BIGMAX Cranes has just announced they have a new Hectronic wireless remote control system that can be used for articulated or monoboom cranes that have low volume hydraulic systems. For more than 20 years now, radio controls have been available on large articulated cranes, but most of the smaller mono-boom cranes have been manually operated using the hydraulic control valve on the crane.
There are several reasons that wireless radio controls have been slow to be accepted for smaller size truck cranes, such as:
- Reliable FAA approved radio controls have been too costly to justify. In the past, adding wireless controls to a small crane meant increasing its cost by 50%. The option of supplying low cost controls (of garage door opener quality for example), was not a reliable and safe alternative.
- Radio controls could not be easily retrofitted to cranes in stock.
- While inconvenient, an operator of a small crane could still manage without remote controls. Small cranes have a shorter boom and therefore the load hook is usually less than 15 feet from the operator on the ground.
- The few cranes that required radio controls had to be purchased with the equipment already installed at the factory with lead times of 90 to 120 days from Europe. This delay was not acceptable to many crane purchasers.
At the BIGMAX warehouse in Canada there are currently over 60 cranes which are in-stock and ready for immediate delivery to any location in the United States, Canada, Central or South Amerca. All of these cranes can now be shipped with the new reliable and affordable wireless controls they have designed.
Drive Products, the parent crane manufacturer, has modularized the design of BIGMAX cranes to allow radio controls to be added directly at the Canadian warehouse, rather than having to be pre-ordered from the factory. This saves two months in lead time at a reduced cost which is value passed on to its customers.
Also, any BIGMAX crane with existing manual controls that is currently in service can be economically retrofitted with the new wireless radio control system.