Big B Crane Hits Stride With Link-Belt Cranes

For the project in Fort Bend County, Big B Crane purchased a new Link-Belt Cranes 300-ton 348 Series 2 lattice crawler crane.

Tue November 29, 2022
Link-Belt Cranes

In the last 24 months Big B Crane of Burleson, Texas, has purchased six Link-Belt lattice crawler cranes from local Link-Belt Cranes distributor HOLT Crane & Equipment of Irving, Texas.

In June 2021, Big B Crane purchased two 238 HSLs and a 248 HSL, a 298 HSL in September 2021, a 348 Series 2 in June 2022 and a second 298 HSL in July 2022.

"We have several 200-ton cranes, most of which are Link-Belt 248's [H5, HSL, H II] and we hang a lot of steel with them. The features I like about the Link-Belt 248s are the size of the cab and the comfort/ location of the controls. The thing I like most is the ease of mobilizing them, four to five people are able to fully self-assemble and disassemble these cranes and in really hard to get places," said Kenneth Green, operations manager, commercial construction division at Big B Cranes.

Fort Bend County EpiCenter

A recent contract awarded to Big B Crane includes Fort Bend County EpiCenter, a $120 million multi-purpose complex in Rosenberg, Texas.

At Fort Bend County EpiCenter, Big B Crane is responsible for concrete and steel erection of the 195,000 sq. ft. facility. Once completed, the center will be capable of holding 10,400 patrons, and also can be turned into an emergency shelter in times of natural disaster.

For the project in Fort Bend County, Big B Crane purchased a new Link-Belt Cranes 300-ton 348 Series 2 lattice crawler crane. The crane delivered directly to the job site from HOLT Crane & Equipment and went into service the second week of June 2022. Three months later, in early September 2022, the crane already logged more than 500 hours.

"We were in the market for a 300-ton lattice crawler and so we did all the obvious research, looking at charts in this class. We work with our sister-company Deem Structural Services, a steel erector, and found that with this 348 Series 2 we could get 300 feet of reach with 220 feet of main boom and 80 feet of jib. That was big because some of the others in this class at that configuration can only get to 245 feet of radius. That, and then HOLT had cranes on hand, they had this 348 Series 2 available and ready for delivery," said Kenneth Green, operations manager at Big B Crane.

The heaviest loads for the 348 Series 2 have been 120,000 lb. precast panels for the new building's exterior. There are four sections of poured in place tilt panels that the 348 Series 2 lifts, leaving one end open so that the crane can work from the center of the building hanging remaining steel and lowering precast concrete sections that will later become the stands for the new building.

"HOLT's service department has been exemplary. Their service managers are very responsive and their parts availability is great. In most cases, needed parts are in stock and shipped out same day. This greatly helps our customers reduce downtime and keeps their project flowing smoothly," said Green.

348 Series 2 Innovations

Announcement of the 348 Series 2 came in June 2018. Over the years, Link-Belt's 348 class of lattice crawler has been job proven on projects from Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Miami, Fla. First shipments of the new 348 Series 2 began in fourth quarter 2018 following extensive testing at Link-Belt Cranes in Lexington, Ky.

The 348 Series 2 features a Cummins QSL 9, 350 hp Tier IV Final and Tier III engine options with a Kawasaki pump and motor package for fast, responsive, fingertip control providing simultaneous operation wherever it is needed. Dual swing motors provide dynamic control for the incredibly smooth free swing all Link-Belt lattice cranes are famous for having. The operator also can dial swing up or down with a speed control knob in the cab.

Greater fuel economy is just one of the benefits offered with Series 2 ECO winch system, resulting in lower operating cost, less engine RPM under load, fewer emissions, and all the line pull you need with 28 mm rope. When activated by the operator, ECO hoist provides maximum line speed with lighter loads all with the engine under 1,000 rpm.

Also, standard equipped is operator-selectable "auto-engine shutdown" allowing the engine to shut down automatically after extended periods of inactivity, so long as critical operating criteria are met.

At ConExpo 2020, Link-Belt Cranes made its first display of the new combination top for the 348 Series 2. The heavy-duty combination top boom section is built for conventional boom makeup or luffing boom configuration. Bar pendants connect main boom, luffing jib, and luffer back stay — making for easier assembly.

New to the heavy-duty boom extension is backstay bar pendant storage. This allows the 348 Series 2 to go to work with heavy-duty boom while the luffer backstay pendants are stored on the conventional boom. This makes the job of converting to luffing attachment faster, saving time and money, according to the manufacturer.

The hook and pin design greatly simplifies the process of mating the combination top with the luffing jib base section. Lattice style front and rear posts further reduce transport weight.

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