Tue February 14, 2023
When faced with a couple of challenging lifting projects in its local region of Valladolid, Spain crane rental company Tinlohi called on two of its most dependable performers to get the job done: the 275.5 ton Grove GMK5250XL-1 and 441 ton Grove GMK6400.
Alberto Lozano, commercial director at Tinlohi, said that while both cranes offer class-leading capacity and reach, it was their smooth control and reliable performance that made them prime picks for the projects.
"For each of the jobs, the weight of the load was not really an issue. The challenge was the size of the components and the complications of local conditions," he said. "We already knew we wanted to use two cranes for each project, and they had to be dependable. So, it was an easy choice to select the GMK6400 and GMK5250XL-1."
The first job took place in Palencia, in northwest Spain, where the pair were able to dismantle a wind turbine in just one day — including all the preparation. The GMK6400 was rigged with 38.5 ton of counterweight to support its maximum 197 ft. boom plus a 98 ft. fixed jib. It lifted just over two-thirds of the load.
Alongside it, the five-axle GMK5250XL-1 also was rigged with its maximum boom (257.5 ft.) and fitted with a 31 ft. jib. The counterweight was 33.6 tons for the GMK5250XL-1 to manage its role in supporting one-third of the load. Components were lowered from a height of 295 ft.
"Although each load was only [12 ton], the [118 ft.]-long turbine blades were too tricky to handle using just one crane," said Lozano. "It goes without saying that local site conditions were windy, and the unusual profile of the turbine blades made them complicated to handle. They taper from a [6.5 ft.] diameter where they join the hub to virtually nothing at the tip. We talked to Manitowoc, and the company developed a lift plan which worked perfectly.
"Despite local conditions, unusual loads and coordinating two cranes at once we got everything wrapped up easily inside one day."
For the set up on the wind farm, the GMK6400 was located next to the turbine mast, where it could support the extra weight and lift at a 78.7 ft. radius. The GMK5250XL-1 was then set up 52.5 ft. away to lift at a 72 ft. radius.
Team Up to Tear Down
Less than an hour's drive south of the wind farm in Valladolid, the two Grove cranes reunited again for a complicated dismantling task. This time the load was heavier, with each crane bearing an equal share of the burden as they removed a 60.6 ton drying tube from a gasification plant. With boom length set to 131 ft., the GMK6400 employed 49.6 tons of counterweight, while the GMK5250XL-1 was configured with 69 tons of counterweight and a 135 ft. boom.
"This was another challenging project, as we had to coordinate the swing of each lift to pass the tube section between silos into the staging area," said Lozano. "Nevertheless, all of the work — including preparation — was completed without a hitch before lunch."
In spite of the GMK6400 having the strongest load chart on six axles and the GMK5250XL-1 having the longest boom on five axles, these two cranes prove something much more than their headline features.
"These Grove cranes are so versatile. On the turbine project it was vital that the descending speed of each hook block was the same to avoid the load slipping off," said Lozano. "We were able to ensure this thanks to the efficient control systems on the cranes. The operators were able to work in perfect harmony, to ensure each job was completed smoothly, quickly and safely."
For more information, visit www.manitowoc.com.