UPDATED: Böcker launches hybrid electric truck crane

By Alex Dahm06 July 2022

blue crane on a white truck In addition to the power take-off from the truck’s diesel engine, the new Böcker AK 37e can be run as a hybrid crane via an onboard 230 Volt electric motor. Connected to a single-phase 230 Volt socket, the AK 37e operates continuously electrically in crane or platform mode

Manufacturer Böcker in Germany has launched a hybrid truck mounted model with a fully electrically powered crane.

The AK 37e can be configured to lift 4 tonnes (2 tonnes as standard) and offers a maximum lifting height of 37 metres (35 metres as standard). It can also be quickly converted into an aerial work platform with the addition of a personnel basket.

For work on site the unit is positioned and set up and then the crane can be operated fully electrically. It has a 48V lithium-ion battery on board the truck from which the crane can be operated. Its capacity is 4.5 kW-h, giving a running time in battery mode under an average duty cycle is two hours, the manufacturer said.

For continuous operation the crane can be connected via a cable to a mains electricity supply to run the 8 kW electric motor powering the hydraulics.

This electricity supply only needs to be domestic 230 Volt single-phase AC, not 400 Volts AC three-phase, Böcker said. When connected to the mains supply it charges the battery quickly enough to maintain a constant battery level during everyday operation, according to the manufacturer.

From a 230 Volt domestic socket Böcker estimates the charging time from 10 per cent to 80 % is 90 minutes. The crane can continue working during the charging process. It allows the crane to be operated wherever there is mains electricity, for example, in residential areas, not necessarily industrial areas.

Quieter and cleaner

Operation is possible with no harmful exhaust emission at the point of use because the crane truck‘s engine does not need to be running. (Note that there is a power take off from the engine to run the crane conventionally where no mains electricity is available). Operation is quieter with the electric drive than a diesel engine.

The battery is located in the truck chassis behind the cab and the diesel engine. It weighs about 40 kg. At present it is not possible to charge the crane battery from the truck’s diesel engine but this may be a future development.

“The new AK 37e operates with optimised consumption and requires significantly less energy than comparable cranes,” the company said. Energy consumption is reduced by having an automatic stop-start system so the electric motor only runs when it is needed.

As per the diesel version, the AK 37e offers a maximum hook speed of 45 metres a minute. With a load of 250 kg the electric crane can reach 28 metres, allowing it to place loads over the rear of buildings.

High tech controls

The electronic control system includes automatic set-up with auto-levelling and range indication in live mode, plus limitation on the slewing and the erection angle. Operation is via a hand-held radio remote control from HBC radiomatic. It carries a colour display showing all operations, available from one operating level. Cameras are optional.

Weight comes in at a maximum of 8.6 tonnes. Mounted on a 7.49 tonne MAN or Mercedes 2-axle truck there is a payload of 4 tonnes.

Outrigger settings can be individually controlled to adapt the spread for the available space on site. A PLC control then determines the capacity available as the crane moves.

For heavier duty application a version is available as a hybrid crane with a 400 Volt, 13 kW drive.

A trailer mounted version of the electric crane, the AK 36e, is already available.

Rectangular control box and orange hand-held remote control transmitter An onboard 4.5 kW-h lithium-ion battery makes the Böcker AK 37e electrically self-sufficient on site. Pictured is the cabinet for the electronics, with battery level indicator, and the HBC-radiomatic belly box
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