GSS- AC-450

Global Specialized Systems was proud to showcase the newest addition to its fleet of cranes – the AC 450 – at ConExpo-Con/AGG, the largest construction show in North America! 

The AC-450 is a 500-ton mobile hydraulic crane that runs on seven axles. This crane is as compact as 6-axle cranes, but it has the capacity of many 8-axle cranes. 

“This crane is one hundred percent mobile,” said Mike Orr, the Crane Operations Manager for GSS. “This cuts down on transportation costs, because mobilization makes this much more efficient and affordable than conventional crawler cranes. A crane of this size, in a crawler category, would probably be in the neighborhood of 25 loads; we can move this one in seven loads.” 

The AC-450’s mobilization is one of its most important features, but it’s not the only thing. 

“One of the benefits of this crane is that it’s got 260 feet of main boom,” Orr said. “Which means all you’ve got to do is pull up onto the job site, hang some counterweights, and you can send out 260 feet of boom and go to work. Or you can put it in 265 feet of luffing jib, which gives you a 410-foot max tip height.” 

Which means, in Layman’s terms, that it can reach really, really tall places. 

“With that kind of setback, you can reach the top of all wind towers for maintenance, gearbox changes, and more,” Orr stated. 

All of these features and more made the AC-450 the belle of the proverbial ball at the ConExpo-Con/AGG, which took place from March 13-17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

“We’ve been talking about this crane for about eight months,” Orr said. “We secured the deal with Crane Works a couple months after we started talking about getting something in the 500-ton class. So, we partnered up with Crane Works and Tadano, and we found one that was going to be delivered and we found out that it was going to be the same crane that was coming to ConExpo, which really made them push it to get delivered overseas.”

It was delivered and it most certainly did deliver.

“It was actually the centerpiece of Tadano’s exhibit at ConExpo,” Orr said. “The expo itself was great. I went out the week before to make sure that the crane was in good shape and looked good for the show. And then we had really good conversations with Tadano and Crane Works and just went over a lot of the functions, processes, and procedures that go along with a crane of this magnitude.” 

At the expo, GSS also participated in a ‘passing-of-the-keys’ ceremony, as well as a customer appreciation dinner along with Crane Works. 

“It was a really neat experience,” Orr said. “I know for a fact that this crane in particular – there’s probably a hundred cranes in that show – and this crane here got, by far, the most attention.” 

As it should have. The AC-450 is a massive piece of equipment, but it moves like a much smaller crane. It has a capacity of 52,500 pounds at a 294-foot tip height and an 80-foot radius. It also has a 330,700-pound maximum counterweight.

“It’s a 500-ton crane that you don’t have to remove the boom from in order to move it,” Orr revealed. “It’s the only crane in its class, so you don’t have to remove the boom, which cuts down on a ton of transportation and it’s just a really neat looking crane. It’s just an amazing piece of equipment. It’s very impressive.” 

Despite its size, the mobility of the AC-450 is really its key defining feature. 

“This crane is 100% mobile,” Orr reiterated. “We can pull up to a job and get to work. It’s literally two hours from the time you pull up to the job, to the time you start working. It’s really raised our platform as a crane company and a crane provider.”

Orr, as well as every person who attended ConExpo, is in awe of this new crane. It’s a game-changer, and GSS is proud to have it. 

“The AC-450 will probably be the most versatile crane in the industry as of right now,” Orr stated. “Obviously they keep building things bigger and taller, but for what we’re dealing with right now, for everything that we’re working with, this is the crane. It’s the most versatile, heavy-lift crane that we have.”