Lange Team lifts four lattice floodlight towers at Rostock Port with Terex


On behalf of the railway construction company BBL Lüneburg, crane service provider Lange Krandienst GmbH recently dismantled four lattice floodlight towers at the Deutsche Bahn rail yard located at the Rostock Port. The company used a Terex AC350/6, together with a Terex AC 80 as an auxiliary crane for a tandem lift, which proved to be quite demanding. Even more interesting, this approach proved to be so cost effective that it enabled Lange to outbid an alternative solution that was being considered: the use of a helicopter.

The recently completed multi-year renovation project for the rail yard facilities at the Rostock Port rendered the lattice floodlight towers used to illuminate the various working areas obsolete. Planners realized that dismantling the four lattice towers would be quite a challenge, as each seven-tonne, 32 meter-high tower would have to be lifted over the 60 meter-wide track bed. And to make things even harder, the project’s schedule would have to be extremely tight, to interrupt rail traffic as little as possible.

“Our Terex AC 350/6 proved to be the ideal machine for this lift. After all, experience has shown time and time again that it will work with utmost reliability and precision even when performing demanding lifts on the higher spectrum of its load curves,” explains project manager Steffen Zimpel. On one hand, the crane’s performance characteristics were perfect for the technical requirements related to the load’s weight and the required reach; while, on the other, the company was already familiar with the AC350/6’s excellent maneuverability and flexibility. These last two characteristics were needed in order for the assignment to be cost-effective, as the crane would have to change locations four times at the site and would also have to be reconfigured three times. “Despite these inevitable complications, we were able to come up with a quote that was 40% more cost-effective than the alternative that was being considered, which was to use a helicopter. Simply put, it wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t decided to use the AC 350/6 and an AC 80 as an auxiliary crane,” reports Jens Sack, who works at the Lange Dispatching Department.

Tandem lifts with just the right touch

The company’s competitive quote also relied on the fact that the two cranes were able to travel by themselves to the site accompanied by an escort vehicle, as well as the advantage that only two ballast trucks were required in addition to the three trucks used to transport the required lattice sections. Once there, it took the four-person Lange team a mere six hours to set up the AC 350/6 and configure it for the assignment: An extended main boom length of 22.7 meters and a 60-meter fly jib allowed the crane, which carried 116.7 tonnes of counterweight, to reach the required working radius of 63 meters. Finally, in order to make it possible for the heavy machines to travel and work on the unpaved ground at the site, all access roads and working areas were stabilized with concrete slabs.

Once these preparations were done, the team was ready to take on the tricky and challenging lift: First, one of the team members attached the AC350/6 slinging gear to the upper end of the lattice tower at a height of 32 meters. Next, crane operator Michael Berger placed the tower under a slight pre-load by lifting it with utmost precision while carefully monitoring it with the IC-1 load moment indicator. Once in position, the mechanics used their cutting torches to separate the tower from the foundation. “That was the most critical moment: If the pre-load had been too small or too big, the tower could have slipped away or swung uncontrollably, putting the mechanics’ lives at risk,” reports project manager Zimpel. And that is without taking into account the weather at the site, as a strong gust of wind would have had dire consequences.

Once the tower was disconnected from the foundation, the AC 350/6 lifted it and swung it at a radius of 63 meters clearing the tracks towards an open area on the opposite side of the embankment, where the AC 80 was waiting – set up with a full counterweight of 18 tonnes and a fully extended 50-meter boom. The Lange team members attached the lower end of the lattice tower to the AC 80 so that the AC 350/6 would be able to put it down, intact, in a horizontal position in tandem with the AC 80. The team repeated the exact same process four times and required less than two hours for each one, from slinging each tower with the AC350/6 to putting it down together with the AC 80. This made it possible to successfully complete the entire project in three and a half days despite a one-day delay caused by the unfavorable weather conditions on the first day. “In addition to our employees’ experience, the AC 350/6’s extraordinary handling capabilities, together with its quick setup times and excellent maneuverability, were a key factor in enabling us to work efficiently and cost-effectively. This type of flexibility is something that no other model in our fleet would be able to provide us with,” says Zimpel to sum up his opinion and his satisfaction with the work done.

The Terex AC 350/6

With a total length of only 16.7 (54.8 ft) meters, the AC 350/6 is the smallest 6-axle and most compact mobile crane in the 350-tonne (386 US ton) capacity class. This jack-of-all-trades can be used throughout an extraordinarily wide range: in the class of less than 220 tonnes (242 US tons), with a partial counterweight, as an alternative to medium and large 5-axle mobile cranes. In the 200 – 350 tonne (220 – 386 US ton) range, it is by far the most powerful crane of its class at this time, both regarding its main boom and its different extensions. Even jobs for a 400-tonne (440 US ton) capacity class crane can be taken on with this machine – a territory that usually belongs to much larger cranes. The AC 350/6 reaches, for example, the performance figures of a 400-tonne (440 US ton) class mobile crane with its extraordinarily large lifting capacity, with a telescoped boom length of 64m (210 ft), or with its impressive maximum system length of 125.7m (412.4 ft).

A compact chassis and speed-dependent rear axle steering enable the crane to work within a remarkably small turning radius. In addition, the fact that the AC 350/6 is the only 350-tonne (386 US ton) capacity class unit with a front overhang shorter than two meters (6.6 ft) means that it can be operated without additional escort personnel in a number of countries.

Additional attachments, whether required or optional, can be loaded onto conventional trucks within a width of 2.55 m (8.4 ft).

The Terex AC 80-2

With a length of 12.11 meters, the Terex® AC 80-2 is the shortest four-axle crane in the 80 tonne capacity class. A maximum load moment of 255 meter tonnes characterize it as much as its powerful 422-HP diesel engine, which together with a convenient 6-speed automatic transmission gives the crane its outstanding handling performance. Meanwhile, an independent rear-axle steering system serves only to enhance the unit’s high level of maneuverability. Short telescoping times and the ability to telescope large loads—a result of its fully hydraulic boom system—make a compelling argument when this all-terrain crane is at work in real-life operations, as does the fact that the crane can travel on public roads—in full compliance with the 12-tonne axle load limit required by law—while carrying its 8-tonne counterweight and 9.2-meter main boom extension.

The telescopic main boom’s length ranges from 10.9 to 50 meters. Additional options include main boom extensions available with a single-section or double-section jib (with a length of 9.2 meters and 17.6 meters respectively), as well as a 1.20-meter-long assembly jib.

 About Krandienst Lange GmbH

Krandienst Lange GmbH was founded in 1997 in Grimmen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, with a small team of three employees. Today, the company employs a total of 66 people at its branches in Grimmen, Rostock, and Lubmin. Its range of services includes crane projects and transportation services, including the provision of escort vehicles for heavy goods vehicles and permit services for large and heavy load transportation projects. The company’s fleet includes ten state-of-the-art Terex cranes with lifting capacities of up to 500 tonnes.

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