring, and improved diagnostics. The crane operator is assisted by on-board high-resolution winch-view, back-up, and non-cab side swing-view cameras with night vision to enhance jobsite visibility from within the cab.

A new optional lighting package also adds LED light on the cabside upper, below the upper and on the front cab for jobsite settings that require additional early morning or evening cover.

The 218|V has a Cummins QSB 6.7 Stage 5 engine that delivers 281 hp of power to a Kawasaki pump and motor package for what Link_belt describes as, ‘fast, responsive, fingertip control providing simultaneous operation wherever it is needed’. The 218|V can be run on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) which is also fully mixable with regular diesel fuel.  

The crane’s 218|V’s Eco Winch system is designed to provide greater fuel economy resulting in lower operating costs, less engine RPM under load, fewer emissions, and all the necessary line pull needed with a 28 mm rope. When activated by the operator the Eco hoist provides maximum line speed with lighter loads all with the engine under 1,000 RPM. Also, standard equipped is operator-selectable ‘auto-engine shutdown’ allowing the engine to shut down automatically after extended periods of inactivity so long as critical operating criteria are met. Also new for the 218|V is an extended hydraulic oil service interval to 4,000 hours (previously 2,000 hours).

The 218|V’s lower comes with the same undercarriage components and two-speed travel as the previous 218 HSL but is now equipped with quick deploy swing-out axle extenders. New car body counterweights (front and rear) feature a hook and pin design that fits between side frames allowing access to side frames for extend and retract. The front car body counterweight has an attached toolbox for additional storage.

With regards to counterweight and attachments, the 218|V self-assembles with 68,000 lbs. (30 844 kg) of upper counterweight and 30,200 lbs. (13 698 kg) of lower car body counterweight. The counterweight removal system is common to Link-Belt’s telecrawler lineup and comes with a remote control for single person operation. An additional 12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg) of counterweight provide a five percent average capacity gain over previous market leading 218 HSL.

            New quick reeve boom head with button style termination for easy setup for block and ball removal from a 26 mm rope. Lattice boom extensions on the 218|V are common to 218 HSL. Maximum main boom length is 230 ft. (70 m) and maximum fixed-jib length is 75 ft. (22.8 m). Maximum boom-and-jib combination gives the 218|V a maximum tip height of 279 ft. (85 m). Main boom for the new 218|V will come with new pendant storage brackets for secure pendant storage when transporting any section of main boom, with optional boom floodlights.

Other crane features include new access ladders and steps to the upper work platform, main load transports under 100,000 lbs (45 359 kg), 160 ft. (48.7 m) of boom on three 50 ft. (15.2 m) trailers, and power pack lug mounting brackets as standard.

            “Larger cranes often get more publicity for making eye-catching big lifts, but the daily, versatile workhorse in the industry is this size of machine,” said product manager for crawler cranes, Brian Elkins.