Wagenborg goes for world's first 60-tonne hybrid mobile telescopic crane

Wagenborg goes for world's first 60-tonne hybrid mobile telescopic crane

How the search for a sustainable crane led to a world first for Wagenborg.

The Wagenborg Nedlift fleet consists of 100 cranes of various European brands. This changed at the end of 2023, when the first hybrid telescopic crane in the 60-tonne class was delivered to Wagenborg Nedlift from China. Does the choice of a crane from the Chinese manufacturer XCMG come from an unexpected source? Not if you look at the history of this project, which has been going on behind the scenes for more than four years. This shows that this progressive and future-proof crane is the result of a very successful cooperation between XCMG and Wagenborg Nedlift.

100% sustainable crane

End of 2019, Jan-Ebe Boerema, then head of technical services at Wagenborg Nedlift, wrote a tender with a specific request for a solution for a future-proof, sustainable crane in the class up to 60 tonnes lifting capacity. Boerema looks back: "I only received conventional solutions that did not answer my question. More and more of our customers were asking for sustainable lifting solutions for their construction projects. But there were none. So we took the lead."


"By chance, during the same period, I was introduced to a Chinese-Dutch co-owner of a high-end hydraulic components company in Groningen. A company that has a close relationship with XCMG. And that's how the ball started rolling."


Sports hall

Boerema was due to fly to China in early 2020 for an introduction, but COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works. The first contacts were made by e-mail. XCMG seemed to be looking for a partner who could show them the way to the Western European market. When Boerema explained his requirements, a meeting was arranged via Teams. From Nedlift, managing director Gerard Bastiaansen, Sander Wolters (senior mechanic) and Brian Geerdink (crane operator) also attended the meeting. When the connection was made, they watched as 50 Chinese employees of XCMG in a sports hall wrote down everything that was said.

European standard

"XCMG had already produced a small, fully hybrid 25-tonne crane. I indicated that we were looking for exactly such a crane, but in a 60-tonne variant that met all the requirements for the European market," Bastiaansen explains. "In 2015, Nedlift built the first electric compact crane, but it was not a series production. We have learnt a lot from this, which enables us to explain in great detail what we expect from a machine.

And that is a hybrid machine, produced in series, CE certified and TCVT tested. It is also important that we do not limit ourselves to working with electricity. We sometimes work in the middle of nowhere and when the battery is empty, the operator must be able to continue working. A crane with more lifting capacity obviously needs more batteries and there was no ready-made solution for that."

"My idea was to integrate the batteries into the counterweight and XCMG agreed."

Gerard Bastiaansen, Managing Director Wagenborg Nedlift

BAUMA 2022

The cultural difference seemed to cause a rift, and contact was put on hold. "Until we suddenly received a phone call just before Bauma 2022, a major equipment exhibition in Germany. The hybrid crane we had been talking about was there. With a diesel engine from Germany and hydraulics from the northern Netherlands," says Bastiaansen.

Trial period

The hybrid XCA60_EV was fully integrated into the Nedlift fleet during a trial period. Wolters: "In all those months there was not a single malfunction or problem. Yes, there were still a lot of improvements to be made, because our demands are high. But we are really very enthusiastic about the machine that we had. We did a lot of testing at the new CO2 plant in Twence in Hengelo, where XCMG technicians and staff from the inspection body Aboma were also present."


"The main points for improvement were operator comfort and machine operation. Dutch operators perform several operations simultaneously, which is highly unusual in China. The XCA60_EV has therefore been adapted to the 'Dutch' way of working. Work in the workshop is also changing with the arrival of hybrid cranes. We will be working with battery packs and high voltage, and we are taking courses to keep up with this development. Working with high voltage also means that there is no margin for error. It is really zero."

Version 2.0

While operator Brian Geerdink tested the machine extensively, all the results were immediately passed on to China. By the end of the test period, XCMG had a version 2.0 ready.


Geerdink is enthusiastic: "This really is a luxury crane that can be used anywhere. I can use it for a whole day on site and then take on another job on the way back. That really is a big difference from conventional cranes that have been converted to an electric version. They can't do that."

"When you work with this crane, it is quiet. I have also received many compliments from the construction workers on the low-noise operation."

Brian Geerdink, Kraanmachinist Wagenborg Nedlift

Top-class crane

Boerema is also enthusiastic: "I might call myself a conservative when it comes to mechanical engineering, but I was really amazed at what this crane can do. Our starting point was that we did not want to modify or commission our own crane. We wanted a crane that could be built in series so that we could move quickly if market demand increased. And only XCMG could meet this requirement.


The cranes meet all the requirements of the Western European market. They have an EN13000 inspection for the superstructure, the upper part of the crane. And they are RDW certified for the lower part, the undercarriage."

"Thanks to the cooperation with XCMG, we now have a top-class crane that meets all legislative requirements as well as our own."

Jan-Ebe Boerema, Regional Manager, Wagenborg Nedlift North

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