Heads and tails

23 January 2018 by Sotiris Kanaris

A 250USt (230t) Link-Belt telecrawler crane from ALL Crane was used by M.A. Mortenson Company in the construction of a wind farm in Texas. As well as general assist and component handling duties, the TCC-2500 was used to hold the head of the boom of a 600t crawler off the ground as it passed under powerlines and to tail loads during construction.

The project, constructed on 15,620 acres of private land approximately 30 miles north of the US-Mexico border in Val Verde County, Texas, consists of erecting 69 wind turbines, an electrical substation and an underground transmission line.

The network of roads connecting each of the 69 wind turbines was a major challenge.

Rick Paullus, Mortenson TCC-2500 Operator, said: “Usually these wind jobs are on a grid, this one we started on one end and basically had to go all the way around on string roads. So the TCC-2500 travelled close to 70 miles on this job, over the most uneven terrain possible. We’ve gone close to three miles in a single day.”

The boom on the 600t cranes weighed 65,000lbs and was too tall to transport aboard a trailer. Instead the TCC-2500 rigged to the boom while cradled on the machine, moved in tandem, allowing the boom to travel underneath the powerline.

“Mortenson explained that they were going to need a telescopic rig of some sort, with larger capacities than even a 130 to 150USt class rough terrain crane. The crane would assist in picking and carrying the boom assembly on the big 600t top out cranes for numerous wire ducks in some difficult terrain. The first thing that came to mind was our new TCC-2500,” said Scott Jerome, senior branch manager at Dawes Rigging and Crane Rental, part of ALL Crane.

“It (TCC-2500) handled the wire duck really well, then as we went along, sometimes the large lattice crane couldn’t get to the blades to build the rotors, and so we had a few rotors that had to be built with the TCC-2500,” said Paullus.

In between moves, the TCC-2500 was busy on site as an assist crane for building and constructing 262ft (80m) wind turbines with rotors (hub plus blades) weighing up to 146,000lbs (66,224kg) in difficult ground conditions.

The crane lifted top can sections weighing up to 47,000lbs. It was also used for tailing rotors, building hubs or assisting with lifting the boom of the larger lattice crawler crane.