An Australian designed and built all-terrain crane, the newly released Construct RC 20-20 offers many refinements including an airbag suspension system and fork attachments for difficult pick and carry conditions, writes Tod Kennedy.

This articulated, two axle crane has a fully powered, 4-piece boom which can hoist up to 16t at the hook block, and up to 18t from its sliding hook, at a radius of 1.6m to a height of 7.5m.

A unique feature on this class of crane is the quick response airbag suspension with shock absorbers which improves travel comfort over rough roads. In travelling mode this suspension system ensures a balanced axle loading of 10,500kg rear and 8,700kg front, allowing axle oscillation, while maintaining an even weight on all four wheels. In craning operations air is dumped out of the bags, allowing the chassis to lower onto the axles for lifting stability.

The RC 20-20 can pick and carry heavy and bulky loads on poor underfoot conditions beyond the ability of conventional machines, according to the company’s John Sandstrom.

With this in mind the unit is designed to quickly adapt to forklift functions such as loading 6m-long containers designed for forklifts weighing 13.5t in an open muddy field. “Rough terrain forklifts can handle the terrain but do not have the lifting capacity. Conventional forklifts have the capacity but have problems with the ground conditions,” said Sandstrom.

“The solution is to use the RC 20-20 with a forklift mast mounted to the front of the chassis. The 4WD capacity of the RC 20-20 along with the airbag suspension allows the unit to handle the load requirements and difficult terrain.” The company offers two models of fork mast. The standard mast which requires the crane boom to be removed for operation, and the low profile, quick-release mast which tucks under the crane boom. The low profile mast is capable of loading 10t to a maximum tine height of 2m.

The RC 20-20 is powered by a Cummins C series turbo-charged engine developing 157kW at 2,200 rpm. It is matched to an eight speed Funk DDF250 power shift and torque converter transmission with lock-up. Axles are Eaton heavy-duty units with the rear axle incorporating a driver activated differential lock.

Quick reeving of the winch allows two or four falls of rope. When reeved for four falls the lift capacity is 16t.

The crane’s maximum travelspeed is 85km/h.