The expansion of the infrastructure for the 5G mobile communication standard is progressing in large steps. The new technology offers even higher transmission rates for mobile surfing with less delay than its predecessor LTE/4G. For a network with such fast transmission rates, a denser mobile network with an extended transmission mast infrastructure is the technical prerequisite. As a result, thousands of existing masts must be modernised, and numerous new mobile communication sites have to be built every year.
In the Netherlands, network operators are currently working intensively on the installation of 5G antennas, too, in order to install the new network throughout the country as soon as possible. The Böcker truck crane AK 52 makes a significant contribution to the conversion of the transmitter masts. Thanks to its long reach, the crane removes the old LTE/4G technology and then lifts the new antennas to their exact installation location. The 5G antennas with a weight of more than 100 kg are delivered pre-assembled and are mounted on the transmitter tower's scaffolding at different locations at a height of up to 40 m. The AK 52 can easily reach such heights thanks to its long extension length of up to 52 m (opt. 55 m) and possible payload of up to 12 t. In addition, a little further down on the mobile phone mast, switch boxes weighing more than 200 kg are replaced with the help of the crane.
Flexible and space-saving crane setup
Due to its lightweight construction, the AK 52 truck-mounted crane is ideally suited for use at the various transmitter masts. Since at the installation site it is often placed on grass using outrigger support plates or moves on meadows, a low dead weight is required in these cases. Furthermore, its compact footprint and space-saving design are of great importance as they allow jobs to be carried out at the roadside while traffic is still moving. The uniquely small slewing radius of the turret specific to this model makes it possible to use it with the outriggers out on one side only. The fully variable outrigger technology also offers the greatest possible flexibility and safety during modernisation works when setting up the crane. Each individual crane outrigger can be extended as far as required. The practical automatic levelling function ensures a fast and safe crane set-up, which can be conveniently controlled from start to finish via radio remote control. The efficient set-up and dismantling of the crane is particularly important in this case as the location is changed frequently. In addition, the low travelling and fuel costs of the Böcker AK 52, due to its permissible gross vehicle weight of only 26 t as a crane on a 3-axle vehicle, are a decisive advantage because of the high mileage incurred during the whole project.
Precise installation of the antennas
Precise working and exact positioning of the 5G antennas on the transmitter masts is made possible by the state-of-the-art BICS (Böcker Intelligent Computerbased Safety) control system and the sophisticated mast and telescope system of the AK 52. The intuitive radio remote control with full-colour graphic display offers optimum operating convenience during installation. It presents the operating situation in a user-friendly and clear way. Already during the set-up of the crane, the range display, which is updated continuously, ensures an optimal positioning of the crane with regard to the foreseen location. During operation, several crane functions can be controlled at the same time, which makes working with the Böcker crane extremely efficient. The hook camera at the tip of the jib additionally facilitates the installation of the antennas. Thanks to the image transmission to the radio remote control, the crane operator at the foot of the mast always has an optimal view of the working area at the top.
The possible combination of crane and platform technology of the AK 52 also means a maximum flexibility for working on the transmitter masts.
Easy conversion to working platform
Thanks to the Easy-Lock system, the crane can be converted into a fully-fledged access platform in just a few steps without any tools. Depending on the application, it can be combined with various personnel basket models and lifts payloads of up to 600 kg or up to 5 persons in platform operation. Since the access platform can remain attached during manoeuvring, nothing obstructs the crane being from being quickly repositioned.
The hydraulically extendable access platform which can be extended to a width of up to 3.5 m and rotated through 440° is suitable for working areas that are difficult to access. A removable construction winch can be installed on this platform as an option. It allows loads of all kinds to be transported comfortably to high altitudes, even when in platform operation. The winch lifts up to 150 kg with a rope length of 30 m and with lifting speeds of 19 m/min. It can also be swivelled by 90° on both sides. This means that while work in the platform is going on the antennas can be transported upwards and placed at their installation location.
This flexibility, the fast set-up and dismantling and the enormous performance in combination with a comparatively low dead weight make the AK 52 truck crane the ideal helper in network expansion for the mobile communication technology of the future.
The AK 52 lifts the 5G antennas weighing more than 100 kg to their exact installation location.