With the unplugged series Liebherr recently launched the world’s first battery-powered crawler cranes. Only hours before the official unveiling in December 2020, the very first LR 1250.1 unplugged had its premiere at a jobsite in Oslo. Customer Kynningsrud Nordic Crane AS was using the crane for lifting operations to build a new sports centre. But the story with the first customer begins even before the crane was ever planned.
Two years ago at a business lunch with Liebherr representatives, Eirik Kynningsrud asked the question that changed everything, “What’s new in Nenzing?”
At this time it was still top secret. But a sneak preview for the long-time customer was okay. “We are working on a battery-powered crawler crane.” Eirik’s curiousity was aroused and he wondered. “Do you have a first customer?” “No, not yet.” “Well, now you have one.”
At this time Eirik hadn’t seen any drawings or plans of the LR 1250.1 unplugged. Some weeks later at Bauma 2019 Liebherr could show him the LB 16 unplugged, the first battery-powered drilling rig in the world. The idea was to extend the alternative drive concept to the crane. Another 6 months later first customer Kynningsrud saw the initial drawings of his unplugged model for the very first time.
Liebherr: You ordered the LR 1250.1 unplugged before it was even designed. How crazy is that?
Eirik Kynningsrud, General Manager Kynningsrud Nordic Crane AS: We don’t think it is crazy. In Norway, we have the challenge that our government want to have zero emission construction sites, and we want to be a leading company for these projects. We always try to be the green alternative.
How did it come about?
I have been interested in the crane since I heard about it during my visit to Austria. At Bauma we had a brief presentation of the concept. It was convincing, and we decided we wanted the first LR 1250.1 unplugged.
How did your partners react to the idea of ordering a crane you’ve never seen before?
The partners were very positive that we can work emission free, and of course it attracts quite some interest, giving us positive publicity.
Why was it so important to you to be the first customer of the LR 1250.1 unplugged?
We wanted to be the leading company that delivers emission-free cranes.
Are you planning to extend your fleet with other unplugged cranes?
Yes, the future for the crane industry in Norway is emission free.
You probably know that we will launch the LR 1130 and LR 1160 in unplugged versions this year.
This is very interesting because the LR 1250.1 unplugged with its 250 t load capacity is too big for many projects and is, therefore, also more costly for our customers.
The first jobsite of the LR 1250.1 unplugged was in Oslo. How was your first experience?
Very good, and the crane is still on the project.
What was particulary positive at the crane’s premiere?
We had a good presentation in Norway. Even Ingjerd Schou, Vice-President of the Norwegian Parliament, was there and held a speech about the importance of construction sites with zero emission.
How was the feedback from the operator?
Very good. To begin with he missed the accelerator pedal on the floor to adjust the speed of movements, but now he is accustomed to using only the joysticks. By the way, the heating system is brilliant.
Have you received any feedback from Norway’s/Oslo’s population?
Not yet, but the contractors are very positive.
How important is the reduced noise emission of the crane in such metropoles?
It is also very positive together with zero emissions. It makes it easier to communicate and, in a way, safer on the construction site.
How does the electrical supply for the crane work?
It works very well. We had no problems getting the electrical supply on the construction site.
Have you already planned the next projects for the LR 1250.1 unplugged?
We are working on several projects, but have not yet decided which project we will attend.
Kynningsrud supports a HSE strategy (Health, Safety and Environment). Can you explain this philosophy?
Kynningsrud Nordic Crane shall contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable development. We shall achieve this by identifying our environmental aspects, implement preventive measures and ensure compliance and continuous improvement while simultaneously placing requirements on our selection of goods and suppliers of services.
Our efforts to minimize our influence on the environment involves everyone in the company, and we shall follow all relevant laws, regulations and requirements. When we invest, we think green, and all new machines shall have the latest environmental classification. Our focus is on an environmentally friendly machinery park and reducing our carbon footprint. Our vision, “pleasure of being useful”, and our values “honest – loyal – enthusiastic” provide a guideline for our environmental efforts.
What role does the unplugged crane play in this?
That should be clear – we aim to minimize our influence on the environment, to reduce our carbon footprint, and as you see – we think green!
Let’s talk about tenders for construction projects. Do you already see an increased demand for alternative drive systems for construction machinery?
Yes, absolutely. Particularly in the Oslo region, there is a lot of focus on reducing emissions on construction sites.
If so, you can expect more projects with unplugged cranes, right?
How do you like the name “unplugged”?
I like this name a lot!