Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features, Net Zero, Projects

Advanced Cranes’ extensive wind farm capabilities

Advanced Cranes possesses extensive wind farm construction and maintenance capabilities.

Advanced Cranes team member, Ben Miller, discusses how the business is evolving in the wind farm sector, going into detail on one mammoth logistical effort that showcases the company’s ability to service the majority of Australia’s wind farm requirements. 

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When Ben Miller left his career as a form worker in 2014, 150m-tall wind turbines and 800-tonne capacity cranes were not within the realm of what he expected himself to be doing come 2024. 

Venturing back out to his home area in the west of Victoria, he joined then-fledgling crane hire company, Advanced Cranes, as a rigger. Now, he’s progressed to being a lead in on-site operations at some of the company’s most integral projects at wind farms across Australia. 

Ben’s career isn’t the only aspect of the business that’s grown either: when he began at Advanced Cranes, the company possessed a much smaller fleet. Today, Advanced Cranes boasts one of the most diverse fleets in Australia, with Director Adam Tuddenham expanding the company’s portfolio to over 50 cranes ranging from its three-tonne Maeda through to its 800-tonne capacity LTM 1750-9.1. Since the LTM 1750-9.1 and its little brother, the LTM 1650-8.1, arrived, the machines have been doing “a great deal of wind farm work”, with Ben spending a similar amount of his time with the machines.


Our interview typified the significant expansion Advanced Cranes has made in the wind farm sector. Talking to Ben as he’s out on another wind farm job, he discusses a maintenance project that took place in Queensland recently, requiring the major crane hire company to enact a complex, logistical effort to mobilise its LTM 1750-9.1 from depot to job site along with an auxiliary 120-tonne  Liebherr.

Advanced Cranes possesses extensive wind farm construction and maintenance capabilities.
To complete the lifts, the 800-tonne Liebherr was configured in the TYV2EN mode. Image: Advanced Cranes

The scope of work for Advanced Cranes involved removing and replacing two gearboxes and one generator on three separate turbines. Located 200km north of Brisbane, the most difficult aspect of the job was transporting the 800-tonne Liebherr crane to the job site through three different states with different axle-load limits on public roads. 

However, one of the strongest features of the LTM 1750-9.1 is its roadability: with easily removable parts and more axles than some of its counterparts, its load distribution becomes much smaller, making the crane easier to move from point A to point B via public road  networks. 

“We just needed to remove the crane’s outriggers and telescopic boom,” says Ben. “To help save time, we preconfigured the boom in the Y-guy setting so that assembly could be completed as easily as possible.”

Once on site, the operations team deployed the 120-tonne Liebherr and Franna MAC25SL to fully configure the LTM 1750-9.1. What sets Advanced Cranes’ 800-tonne Liebherr apart from other cranes is its wind speed charts and wind farm configurations: opting to put the machine in TYV2EN with 49m of Y-guyed main boom and 63m of jib attached, the crane operated with a maximum hoisting height of 126.1m, falling well within the 153m maximum height that can be achieved. Because of its ability to reach such heights, the LTM 1750-9.1 is one of the ideal machines to perform maintenance and replacement works on wind turbines. The hub height of the wind turbine was 115m off the ground, with the tower centre 32m away from the crane cabin, meaning the job fell well within the parameters of what the 800-tonne Liebherr is capable of. The gearboxes that Advanced Cranes needed to lift weighed in at 27.2 tonnes, with the rigging providing an extra two tonnes, meaning the crane needed to be equipped with 104 tonnes of counterweight – 100 tonnes short of what the crane can hold. For the gearbox lifts, the cranes were operating at 86 per cent capacity, exemplifying Advanced Cranes’ ability to perform these lifts optimally and at a safe working load. In all, Advanced Cranes needed to carry out maintenance works on three different turbines, efficiently transporting the crane by removing the counterweights but leaving the machine partially rigged to cut down on reassembly time in a safe, considered  manner.

Advanced Cranes possesses extensive wind farm construction and maintenance capabilities.
The hub height was 115m, and the crane needed to lift at a radius of 32m to complete the gearbox maintenance. Image: Advanced Cranes.

A key feature of all Advanced Cranes’ lifts is its ability to generate lift plans in-house quickly and efficiently – and this one was no different, according to Ben. Describing his job as the “easy work”, he paid full testimony to the efforts of the lift planners and engineers at the crane hire company and the efforts they went to ensure everything went as seamlessly as possible.

“Once we transported everything to the site, things could not have gone better,” he says. “Our back-of-house and administration teams do an immaculate job in preparing the engineering side of things for us, and the whole effort is a significant part of ensuring we can conduct our jobs efficiently and safely.”

Having sent its cranes to South Australia and now to Queensland, Advanced Cranes has demonstrated its ability to send its bigger machines like the LTM 1750-9.1 and LTM 1650-8.1 all across Eastern and Central Australia. With the push to meet carbon neutrality by 2050 ramping up, the crane hire company is now building a lengthy resumé for its wind farm works, completing a host of wind farm maintenance projects across the country and demonstrating that location is a no obstacle for the Victorian crane hire  company. 

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