Port Canaveral, Fla., USA, August, 2013 – Not much time has passed since Beyel Brothers took delivery of its first Terex AC 250-1 all terrain crane, and this leading crane and rigging company has wasted no time putting it to work. The crane’s long boom, the longest available configured for the road, and its 300 US ton (250 t) capacity have proven to be valuable benefits for Beyel Brothers. "We don’t have to use the jib as often as with other cranes," says Steve Beyel, vice president of Beyel Brothers, Inc., "which makes us more flexible and saves us time at the job." This flexibility allowed Beyel to take on another job to do cruise ship maintenance during a short break in the midst of a longer term job at a NASA facility.
The AC 250-1 is fast replacing the other cranes in Beyel Brothers’ fleet for lifting projects ranging from cell towers to downtown building hoists to cruise ship maintenance. "Even though the crane offers big lifting capabilities, it’s compact so it can maneuver city streets," says Matt Beyel, crane operator for Beyel Brothers. With its 262.5 ft (80 m) main boom, it also offers a longer reach than other cranes in its class, so a jib is often not necessary. "With smaller cranes you need a jib for building work, which results in road closures to be able to install the jib," he adds.
The Terex AC 250-1 offers the market’s longest main boom in a roadable 13.2 US ton (12 t) axle load configuration. With its 55.9 ft (15.7 m) transport length, the AC 250-1 is the most compact 6-axle crane and offers the most compact working area in its class. The 300 US ton (250 t) capacity crane offers a maximum 370.7 ft (113 m) system length with up to 118.1-ft (36 m) extendable swing-away jib.
It’s a Dream
Beyel Brothers mobilized the AC 250-1 directly from a jobsite involving water tower maintenance to support work on Disney Cruise Lines’ majestic Disney Dream cruise ship. The job consisted of Beyel Brothers’ crews hoisting and placing the panels that surround and cover the exhaust stacks at the top of the ship. Additionally, the AC 250-1 set the radar dome that establishes satellite communication between the ship and mainland.
With the cruise ship’s 14 towering decks and 125 ft (38.1 m) width, the job required a crane with a long reach to hoist the 2,000 lb (9 t) panels in place atop the 4,000 passenger ship. If the main boom weren’t long enough, then crews would need to add a jib to finish the job. "Installing a jib would require an extra truckload of material, assist crane for assembly and about two hours of rigging time on the front and back end of the project," says Steve Beyel.
To handle lifting up to 5,000-lb (2,2 t) skids of supporting material for the panel and radar dome project, Beyel Brothers equipped the AC 250-1 with only the main boom. Crews used all of the flat counterweights and one cheek weight per side for the lift.
To finish the project on time, crews moved the crane to the port the night before the lifts. "We pulled the boom and counterweights and moved it from our other project site to Port Canaveral the night before and had it set up by 7:30 p.m.," recalls Matt Beyel.
The AC 250-1 all terrain crane began hoisting panels first thing the next morning. "We had to lift 180 ft (54.9 m) in the air to reach both sides of the ship, but we were able to do it with only the main boom," says Steve Beyel. That saved the crew and customer the time and extra expense associated with rigging the jib.
In all, the AC 250-1 performed 25 lifts between positioning the panels, placing the radar dome and lifting pallets of material to the work area. "We finished with the Iron Workers by 3 p.m. that day," says Matt Beyel. Work then commenced to break down the crane and transport it back to its NASA jobsite. "I clocked out at 8 p.m. that night," he adds.
After the cruise maintenance job was done, the AC 250-1 was mobilized back to the water tower project at Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39B, where it had been working for a couple of weeks. Filled with 10,000 gal (37,854 l) of water, the towers supply water to the sound suppression systems at the launch pad. The system ejects water on to the launch pad to suppress the sound of a rocket launch.
The AC 250-1 was supporting repair efforts on the tower’s bracing, lights, maintenance ladder and handrails. "It just so happened that we had a scheduled down day at the space center when the Disney Dream project came up, so we decided to mobilize the AC 250-1 for that job," explains Matt Beyel. "We quickly pulled the crane’s counterweights and boom and moved it the short distance to Port Canaveral."
As with the Disney Dream project, Beyel Brothers reaped the benefits from the 262.5 ft (80 m) main boom length offered by the AC 250-1. The bulk of the project required replacing the clevis and pin bracing in between the tower and the frame. Hoisting material to heights reaching up to 190 ft (58 m), Matt Beyel worked with just the AC 250-1’s main boom for the majority of the project.
"There’s quite a difference in reach capability between the last crane I operated and this Terex crane," says Matt Beyel. “It makes it much easier to set up and operate. We can be ready to lift within a half hour of getting on site.”
As the project progressed to the lighting, ladder and handrail work on top of the water tower 263 ft (80.2 m) above ground level, crews added a 62 ft (18.9 m) swing-away jib to the end of the main boom. With an assist crane on site to help with jib set up, Matt Beyel mentions relative ease in which the jib was installed. "It’s just a four pin connection at the end of the boom," he says. "There is a pony motor in the jib to run the hydraulics that help with the attachment."
Even when working at heights of more than 260 ft (79.2 m) in the air, Matt Beyel reports that the AC 250-1 is very easy to operate, particularly due to the IC-1 controls package on the 300-US ton (250 t) capacity class crane. "The computer controls are touchscreen and very simple to figure out and operate," he says.
With these projects successfully completed by using the flexible AC 250-1, Beyel Brothers is considering the addition of more Terex models to its 80-plus fleet of Terex cranes. This time they are looking for 170 US ton (140 t) capacity models. While the flexibility of the crane design has sold Beyel Brothers on Terex, support received by their Terex Cranes distributor has kept them coming back. "We’ve received exceptional service from Renegar-Driggers Machinery," says Steve Beyel. "They’ve taken care of us well."
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