Transformer Lift More Than Meets the Eye

Thu January 17, 2008 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Crane Rental Corporation called a Grove GMK7550 into action in Orlando, Fla., to assist in the move of a transformer from a power plant to a nearby substation.

The local power company’s initial plan to move it by truck and trailer was complicated by existing traffic hazards and the need for permits.

However, the transformer could be moved by railcar to within a quarter mile of the substation. Then, using a prime mover and Goldhofer platform trailer, the unit could be easily moved the rest of the way.

The 550-ton (499 t) hydraulic all-terrain crane off-loaded the 320,000-lb. transformer. The crane was configured for the lift with 264,500 lbs. of counterweight, a 14-part line and four 60-TPXV 9000 endless slings. At a radius of 25 ft. (7.6 m), the crane’s capacity was 374,000 lbs. (169,643 kg).

The October lift started early with a 7 a.m. job site safety meeting, at which lift procedures were planned and job site considerations were discussed.

The site offered a few challenges. The area was tight because of power lines and uneven ground. Also, portions of a road had to be closed.

Work began at 8 a.m. The transformer was off-loaded from the railcar, placed on the platform trailer, moved to the substation and off-loaded. By 1 p.m., the job was completed with all equipment off site and with no accidents or delays.