State firm's crane runs on veggie oil

Monday, October 02, 2006

From The Capital Times on September 30, 2006:

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Wisconsin company is testing a crane that uses vegetable oil to run its hydraulic lift system.

Most hydraulic systems use petroleum products that can damage the environment if spilled. Manitowoc Crane Group designed its truck-mounted crane to be used in or near wetlands, lakes and other environmentally sensitive areas.

"It worked just like a regular boom truck. No problems," said Jeff Johnson, chief operating officer of Scott Powerline and Utility Equipment, a Louisiana company testing the crane.

Manitowoc Crane Group had been worried that the vegetable oil would degrade or become rancid with heavy use, said John Lukow, vice president of sales and marketing.

But so far, the test has gone well. Scott Powerline has put more than 1,000 hours on its crane as it installs power line polls near Dallas.

Manitowoc now plans to offer its eco-friendly crane to others. In addition to using vegetable oil in the hydraulic system, the crane runs on a soy-based biodiesel fuel.

The company doesn't expect the veggie crane to be a big seller, but a spokesman said it gives construction companies another option.

"You never know where they're going to end up, and where there are going to be environmental options," spokesman Tom Cioni said.


PeakEngineer said...

That's one of the coolest sustainable designs for industry I've seen in a long time. Go Wisconsin! :)