Out in the cold

Five ways Manitowoc’s advanced engineering design helps Potain cranes thrive in extreme temperatures.



One of the biggest threats to the progress of construction projects is extreme weather and its damaging impact on site equipment, including cranes. This is especially true of winter weather where temperatures can fall as low as -20˚C in some parts of the world. To operate in such an environment, it’s important to ensure that equipment is high quality, well maintained and able to withstand high winds and sub-zero temperatures.


Here we look at five ways Potain’s top quality engineering optimizes crane efficiency in cold weather.


1. High quality steel

A tower crane’s main metal structure is steel; the jib, tower top, turntable, cap, balance arm and underframe all comprise metal materials produced by welding. A high specification steel is essential to ensure the safety and efficiency of these structural components and provide a high level of resistance to freezing temperatures.


Potain cranes are produced from a low-alloy high-strength industrial steel of the highest grades. Before any steel can be supplied to Manitowoc for use in Potain cranes, selected steel mills must exceed the requirements of regional certification and be verified through the Manitowoc global supplier audit system.


2. Advanced torque and loading technology

Cement, sand, steel and other site materials come in all different weights and sizes and won’t always be accurately measured ahead of lifting. The challenge of moving these materials is then often exacerbated by high winds.


This is where Potain’s advanced torque and load limiting technology plays an important role. The torque limiter on Potain tower cranes prevents them from lifting or moving the load forward when the specified tilting torque is exceeded. This prevents damage due to excessive torque during the operation. In addition, Potain’s load limiting device protects the hoist mechanism from overloading and prevents damage to the wire rope.



3. Better steel design

Seamless round steel designs, as seen in the jib sections of Potain cranes, are scientifically proven to offer more reliable performance than steel sections with angles. The circular design allows the jib to withstand extreme forces and tension.


4. Comprehensive testing

All Potain crane designs undergo a rigorous testing process at our Product Verification Centers where they are exposed to various workload stresses. This includes a controlled corrosion test environment along with a temperature and humidity chamber to constantly improve crane design for all weather conditions, including extreme cold.


5. High quality components

Faulty crane components may not always be spotted immediately, especially those in the air on a tower crane. Wire rope damage, brake failure, bolt and pin connection failure and weld cracking can all cause operational faults and delay progress on the jobsite.


Connector corrosion is one of the major hidden dangers on sites in extreme weather, which is why Potain prides itself on producing high specification components and welding. By using a range of top-specification welding and metal production technology, including ESAB plasma cutting equipment and high precision CNC machinery, Potain ensures maximum reliability of the components, no matter how low the mercury drops.


When buying a Potain crane, customers join a global community that have enjoyed productive and reliable operation over almost 100 years. The experts at Manitowoc design and engineer every crane for every conceivable site condition. From the design of the smallest link to the quality control applied to every solder joint – nothing is left unchecked. Which is why Potain remains the number one tower crane brand from pole to pole.