The Largest of Them All

Defying the laws of gravity is all in a day’s work for Babcock’s plant hire business. Most recently, Babcock put a 600-ton Liebherr LG 1550 lattice boom crane to the test in a project involving the precise placement of 10 gantries within a live and confined working space.

Michael Hawkins, Heavy Lift Manager at Babcock, says that despite
external setbacks, the three month project went very well with Babcock
achieving what many thought impossible with a mobile crane. “Our competitors believed the project required a high capacity crawler crane,
however, by building the mobile crane and boom on the ground we were able to drive it into position, lifting the boom along the way
and stabilising it with a 100-ton crawler crane,” says Michael.

Heavy lifting
Ten gantries, some exceeding 70 tons, were then lifted 35 metres into the air over a live working plant to be strategically placed between A-frames for the carrying of conveyor belts for a new wood chipping plant in Umkomaas, south of Durban

Michael says that 28 lowbed trucks were used to transport the Liebherr LG 1550 mobile crane to site where it was built. “The challenge then came in lifting the gantries above plant buildings and underneath existing conveyor belts before slewing them in to final position,” he says, adding that individual gantries took approximately three and a half hours to lift and place, with the build of the crane taking 2-3 days depending on access.

Largest in the fleet
The Liebherr LG 1550 lattice boom crane is the largest mobile crane in Babcock’s plant fleet. It has a maximum lifting capacity of 600 tons at a 4.5 radius and lattice boom extending to 161 metres. The eight-axle machine
with slewing platform also features outriggers that can be completely folded into the vehicle width, increasing manoeuvrability in confined
spaces. In addition, the 24 wheels provide the load bearing capacity necessary for the crane to move on-site with the parts of its equipment
and ballast. The boom and jib system enable hook heights of over 100 metres to be reached.

Michael Hawkins
Tel: (010) 001-0730