Boom crane bears the load at tricky Umkomaas gantry installation

29 April 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914342

Forestry, Pulp & Paper
Materials Handling & Bulk Handling

BABCOCK’S plant hire business recently put a 600-ton Liebherr LG 1550 lattice boom crane to the test in a project involving the precise placement of 10 gantries within a live and confined working space.

Michael Hawkins, Heavy Lift Manager at Babcock, said that despite external setbacks, the three-month project went very well with Babcock achieving what many thought impossible with a mobile crane.

“Our competitors believed the project required a high capacity crawler crane; however, by building the mobile crane and boom on the ground we were able to drive it into position, lifting the boom along the way and stabilising it with a 100-tonne crawler crane,” Hawkins said.

Ten gantries, some exceeding 70 tons, were then lifted 35 metres into the air over a live working plant to be strategically placed between A-frames for the carrying of conveyor belts for a new wood chipping plant in Umkomaas, south of Durban.

Boom crane bears the load at tricky Umkomaas gantry installation

Hawkins says that 28 lowbed trucks were used to transport the Liebherr LG 1550 mobile crane to site where it was built. “The challenge then came in lifting the gantries above plant buildings and underneath existing conveyor belts before slewing them in to final position,” he said, adding that individual gantries took approximately three and a half hours to lift and place, with the build of the crane taking two to three days depending on access.

The Liebherr LG 1550 lattice boom crane is the largest mobile crane in Babcock’s plant fleet. It has a maximum lifting capacity of 600 tons, with a lattice boom extending to 161 metres. The eight-axle machine with slewing platform also features outriggers that can be completely folded into the vehicle width, increasing manoeuvrability in confined spaces.

In addition, the 24 wheels provide the load bearing capacity necessary for the crane to move on-site with the parts of its equipment and ballast. The boom and jib system enable hook heights of over 100 metres to be reached. With a current equipment fleet of 161 cranes, ranging from eight tons to 600 tons, and a combined inventory of more than 40 000 items, Babcock is the largest empowered mobile lifting equipment and plant service provider in southern Africa.

Other mobile transport options offered by Babcock include tractors and trailers, trucks and lowbeds, and abnormal transport for the logistics and transport for heavy haulage.

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