Felbermayr was required to travel out to the Steinriegel wind farm to replace a defective gearbox on an 18-year-old turbine, which was situated at an altitude of nearly 1600m on a mountain ridge. Operating at such altitudes on a wind farm which, naturally, provides a windy environment, with speeds of nearly 13m per second laying down the gauntlet for Felbermayr’s operational team as they replaced the 12-tonne component in the nacelle at a height of 65m.
Liebherr’s 300-tonne mobile crane, however, comes with ‘WindSpeed Load Charts’. This feature allows the operator to set a wind speed limit and, should the wind exceed the wind speed initially outlined, switch to a lifting capacity table with a higher maximum wind speed. What this means is that no time is wasted reconfiguring the crane due to various wind speeds and the machine can continue operating in variable conditions – something Felbermayr’s crane operator, Robert Fuhrmann, found particularly useful during the lifts.
“As the day went on, the gusts got stronger and stronger and I switched straight to the wind chart,” he said. “I configured the load chart, which allows me to work at wind speeds of up to 13.4m per second.”
Crane lifting capacities, according to Liebherr, are calculated for speeds of up to nine metres per second. However, Liebherr’s work on its wind speed load charts allows its modern range of LTM cranes to work at a maximum of 15.6m per second, resulting in fewer standstills and a higher degree of planning on construction sites.
With the job site situated at the end of a six-kilometre gravel track, the six-axle Liebherr machine had to travel from Felbermayr’s branch in Lanzendorf – south of Vienna – all the way to Styria, where it had to negotiate tight, “serpentine” bends, and gradients of over ten per cent on the rocky ascent. For Fuhrmann, however, the Hillstart Aid feature made the trip a lot more manageable than it could have been, also taking time to note other key features that make the Liebherr LTM 1300-6.3, according to the operator, so roadable.
“The vehicle’s hill start aid is really great and served me well on the journey up here,” he said. “The chassis is great to drive. It runs like no other and has extreme power on the road.”
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