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A trio of champions

For decades, the name “National Crane” has been synonymous with boom trucks. It’s a name that stands for innovation, practicality, and an ability to help owners do more. Here, we focus on three of the most popular models of modern times and look at how they continue the National Crane legacy.

National Crane is marking 75 years in 2022, and the company has many reasons to celebrate. For one, it has a decades-long history of leading the industry, through innovation, service, and reliability. Each new generation of boom trucks has pushed the boundaries in terms of reach and capacity, further strengthening the manufacturer’s position.

In this article, we’ve picked out three models from recent times that underscore how the company drives the sector forward. They’re cranes that have shaped today’s lineup and set new standards for the industry.

The NBT50 Series: Groundbreaking design

At the time of its launch in 2010, the NBT50 Series was the largest boom truck on the market, with two versions rated at 50 USt or 55 USt capacity. With the NBT50, the company really pushed the envelope of what a boom truck could be. It offered unprecedented features, including hydraulically-removable counterweight of up to 6,000 lbs; full CAN bus electrical architecture; and a user-friendly graphic display.

Its X-style front outriggers were a revolutionary design that eliminated the need for a front outrigger and is a concept that is still used today. Meanwhile, the deluxe operator’s cab won regular praise from the jobsite, thanks to its air-conditioning, diesel heater (with defroster skylight), and single-axis, electronic controllers.

The NBT40/45 Series: Unmatched versatility

The NBT40 and NBT45 had the tough task of replacing the popular National Crane 1500 (36 USt) and 1800 (40 US ton) in the product line. But they proved more than worthy successors to these customer favorites, setting the stage for National Crane to dominate larger swing cab capacities for the next decade and more. Increased load charts on the 40 USt model and expansion into a 45 USt machine thanks to intelligent structural redesigns and higher strength steel meant the NBT40 and NBT45 found immediate favor. 

The units offered more operator features and comfort than any prior swing cab crane, thanks to an upgraded cab, with modern graphics and an improved RCL system. The simplified electrical system also improved reliability and increased production time, meaning faster deliveries.

From the initial NBT40 Series, the range has since evolved through the NBT40-1 Series and now NBT40-2 Series. The cranes have been the company’s top sellers over the past 20 years, with close to 1,500 now built.

The NBT60XL: Best capacity and reach combo

Based on the success of the NBT50L Series, the NBT60XL broke the mold in terms of how much counterweight a boom truck could carry. The super-long 151 ft boom provided a massive 40 feet more than the nearest rival. Yet the crane still exceeded load chart capacities of even the most popular 60 USt truck cranes.

This combination of reach and capacity had never been seen before on a boom truck. With the 16,000 lbs of hydraulically-removable counterweight, the model provides incredible flexibility for various roading packages, a functionality inspired by the NTC55 unit.

The NBT60XL really blurred the lines between a boom truck and truck crane thanks to the advancements it offered customers in chassis selection through National Crane’s Truck Mod Center. For example, packaging the NBT60XL on a short wheelbase with high-tech components, the overall combo can compete with the smaller envelope truck cranes in terms of boom length, load capacity and turning radius. This makes it a nimble package for rental fleet owners.

These distinctive lifters are just a few of the greatest hits the company has released over the past 75 years. With the manufacturing advances continuing, will be plenty more to come in the next 75 years.

To learn more about National Crane or to view the company’s latest models, just visit the company’s website here.


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