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Crane Makes American Debut at Clearwater Condominium Project

Fri December 09, 2005 - Southeast Edition
Bonnie L. Quick



The Terex-Bendini RT 660B is the new crane on the block in Clearwater, FL.

The Residences of Windward Passage, a mid-rise condominium project is being built only 16 feet from the water’s edge. The $60 million project will have 55 luxury units built in six stories on a sand base will have more than 400 auger cast pilings to support its foundation. Workspace is limited so a more compact crane was needed to handle the job.

Manufactured at the Terex Italia plant in Crespellano, Italy, the Bendini rough terrain cranes have proven their worth in Europe. The first units of the rough terrain Terex-Bendini RT 660B and RT 440B were sold to Ray Anthony International in Deerfield Beach, FL.

“These cranes are built to handle rough terrain such as is produced by all the pilings on the Clearwater project,” said John Turner, sales Administrator for Terex Cranes, Wilmington office. “They are compact units with four large balloon tires make the crane maneuverable.”

Work on the condominium began in July and should be completed by October 2006.

“The crane is working out great,” said Doug Knight, superintendent of the Windward Passages project for VCC Contractors. “It has a rare capacity in such a compact size.”

Built on a flat site of sand that is reinforced with 429 auger cast pilings more than 32 feet deep, the project presents a unique set of challenges. The RT 660B’s small size and high load capacity enable the use of one crane instead of two.

“The site doesn’t lend itself to a tower crane because it is only 392 feet long and contains so many pilings,” Knight said. “It would ordinarily take two tower cranes which would bust the concrete and structure budgets.”

A small problem is that the computer and all the instruments are installed in Italian and the crane operator doesn’t speak the language.

“This can lead to some interesting fun while we figure out how to do what we want it to do,” added Knight. “But, we are working hard, are on budget and on schedule.”

About the RT660B

The RT660B has a 60-ton maximum lifting capacity. This model is powered by a Cummins 5.9-205 engine. The 660B features a 106 ft. maximum boom length and a 115 ft. maximum tip height.

It features fully independent multi-position out and down outriggers, an environmental operator’s cab that optimizes load visibility and two-speed main and auxiliary winches. The counterweight is integrated into the superstructure on each of these machines. CEG