Liebherr HS855HD Duty Cycle Crawler Crane
By: Steven Downes
The HS855 duty cycle crane can perform a number of different
tasks from lifting to material handling, demolition, soil
compaction and foundation applications with diaphragm wall grabs or
casing oscillators. The crane is powered by a 600 hp diesel engine
with an operational weight of 84.4 ton and a maximum lift capacity
of 90 ton. The maintenance free Liebherr free-fall winches with
integrated drive and disc brakes are powerful and robust with
electro-hydraulic control systems allowing smooth and precise
control whilst the removable track frames and ballast systems allow
easy transport to the work site and the 1:50th scale model
presented here from NZG has authentically captured all the details
and functionality of the full sized machine.
The box is full of parts allowing the model to be erected in
several different configurations which is a very nice touch from
NZG. In the lift configuration, three boom sections are used along
with the jib head and two hook blocks.
The main body of the model features opening side doors which
give access to the winding mechanisms fitted to the winches. The
two main lift winches are actually geared with the supplied winding
keys being needed to release the drum locks before turning to wind
the rope. This is a very nice piece of engineering on the model and
the winches work will once pressure is applied.
The rear counterweight system has been accurately captured and
is fully functional with the ability to connect the four lift
chains to the main ballast section. The hydraulic pistons can be
raised, lifting the ballast into position before it is secured with
a pin. There are ten smaller ballast stones that can be used (up to
five each side) and they are held steady with the use of metal
pins, of which three sizes are supplied allowing three, four or the
full complement of five ballast stones per side.
The A-Frame has metal pulleys which line up with the pulleys at
the rear of the upper structure and this is relatively easy to
reeve from the rear most winch.
The body casting is very crisp with lots of detail including
diamond plate floor panels, access ladder at the rear and the
exhaust stack can be folded down to reduce the height for transport
which is another nice touch.
The track frames have small rollers along the bottom edge with
the Liebherr name cast into the drive sprockets.
The track frames can be extended to provide a larger footprint
and the four square panels on the front surfaces can be removed to
access the fixing screws, allowing the track frames to be removed
from the undercarriage to reduce transport weight. This is another
great touch on the model and four jacks are connected to the
undercarriage allowing it to be authentically posed with the track
The tracks are tensioned with individually linked metal track
pads, complete with triple grouser surface detailing. The
undercarriage H-section has cast slots on one end, similar to the
undercarriage on the LRB255 model and this would allow a casing
oscillator attachment to be connected to the HS855.
The three main boom sections are connected to each other with
the use of tiny threaded bolts with matching nuts. Even a tool for
easy assembly is supplied in the box.
There are different pulleys supplied with the model to allow the
boom head to be accurately configured depending on the chosen
The pennant lines have been made from actual metal rope with
crimped loops at each end which connect with the small metal
connecting pieces which really does add to the realistic look of
When configured for lifting, the boom head requires six pulleys
to be pinned into place.
Several sizes of pin are supplied allowing the small, fixed
angle jib to be connected or omitted as required.
The A-Frame connects to the boom head with the metal pennant
lines which, on the model reviewed here are all the exact same
length so there is no slack on one side to the other.
The metal frame connected to the A-Frame is pinned allowing it
to pivot slightly and during erection, the model can be
authentically posed with the A-Frame connected to the boom foot,
again demonstrating the level of engineering and thought that has
gone into the production of the model.
Even the tagline winch has been modeled on the side of the boom
foot which is a nice addition.
The cab has large glazed windows allowing the detailed interior
to be seen, complete with contoured seat, joystick controls and
control console. The cab tilts up to about 30 degrees and has a
roof window protection screen with integrated work lights. A rear
view mirror and windscreen wiper have been added with silver
painted walkways located along both sides of the upper structure
and around the cab frame.
The main load block has a single pulley with chevron safety
markings whilst the headache ball hook can be used with the small,
fixed jib as pictured above.
The highly detailed drag bucket has small chains connected to
the front and rear with lots of small drain holes on both sides,
matching the type of bucket used for dredging. The casting is
exceptionally detailed with large teeth and frame reinforcement
structure all accurately captured.
The pull line from the front winch is fed through the centre of
the fairlead which requires bolting onto the boom and this has free
rolling pulleys and rollers, just like the full sized machine.
The tagline support has also been supplied and while not used in
the configurations, its inclusion suggests that additional
accessories, including a clamshell grab or foundation equipment may
be produced at a later date.
When the model is erected as a dragline, the boom head is
changed to use the single pulleys and smaller pins.
The model is an exceptional release with a host of posing
possibilities. The castings are crisp with great paintwork,
accurate markings and some very good internal engineering. The
level of detail found throughout the model shows the extra level
that NZG have gone to in producing another exceptional addition to
the Liebherr model range.