Kobelco Cranes: Large & Lattice-Boom Crawler Manufacturers

photo showing Kobelco Cranes

In the 2003 Kobe Steel entered the crane manufacturing market by opening operations in North America, Europe, and Asia. Previous to that entry Kobe Steel was most well known for heavy-duty excavation equipment. In fact, their heavy-duty excavators still hold a reputation as some of the finest made.

When Kobe Steel decided to get into the crane industry they made the decision to focus on lattice-boom crawlers. Their extensive expertise in crawlers and carriage systems was such that it required no retooling or reinvention on their part. It was a decision allowing them to secure a strong foothold in the market very quickly.

Since then the company has branched out into all-terrain cranes. However, they only have a small number of models currently available under that category. Kobelco intends to continue developing this line in hopes of becoming a dominant player there as well.

Kobelco Crane Categories

While some crane manufacturers take on half a dozen or more categories, Kobelco Cranes focuses on only two. And even at that, their primary focus is large, lattice-boom crawlers. There crawlers are seen on construction projects in some of the most difficult places. Their excellent stability and heavy-lift capabilities mean they are the ideal option for heavy-duty work. The fact that they move on a track system also makes them highly useful as pick and carry cranes.

Kobelco's all-terrain category is officially known as Wheel Cranes. Currently they manufacture two telescoping boom crane models and one lattice-boom crane model. All-terrain cranes are a good option for medium to heavy duty in environments not suitable for a standard truck-mounted crane or crawler.

Kobelco manufactures a third category they call Work Vessels. These are cranes built for barges. Their design takes into account the delicate nature of materials handling on the water.

Most Popular Kobelco Cranes

Kobelco CKE-1800 Heavy Duty Lattice Boom Crane

Kobelco CKE-1800 Heavy Duty Lattice Boom Crane

The CKE-1800 1F is the 180-ton workhorse of the CKE line. As a heavy-duty lattice boom Crane the CKE-1800 offers a lot of options via several different jibs, boom extensions, and winches. The fully enclosed cab offers complete protection along with some extra amenities for operator comfort.

Kobelco TK-550 Telescoping Boom Crane

Kobelco TK-550 Telescoping Boom Crane

Among Kobelco's smaller cranes is the telescoping boom TK550. The crane's 9.97m boom can be fully extended in just over a minute, making it fairly easy to unload the TK550 and get right to work. The boom is rated at 55 tons with an additional 5 tons possible using optional sheaves. This crane is a very good choice for utility work, road and bridge construction, and remote materials handling.

In the wheel Crane category Kobelco's RK450 is the larger of the two telescoping boom cranes. Kobelco did a nice job creating a compact design that travels down the road easily and safely but comes alive on the job site. The RK450 is a 45-ton crane with a 7.9m boom and three jib options. The boom does not fully extend as quickly as the TK550, but a two-minute time is still nothing to laugh at. The RK450 works well for windmill construction, residential and light commercial building, rail yard work, and HVAC installation.

Recent Projects Featuring Kobelco Cranes

In Christchurch, New Zealand both workers and civilians are intimately familiar with Kobelco Cranes. Since 2010 a series of earthquakes in the Asia-Pacific region have been wreaking havoc in the greater Christchurch area. Daniel Smith Industries is just one of the organizations working to put the city back together. They are using a Kobelco CKE-2500 crawler for some of their most important work, including the restoration of a damaged cathedral.

A CKE-2500 was also put the test in Florida by Hal Jones Contractor Inc., for road and bridge construction. Similar projects were undertaken by road construction companies in Alabama and Utah. The CKE-2500 works well on these jobs because it's not bothered by the terrain. Exceptional stability and lifting power makes it one of the best Kobelco models for road and bridge projects.

Kobelco Cranes is quickly expanding and making a name for itself in the heavy-duty crawler Crane category. Their operations in the United States and Europe are of particular focus right now given their fairly strong position in Japan and China. We'll have to see how well they'll do competing against the industry's biggest names.

Find out more about their cranes at Kobelco Cranes