Largest Mobile Hydraulic Crane in Missouri Makes Debut

Mon June 19, 2006 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Budrovich Contracting has introduced the largest mobile hydraulic A/T in Missouri on June 10, 2006.

Working for McCarthy Construction, the GMK 7550 550-ton crane disassembled a Liebherr 550HC20 tower crane at the Washington University School of Medicine’s Northwest Tower addition.

Due to the nature of disassembling a tower crane at an urban hospital, Budrovich and McCarthy were presented with many challenges.

The parking garage at the Northwest Tower had to remain open, restricting the street to one lane that was immediately adjacent to the GMK 7550.

The emergency department at the hospital also was in the path of disassembly, but had to remain open at all times.

A communication plan was implemented to coordinate the Helicopter Emergency Air Evacuation landing pad located on the building adjacent to the Northwest Tower.

To further compound matters, a MetroLink light rail tunnel ran diagonally through the job site, restricting setup of the GMK 7550 by a full 3 ft.

According to Fred Kern, equipment manager of McCarthy, “The GMK 7550 saved us two days of jacking and $15,000. I was amazed at how well it fit into a tight logistical situation.”

Budrovich and McCarthy decided to use the GMK because its capacity and reach would save two days of jacking the tower crane down to the point where a GMK 6350 could disassemble the Liebherr.

Additionally, at the full height, two 38,000-lb. (17,237 kg) sections of the tower crane could be picked at a 63-ft. (19 m) radius.

Budrovich configured the crane with 179 ft. (54.6 m) of main boom, 118 ft. (40 m) of fixed jib and 132,000 lbs. (59,874 kg) of counterweight.

The 550-on crane has an overall tip height of 430 ft. (131 m) with the jib attachments.

The behemoth crane is 86 ft. 6 in. (26.4 m) long, has eight axles and a three-axle dolly and a maximum of 352,700 lbs. (159,982 kg) of counterweight.

Budrovich expected to use this crane in many different applications, including refinery, power plant, and nuclear plant work.

“Previously, very large jobs that required a lot of reach combined with heavy weights would require a helicopter to make the picks,” said Darren Jaycox, vice president crane rental of Budrovich. “We feel like there is no job in the metro area we can’t do now. Engineers are designing construction projects in larger pieces, thus speeding up the construction times. This crane will allow them to continue to expedite the construction process.”

This crane also allows Budrovich to begin working in a new market for them.

“There are billions of dollars being allocated by major oil and energy companies to reduce emissions,” said AJ Ford, vice president of marketing of Budrovich.

“There is a big push in bio-fuels, wind energy and nuclear power taking place and vast amounts of construction money are headed into those industries. We believe there will be long term industrial opportunities for us to take advantage of.”

One advantage is the crane can travel down the road with the main boom installed.

Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation (DOT) do not require the boom to be launched and travel with separate tractor trailers.

“This option save us several hours to re-install the boom during set-up, and it will not require the added costs of mobilization,” said Jaycox.

The Budrovich Companies specialize in crane rental, site utility excavation, mass and finish grading, and residential, commercial and industrial land development.

Budrovich employs approximately 150 skilled operators, laborers and teamsters in the St. Louis metropolitan region, using approximately 90 pieces of excavation and grading equipment and 40 mobile hydraulic cranes. CEG

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