The moment Thomas Wiesbauer heard of the Tadano AC 7.450-1 for the first time, he knew he had to get his hands on one. In fact, the managing director of the Bietigheim-based company of the same name found the concept and the performance data so compelling that soon afterwards he signed a letter of intent on a napkin to make sure he would get the world’s very first unit. The seven-axle crane, a completely new development, was delivered in September 2021. A few days later, it faced its first test at the Port of Heilbronn, where it had to prove that it could meet the high expectations placed on it.
Finding out whether it would, was the responsibility of crane operator Jannik Weigle, who operated the new AC 7.450-1 in a tandem lift in Heilbronn. The counterpart was another crane from the Zweibrücken manufacturer – a Demag AC 500-2. “Our job was to lift a 125-tonne MRI magnet for a cancer research institute from a lowbed trailer to a height of about one meter, swing it through between both cranes, and then set it down in an inland cargo vessel’s cargo hold,” Jannik Weigle says while describing the lift.
There were two primary reasons that made the AC 7.450-1 the right choice for the lift: On one hand, its short setup times were perfect to make the job cost-effective. On the other hand, it had the required power, which, it is worth saying, was also the case with its sibling, the AC 500‑2. For the tandem lift at a radius of 10.4 meters, the cranes were equipped with 100 tonnes of counterweight each. In addition, the AC 7.450-1 was set up with a counterweight adapter frame, which expanded the slewing radius by a total of 40 centimeters and accordingly reduced the amount of counterweight that had to be transported. The load’s gross weight of 125 tonnes was split right in the middle between the two cranes. Then it was up to the two crane operators and their signalman: “After all, when dealing with a tandem lift, simply having the two crane operators work together perfectly isn’t enough. They also need a signalperson on whom they can depend 100%,” Jannik Weigle points out. And that is exactly what they had in co-worker Tim Moll: The experienced team was accordingly able to take care of the lift without a hitch, which was also made possible by the fact that the two sibling cranes were easy to operate in synchrony.
“An absolutely incredible machine”
So what was the impression left by the new AC 7.450-1 on Jannik Weigle? His answer leaves no room for doubt: “The new Tadano AC 7.450-1 is simply an absolutely incredible machine with first-class controls that make it possible to operate the crane with laser precision,” he excitedly says about his new machine. He also finds the remote control, which can be used to operate the crane’s functions, to be particularly impressive. He considers it to be a crucial advantage when setting up the counterweight and when moving the superstructure. He is also a fan of the Surround View system with its six cameras and 360° all-around visibility – not just at the work site where it makes it easier to position the crane, but also on the way there: The Surround View significantly enhances visibility at tight curves and whenever pedestrians and cyclists are in a blind zone. “But what I really like about the AC 7.450-1 in general is that everything was solved so simply and intuitively, and that makes the crane extremely easy and safe to operate,” Jannik Weigle succinctly puts it.
He also has praise for Tadano’s service, which he experienced in the form of the newly created Infant Care program, which had two Tadano service technicians, Thomas Frey and Norbert Kraus, be there on site for the job: “The goal of this service is to provide customers with extensive support during the first few weeks after the handover in the case of machines that have just been launched onto the market,” Thomas Frey explains. However, the service is not limited to briefing customers and providing support at the work site, but is also intended to relay feedback quickly and directly to the Tadano teams so that customer suggestions can be implemented as quickly as possible.
As far Jannik Weigle is concerned, however, the AC 7.450-1 is already perfect: “From the very beginning, I found the crane to be ideal down to the very last detail. It’s simply an amazing machine, I’m really thrilled with it, and none of that is going to change any time soon,” he confidently says.