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Fleet Expansion Speeds Up Wind Farm Construction
ZWEIBRÜCKEN, JANUARY 18, 2010 -The Schuch Group has expanded its crane fleet to meet new demands in its upper lifting capacity segment. The lifting and transport company needed a cost-effective unit that would be ideally suited to efficient wind turbine erection operations. A Terex® AC 500-2, featuring a maximum lifting capacity of 500 metric tonnes, was selected as the newest addition to the fleet. Saarbrücken-based A.K.V. Kranvermietung is in charge of the unit within the Schuch Group. The AC 500-2 saw action for the first time in August, near Mönchengladbach, when it erected an entire wind farm next to the small town of Willich.
The turbines, manufactured by Fuhrländer, consisted of a turbine house weighing a total of 58 metric tonnes and individual tower sections, each weighing 33 metric tonnes. The turbines' three-blade hubs added another 36 metric tonnes to the assembly.
Crane operator Andreas Portz set up the crane with a 180-metric tonne counterweight – a simple, time-saving, and above all safe procedure made possible by the machine's automatic counterweight system. Ballasting is handled from the cab and does not require any manual intervention. “Deadlines keep getting tighter and tighter at construction sites. The time required to set up a machine so that it is ready for operation is a crucial factor in today’s world, which is why quick setup times are so incredibly important,” explained Portz. Portz used a 36-meter [118-ft] jib to extend the crane's main boom and adjusted the machine’s Sideways Superlift (SSL) system to an angle of 30°.
“The reason we used the AC 500 is that comparable cranes in this class were simply too weak,” continued Portz. “Also, maneuverability is just as important as the crane’s available power. The AC 500’s carrier measures just under 17 meters [56 feet], and the star-type outriggers help save even more space, which makes our work much easier.”
The Terex® AC 500-2 is one of the smallest units available in the large crane segment (compared with 700-metric tonne and 1,000-metric tonne units). Its large lifting capacities and enormous system length provide it with an unparalleled level of flexibility, an advantage when working with wind turbines. “Our 500-metric tonne unit enables us to carry out a number of operations that previously would only have been possible with either a crane belonging to a higher capacity class or a crawler crane,” comments Stefan Schuch, Managing Director of Krandienst Schuch, when explaining the reasons for the investment. “Of course it’s fun to operate such a large crane, but it goes without saying that the crane’s first and foremost goal is to make money. The bottom line is that its quick setup times and low transportation costs pay for themselves.” Roman Schirra, Managing Director of A.K.V. Kranvermietung, adds the following: “We ordered the crane with the maximum level of equipment available and are now able to use it in many applications.” The crane will be used for overhauling and rebuilding work for Schuch Group customers in the heavy industry and wind power sectors.
The Terex® AC 500-2
With an undercarriage length of 17.1 m [56.1 ft], the Terex® AC 500-2 is the most compact eight-axle crane in its class. A maximum working height of 145.8 m [478.3 ft] can be achieved with a luffing fly jib. The crane provides enormous power across all lifting capacity ranges, a feat made possible by several features, including an enhanced main boom cross-section and reinforcement provided by the Sideways Superlift system. The crane’s star-type outriggers help minimize system deformation and provide the level of stability required by the unit. Extremely short setup times and easy and straightforward operation (achieved with the innovative IC-1 crane control system) make for an extraordinary level of working comfort and safe crane operations. The IC-1 crane control system is an invaluable safety and productivity tool during heavy work. All load charts are stored in the system, and the right charts are automatically retrieved after specifying the load, radius, and other configuration data. The working range limiter protects crane operators against collisions during critical operations. The crane’s turning radius, height limit, radius limit, and “virtual walls” can be effortlessly adjusted. The crane is powered by the latest Daimler engine technology, with 480 kW / 653 PS at 1,800 rpm. The carefully-thought-out drive design ensures optimal translation of engine power into great driving performance and fast working speed.
The Schuch Group
With eight locations in Europe and North Africa, the Schuch Group covers all areas involved in the lifting and transportation business. The company’s range of products and services includes crane services; heavy load transportation; machine relocation; and loading crane, aerial work platform, and vacuum truck leasing and trading services.
The company’s core business, however, revolves around its crane services, which are driven by 126 mobile cranes with lifting capacities ranging from 30 to 600 metric tonnes. The company was founded in 1984 as a towing and recovery service business and evolved into an all-around service provider under the guidance of Stefan Schuch, who led the company through its second generation. Today, his son Christopher is ensuring that the family's third generation continues with the company tradition. Together, they are continuing to expand the company’s outstanding market position in the southwestern part of Germany. The Schuch Group has over 120 employees who are always there for their customers.
Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer operating in four business segments: Terex Aerial Work Platforms, Terex Construction, Terex Cranes, and Terex Materials Processing. Terex manufactures a broad range of equipment for use in various industries, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, energy, refining, and utility industries. Terex offers a complete line of financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of Terex equipment through Terex Financial Services. More information on Terex can be found at www.terex.com.