C&L, Features

Shuttlelift is making inroads

It has taken the local market a while to grasp the benefits of the Shuttlelift range of mobile gantry cranes, but according to distributor Pace Cranes, that’s about to change.

It has taken the local market a while to grasp the benefits of the Shuttlelift range of mobile gantry cranes, but according to distributor Pace Cranes, that’s about to change.

The heritage of the Shuttlelift mobile gantry range is firmly fixed in the marine industry. For over 55 years, Marine Travelift has been engineering and manufacturing self-propelled straddle type mobile boat hoists in the US and exporting the technology all over the world.

In 1987 the company was approached by the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, who needed a better handling solution for the recovery of its recyclable space shuttle rocket boosters. A Marine Travelift was adapted for this purpose but it was clear there was a market for industrial applications and Shuttlelift was born. Over the last 30 plus years, Shuttlelift has expanded into several industries to include concrete, steel, power generation, energy, wind, and construction among others.

Shuttlelift offers three options in its range, the SB and DB and SL series cranes that range from 15 ton to 1000 ton (US) capacity and greater.

The DB or Double Beam Series is designed as an effective lifting solution for heavy lifting of bulky items. Each DB is engineered as a unique solution to the toughest material handling challenges.

Shuttlelift’s SB options include:

1. Shuttlelift’s all-wheel electronic steering provides maximum flexibility, manoeuvrability and precision handling while operating in confined spaces.

2. Shuttlelift provides increased gradeability through additional wheel motors that allow its gantry cranes to travel over inclined or uneven surfaces. This increases the crane’s traveling efficiency, and it allows the customer to maximize yard space by utilising areas once deemed unusable.

3. The crane’s articulated pivot trunnion allows the frame to articulate while it travels over uneven terrain without causing structural damage or risking the safety of the load.

4. The crane is equipped with fully proportional controls allowing precision movement of all crane functions, resulting in complete operator control.

5. With hoists mounted to the lower side beam, the operator can easily see the reeving of the wire rope and can perform needed maintenance without the requirement of a manlift.

6. Shuttlelift’s cantilever wheel frame design provides increased efficiency if tyres need to be serviced or replaced.

7. Shuttlelift’s wireless remote control increases operator visibility of the load by allowing the operator to be anywhere around the load or work being performed, improving operational safety and ensuring maximum manoeuvrability. The remote is laid out in the same format as the backup operator cab controls for an extra measure of efficiency and safety.

Pace Cranes has sold a number Shuttlelift SB units, but it has taken time for the local market to understand the features and benefits of the product.

In the US, Shuttlelifts are popular with the precast concrete industry, it’s probably the largest and most popular application for these types of machines. They are used a lot in the precast yards and being a US made machine, they are everywhere.

Another DB has just arrived in the country and is destined for a customer in the mining sector. The Shuttlelift will play a key role in the maintenance and servicing program of the rigid frame dump trucks and other types of equipment operating in the mine says Michael Cawston, national sales manager, Pace Cranes.

“The benefits of having a Shuttlelift for changing out the trays on the dumps trucks or doing maintenance work on the large excavators is that there is no load moment on these machines. The gantry will sit over the piece of equipment making it impossible to tip over providing a safe way to lift these heavy pieces of equipment.

“This machine has four independent winches on each corner so when you are lifting the tray off the dump truck you can lift each corner independently to help get the pins in place when you are fitting it. You can also pick and carry the tray, move it around and put it where you need it, the dump truck can drive straight under it,” he said.

Another benefit of the Shuttlelift is the space it saves onsite and the amount of time it saves when setting up the lifts said Cawston.

“With the Shuttlelift you have one machine which they can drive the dump truck or piece of equipment under or the gantry crane can be driven to the equipment. With the remote-control system, the operator can stand back from the machine and the piece of equipment, he’s doesn’t have to be anywhere near the load, it’s a very safe way to manage the lift,” he said.

Two Shuttlelift units are also being deployed onto the Level Crossing Removal Project in Victoria. The Victorian Government allocated $2.4 billion in its 2015-16 budget to remove at least 20 level crossings by 2018. These sites form the basis of a long-term strategic plan being developed to remove all 50 level crossings by 2022. The Level Crossing Removal Authority is overseeing the delivery of the project, ensuring that level crossings are removed in a coordinated and efficient manner. The Authority is responsible for all aspects of the project including planning and development, stakeholder engagement, procurement, through to construction and delivery.

“Obviously, the Level Crossing Removal Project is massive and the various sections of the project require different solutions including the removal rail crossings by elevating areas of the rail network,” said Cawston.

“The Shuttlelifts are being utilised on one section of the project which was a bit more critical than others. The area they are able to work in is very limited and there is little room for error because the crossing is so close to existing structures.

“It was decided there was too much risk associated having a large crawler or a mobile crane or both, to lift 30m long concrete beams and put them in place. The Shuttlelifts will simply drive along, pick up the beams and drive with the load slung beneath them meaning there’s much less risk,” he said.

Cawston confirms ConExpo provided a great opportunity for Australian customers to see the Shuttlelift up close and personal.

“We are very excited about the prospects for Shuttlelift. We had a number of enquiries during ConExpo with customers looking at different applications and using the product to manage their own yards and moving products around,” he said.

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