Wireless (radio) controls have been well accepted over the last 20 years on most large articulated hydraulic cranes. However, most of the smaller mono-boom cranes (ie. less than 4 t/m) have been manually operated using the hydraulic control valve on the crane.
Wireless controls have been slow to be accepted for smaller cranes for several reasons:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Radio controls could not be easily retrofitted to cranes in stock.
Affordable and Reliable Wireless Controls Are Now Available
In a new development, Technocrane now offers a Hectronic wireless remote control system that is suitable for small mono-boom and articulated cranes with low volume hydraulic systems. This means that BIGMAX cranes from Technocrane’s stock can now be shipped with affordable, reliable wireless controls. In addition, BIGMAX cranes currently in service with manual controls can be economically retrofitted with wireless controls.
Reliability has been proven and Technocrane has modularized the design of BIGMAX cranes to allow radio controls to be added at the Canadian warehouse, rather than at the factory. This saves time and money which can be passed on to customers.
How Do the Radio Controls Work?
The wireless controls are available with 3 or 4 functions as a direct replacement for the original control valve on the crane. The control valve replaces the original manually operated control valve that is standard on all BIGMAX cranes. The multi-function control valve has a flow control section with a flow divider that controls the operating speed of all hydraulic functions.
The electronic control valve is sectional and proportional. It includes man-sized emergency, manual over-ride levers to allow the crane to be operated manually in the event of an electrical problem, or if the transmitter is lost or broken. The wiring harness, which uses DIN connectors, is weather proofed for outdoor use.
The radio control system utilizes the proven Hetronic Hand Held MFSHL Series transmitter, and a multi section electronic valve providing proportional control for all functions. To operate, the function is selected by engaging a toggle switch, the speed is controlled by depressing or releasing a trigger.
The Hetronic hand held transmitter is available with 4 functions with or without additional PMW toggle switches for other non crane functions.
The transmitter is available with up to 6 toggle switches, three of which are used to operate the crane. The remaining switches can be supplied in various configurations from PMW momentary-on to 3 position type.
The additional switches are typically used to activate boom-mounted hammers, hydraulic winches and outrigger stabilizers.
Technocrane is a leading crane manufacturer for small truck cranes, marine cranes and hydraulic outrigger stabilizers. For further information about wireless radio controls for articulated cranes call Technocrane, toll free, at 1-877-531-8644 or visit the website at www.bigmaxcranes.com.
Published By Todd Slobogean
CEO, Technocrane Inc.