- A longstanding Grove customer in South Carolina was due to replace a 60-t truck crane when Manitowoc dealer MGX suggested the National Crane NBT60XL boom truck instead.
- Combining a 151 ft boom — which reduces the need to set up the swing-away jib — with a customized 260-inch wheelbase, the 60 USt boom truck offers the pinnacle of reach, capacity, and maneuverability.
- MGX provided consultation in choosing the crane that would best fit Coastal Crane’s business needs, and then provided personalized operator training.
With the support of leading Manitowoc dealer MGX Equipment Services (MGX), longtime Grove truck-mounted crane customer Coastal Crane Service (Coastal Crane) is continuing to diversify its fleet with National Crane’s larger boom trucks. The latest addition is the largest boom truck National Crane has to offer, the 60 USt NBT60XL.
Truck cranes have been a favorite at Coastal Crane ever since founder Jeff Whittington added a 30 t P&H crane to his forklift rental offering in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1972. However, now that large National models are increasingly incorporating truck crane-type features alongside their own specific engineering advances that improve lifting performance and maneuverability, they are proving extremely popular with Coastal Crane’s customers.
Charles Caughman, the third-generation owner of Coastal Crane, said that when his 60 t Grove truck crane reached retirement age in 2020, which coincided with the launch of the NBT60XL, he faced a tough decision regarding how best to fill that looming hole in his fleet.
Fortunately, MGX was on hand to provide impartial advice since the dealer sells both Grove and National Crane models. To help advise Caughman on his decision, the dealer arranged a visit to the Shady Grove, Pennsylvania, factory in mid-2021, where Caughman tested the NBT60XL and met its development team. Along with MGX, the National Crane team answered all of his questions to help him choose the crane that would best fit his lifting needs.
“The NBT60XL outperformed my expectations,” Caughman said. “We are now routinely setting 90,000-100,000 lbs concrete drainage boxes, so its load charts had the brawn and ability we needed. Since it’s on a Class 8 chassis, you also have a comfortable ride at highway speeds and the premium features and feel of a Peterbilt truck cab, like air-ride suspension and an automatic transmission.”
To enhance performance on congested streets, the National Crane Truck Mod Center installed Coastal’s boom truck onto a 2021 Peterbilt chassis, giving it a 260 in wheelbase for a shorter overall package.
“This gives us a much sharper turning radius and you don’t have as much boom overhang, so that makes it much more maneuverable,” Caughman said.
The 151 ft, five-section full power boom provides length that reduces the need to use its 36 ft optional swing-away jib, further optimizing picks in confined areas.
“Using a jib can be difficult with our jobs because we are swinging over parked cars and between hotels. In pure setup time, the longer boom saves us two hours of manual work,” Caughman added.
The NBT60XL purchase also included a full inspection and personalized training of operators by MGX personnel — a testament to the dealer’s priorities, said MGX Territory Manager Crockett Surratt.
“Helping a customer choose a crane is only the first step. Taking care of the crane and giving the customer the knowledge they need to best utilize it are the most important parts of what we do,” he said. “We have built a strong rapport on a bedrock of trust and accountability.”
“Customer communication is paramount,” Caughman agreed. “Whenever I call MGX, I reach a real person — or if they don’t immediately answer, they follow up, no matter if I am buying or crying!”