Five Companies Collaborate to Tackle Rough Terrain Problems

Fri August 27, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Eddie Witkum Jr. operates the Cat 574 forwarder for Crane Locke Services.
Eddie Witkum Jr. operates the Cat 574 forwarder for Crane Locke Services.
Eddie Witkum Jr. operates the Cat 574 forwarder for Crane Locke Services. Joe Vergoni (L) of Shawmut Equipment shakes hands with Kenny Locke, owner of Locke Crane Services. Locke Crane Services said its new crane is virtually “unstoppable.” Since the National crane is built on a Cat forwarder and not the typical boom truck it can climb over rocks and up mountains to get to the job site. Instead of placing mats down, Locke Crane Services could just drive over the land to the site. An Etnyre 100 ton (90.7 t) lowbed trailer with a 28 ft. (8.5 m) deck attached to a Mack 2010 Titan transports the machine from job site to job site.

Locke Crane Services, a full service crane rental company in New England, has recently added a National model 8100D - 23 ton (21 t) hydraulic crane mounted to a Caterpillar 574 Forwarder to its fleet. The unique combination of crane and forwarder is well suited for the rough terrain that Locke travels, especially when working on power transmission lines.

Installing the National model 8100D onto the Cat Forwarder was a collaborative effort between Locke Crane Services, Shawmut Equipment, National Crane, Milton CAT and CUE Engineering. Each company contributed to the project and the result is a machine designed and built to service job sites that are difficult to access with traditional machinery.

The National model 8100D mounted on the Cat 574 Forwarder offers a 100-ft. (30.5 m) main boom and a two-person man basket. Additionally the crane was designed with 48 in. (122 cm) outrigger jacks capable of leveling the crane in adverse conditions. The Cat 574 carrier is capable of traveling in any terrain and leaves minimal impact on the environment. The Cat 574 Forwarder eliminates the need for extensive matting typically required to access these areas. This saves Locke’s customers valuable time and money when this special crane is used.

“We’re thinking this unit here, that’s actually a piece of forestry equipment except with a crane built on it, will be able to go anywhere we want it to go…through the mud up the mountains. There’s no place this machine can’t go,” said owner Kenny Locke.

“The guys really like this piece of equipment because it can do this. It’s a big hit…really awesome,” he said.

“The Cat 574 Forwarder can go everywhere,” said James Egan, sales representative of Milton CAT. “This is the only machine that could have carried the [crane] to the site [because of its mountainous terrain.] It’s handy. If you come to a big rock that you think you can’t go over, the computer knows to lift up the front wheels and hydraulically pull itself over it. It will do the same for snow…lift itself up and push the snow out of its way.”

Working Together

A family owned and operated business providing a full array of crane, rigging and transportation services for more than 36 years, Locke Crane Services executes rigging and hoisting needs throughout New England and has locations in Tewksbury, Mass., and Raymond, N.H.

Shawmut Equipment has been a vital part of the business.

“I bought all my cranes from [Shawmut],” Locke said. “I don’t do my business with anyone else. [Shawmut Equipment President] Dave O’Connell has been really good to me, and I just wouldn’t buy anything from anyone else.”

A third-generation family-owned company since 1957, Shawmut represents the Manitowoc Crane Group, including Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove mobile hydraulic cranes GMK all terrain cranes, National boom trucks and Potain self-erecting cranes.

In addition to representing the entire line of Caterpillar machinery, engines and power generation equipment, Milton CAT offers a complete line of crushing and screening equipment, Genie aerial lifts, Challenger agricultural and utility tractors, as well as implements and work tools ranging from shears, hammers, thumbs, forks and landscape rakes, to a full range of buckets.

For more information, call 888/762-7263 or visit CEG

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