Terex AC 500-2 All-Terrain Crane Launches Cruise Ship


It was a lift against an idyllic backdrop: while blessed with wonderful weather, the members of Austrian crane service provider Prangl’s team launched a 71-tonne, 27-meter-long hull on the picturesque Lake Hallstatt. Before this, the team had lifted the cruise ship’s hull onto a lowbed trailer at the Danube port in Ennsdorf in order to bring the hull to its destination. The Prangl team relied on a Terex® AC 500-2 all terrain crane to perform the two lifts, which were conducted on behalf of the Lake Hallstatt shipping company.

“The Terex AC 500-2 was simply the perfect match for this job, as its lifting capacity was just right for the tonnage involved in the lift,” reports Prangl Project Manager Alexander Albert. The Prangl team was set to deal with extremely tight space conditions, both when loading the hull onto a lowbed trailer at the Danube port operated by the Wirtschaftspark Ennsdorf industrial park and when unloading it in Steeg, next to Lake Hallstatt. But thanks to the AC 500-2 crane’s compact design, they managed without a problem. The crane’s powerful performance also played a decisive role: “Ideally, you’d want to lift this kind of load using a tandem lift, as we did when loading the hull on the lowbed trailer. But that was out of the question when unloading it due to the lack of space. In other words, our AC 500-2 was on its own. However, the crane is powerful enough to handle this type of lift even without assistance,” says crane operator Christian Wolkerstorfer based on his experience with the unit.

Slinging gear challenge
This meant that the main challenge was to figure out the perfect combination of slinging gear and how to rig it in order to provide a safe lift. The complex and extremely long slinging gear used ultimately also required a relatively large configuration height for the boom despite the fact that the lifts would require proportionately low lifting heights. The AC 500-2 crane was set up with a 37.9-meter main boom length and 140 tonnes of counterweight for the loading operation at the industrial park’s port. Here it worked in tandem with another crane. The operation entailed lifting the 71-tonne ship at a working radius of 14 meters, to a height of three meters and then moving it onto the waiting lowbed trailer by swiveling 180°. For the lift, the team required seven transport vehicles in order to get the required components to the crane’s working area. The setup time was a total of four hours.

For the unloading operation at the lake, the Prangl team used a main boom length of 19.3 meters, a 30-meter luffing fly jib, and 180 tonnes of counterweight. This enabled the AC 500-2 crane to safely lift the vessel, at a radius of 24 meters, to a height of four meters and then swivel 180° to gently lower it onto the water. The time and effort required to set up the crane for this second lift were greater, with a setup time of eight hours and a total of eleven transport vehicles. However, the number of people involved remained the same: “We didn’t need more than three assembly technicians to set up the AC 500-2 crane,” explains Albert.

Despite its scenic beauty, the lake proved to be the more difficult of the two work sites: “Weather, space, and time – those were the three big challenges,” Albert summarized. After all, it was not only necessary to close the federal motorway B 166 passing the lake for the allowed timeframe of two hours, but also the surrounding parking lots for two days. In addition, the bank slope within the crane’s working radius had to be completely cleared. The AC 500-2 crane’s short setup times proved to be an enormous advantage when it came to the Prangl team sticking to these timeframes, and the weather fortunately also played nice, ensuring that there were no unexpected delays. “The ship provided a large contact area, so we would have been unable to do the lift if there had been any strong winds,” explains Wolkerstorfer.

Lift with “reinforcements”
Since there were no extreme weather conditions or any other problems, the role played by Terex Sales Manager Robert Puchner, who was also present for the lift, ended up being limited to that of a spectator. “Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s always reassuring when you have someone who works for the crane manufacturer be there at the work site. And in the case of Terex, we know that we can always count on fast and straightforward technical support if needed. However, it’s always best when it’s not needed – as was the case with this lift,” says Albert, visibly happy with the experience.

For more information about the crane, please visit the following page: Terex AC 500-2 crane

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