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Max Cranes wins the 20 tonne plus category for CICA lift of the year

MAX Cranes’ 1200 tonne Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 was engaged to assist UGL to change out the B3 air rotor at AGL’s Torrens Island Power Station. Tight access, low clearance and a confined set up area was not an issue for the 1200.

Max Cranes’ 1200 tonne Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 was engaged to assist UGL to change out the B3 air rotor at AGL’s Torrens Island Power Station. Tight access, low clearance and a confined set up area was not an issue for the 1200.

AGL initially provided Max Cranes with ground plans for the whole site including heights for access, details of underground services including voids, pipes and permissible ground pressures all the types of things you’d expect to find in a power station.

Alan Jarman, Technical Manager for Max Cranes provides more detail about the complexities of the lift.

“We worked with the client to make sure they had a full understanding of what we intended to do. We provided highly detailed lift drawings for all components of the project from the initial assembly of the crane, the single crane lift of the air rotor, and then once it became a two-crane lift to turn and laydown the air rotor. We were able to show them we had the capability and capacity and the necessary clearances once the crane was in position,” he said.

“We came up with a plan to have a pre-assembly area for the LTM11200. We were able to install the outriggers and luffing cylinders on while simultaneously the boom was delivered and unloaded with its own hydraulic outrigger system. On the site where the lift was going to take place, we had started assembling the counterweight on the ground. Using the exceptional manoeuvrability of the machine, we drove in under a minimal 4.7m clearance around a very tight corner straight to the job site where the pads had already been pre laid and the counter-weight was already preassembled,” said Jarman.

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Once the LTM 11200 was rigged and on its outriggers the counterweight was installed. Max Cranes then had to telescope the T3 boom out beneath an existing gantry and install the main boom extension.

“Another unique point for this crane is the 22t we saved from the gross machine weight by being able to install the T4-T7 boom sections after the crane was in position. This was vital to keep the axle weights down to the permissible loads that we had been given. The fact that we could do this after we’d got the crane in there was massive,” said Jarman.

“From that point on from our perspective, it was a fairly simple lift; 59 tonnes at a maximum radius 38m. We lifted the air rotor out 32m and, to maximise the efficiency on our ground pressures, we boomed back up to 28 metres slewed round and over the ducting and dropped it the other side of the existing gantry at a 38 metre radius. Here, it was tailed with a 250t crane and then laid flat on the ground. Putting in the new rotor was basically a reverse of the first lift.

“The hard part for us was understanding the services the pipes and making sure we didn’t break any rules actually getting into the job,” he said.

According to Jarman, this project has not only show cased the capabilities of the Liebherr LTM 11200 but also Max Cranes Heavy Lift Team. From the initial lift conception right through to the execution of the lift, the Heavy Lift Team worked through every step with UGL and their client AGL.

“We worked with the client throughout the whole process to ensure everyone was happy with exactly what was planned. We had to ensure we had a successful, safe and economical solution to change the B3 air rotor.

This job really has demonstrated some of the unbelievable aspects of the Liebherr LTM 11200, it’s a unique crane. The fact that we could conduct partial assembly out of the lift area, drive in and quickly and efficiently pick up the counter-weight as well as install part of the boom afterwards to make it a little bit lighter, are unique features. The unmatched lift capacities of the LTM 11200 really came into play with this project,” said Jarman.

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