Terex Superlift 3800 lifts bridge over highway

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Crane service provider Sarens used a Terex Superlift 3800 lattice boom crawler crane to lift a pedestrian and bicycle steel bridge over the A4 Autoroute near Schiltigheim, in Alsace. And there was a good reason for the choice – no other crane in the Belgian company’s large fleet would have been able to tackle the job.

This was because the conditions involved in the project were unique. “We didn’t have a special permit for a heavy-load transport with the required weight. That meant that we first had to figure out how exactly we’d be able to get a crane with the necessary lifting capacity to the site,” reports Sarens project manager Joost Elsen. The Superlift 3800 crane made it possible to overcome this challenge with a special feature that is called “Quick Connection” by the manufacturer. This feature makes it possible to disassemble the crane’s basic structure into two parts in order to significantly reduce the weights involved in transporting the machine. It is also what enabled the Sarens team to get the Superlift 3800 crane to the site without problems. A total of 56 transport vehicles were required, and these vehicles faced an adverse situation of their own: Since the access road to the site was extremely narrow, the trucks had to drive on a gravel road for about a kilometer, in reverse and one by one, before reaching the spot where the crane would be set up. Despite this time-consuming procedure, the Sarens team was able to get the Superlift 3800 crane ready on time with four assembly technicians and the crane operator. “The crane’s ease of assembly literally paid for itself in this case,” Elsen emphasizes.

Flexible lifting thanks to Vario Superlift system
In order to affect traffic as little as possible, the lift was performed on a Saturday night. And since it required for the highway to be completely closed near Strasbourg, the team did not want to risk any delays whatsoever. Because of this, they carried out a trial lift of the 162-tonne bridge section in advance in order to test the crane, as well as the load-securing devices they would be using. Once this trial lift was completed without a hitch, the team was able to relax as they looked forward to the actual job, even despite the fact that it would have to be carried out under tight space conditions. In fact, the operator would only have a 22-meter-wide maneuvering area available to work with, its borders being drawn by the highway and by the train tracks running parallel to it.

For the lift, the Sarens technicians set up the Terex Superlift 3800 crane with an SSL1 configuration, a 54-meter main boom, and 325 tonnes of Terex Superlift counterweight so that the machine would be able to pick up the bridge section at a working radius of 40 meters. In order to prevent the 65-meter-long and 3,50-meter-wide load from swinging around when lifted, it was slung to a perfectly balanced spreader. This enabled crane operator Michael Bräckle to safely lift the component to a height of 20 meters. After this, the main boom was raised in order to reduce the working radius to 29 meters so as to be able to lower the Superlift counterweight radius from 18 to 11 meters. With this compact configuration, the crane was able to turn 180° within its tight working area and swing the bridge over the highway. “To do this, we used the crane’s Vario Superlift system, which was developed precisely for this kind of scenario – a clever idea from Terex,” says crane operator Bräckle when praising the feature. Once the bridge was swung over the highway, the crane moved forward about twelve meters under load. When the crane had reached its final destination, the main boom was brought down and the Vario system was used to bring the SL counterweight back to a radius of 18 meters. Finally, the bridge section was lowered onto the bridge piers at the original working radius of about 40 meters.

“We would have never been able to do this job without the Superlift 3800. Without the Quick Connection feature, we wouldn’t have been able to get a machine that was powerful enough to the site, and without the Vario Superlift system, there wouldn’t have been enough space for the lift. In fact, these are perfect examples of the technological ingenuity behind the Superlift 3800 that won us over from the start. That’s why we have three of them in our fleet,” Elsen says, happily summarizing his company’s experience with the unit.

About the Terex® Superlift 3800 lattice boom crawler crane
The 650 tonne (716 US t) Terex® Superlift 3800 lattice boom crawler crane features a maximum load moment of 8.426 meter tonnes and is designed to provide its owners excellent return of investment. Every single component is designed for worldwide transportation, and setup times and the need for additional equipment have been minimized. A wide array of features, including the award-winning Terex fall protection system, come as standard. The Superlift 3800 crawler crane can be delivered with a main boom with an integrated wind kit, enabling it to erect wind turbines with a height of up to 117 meters without the need for a Superlift configuration. The required LH 114 m + 12 m LF configuration can be set up without the need for an assist crane.

Terex Superlift 3800 is the first Terex crawler crane to feature the new cab design. Providing operators with an excellent working environment, it was developed on the basis of customer feedback with the support of experts in the field of ergonomics.

Terex Superlift 3800 complies both with European standard EN 13000 and US standard ASME B30.5. It can lift 650 tonnes at a radius of 5 to 12 meters.

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