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TEREX® AC 350/6 LIFTS CHURCH SPIRE
BOCHOLT, GERMANY, May 10th, 2012 – In March 2012, Bocholt-based crane service provider Autokrane Schares GmbH lifted a nine-tonne spire off a church steeple in the Rhineland town of Erkelenz. In order to carry out the challenging lift within the cramped confines of the town’s historic center, the company relied on a tried-and-true Terex duo: the highly maneuverable all-terrain AC 350/6 for the lift and the compact AC 40 City as an assist and setup crane.
Projects that have to be performed in city centers are always a challenge for crane companies – particularly in historic town centers, where space tends to be especially limited. This is why it came as no surprise when the Schares team was faced with these very conditions in Erkelenz: A church spire that was in dire need of restoration needed to be lifted off at a height of 89 meters (292 ft.) and deposited safely on the ground right in the middle of the town’s historic center. “Just getting there was difficult, since we had to move through a one-way street while negotiating extremely tight curves with our two Terex cranes and the six setup vehicles we were using. And as if that weren’t enough, the street was only 3.50 meters (11.5 ft.) wide, plus a slightly offset parking lane that was 5.0 meters (16.4 ft.) wide,” reports Schares project manager Eric Reichmann. Not only that, but the space available for setup in front of the church was quite scarce as well. In order to ensure that the whole project would go smoothly despite these challenges, the team prepared an elaborate plan for getting to and leaving the site with their setup vehicles and auxiliary crane: While the AC 350/6 approached the site from one side, the auxiliary crane and the setup vehicles came from the opposite direction one after the other. Timing of the support vehicles was crucial, as one truck was being used to set up the AC 350/6, the next one was already in its waiting position right next to it and ready to go, enabling the team to fully optimize its use of time. Meanwhile, the AC 40 City was able to demonstrate the benefit of its compact design by performing various setup activities under constrained space conditions: With its short undercarriage length, small undercarriage radii, and all-wheel steering, the unit was easy to maneuver around all corners. “There were also other important reasons why we decided to use an AC 40 City as the setup crane for the project in downtown Erkelenz, namely the fact that it only needs a narrow area for its outriggers, can easily rotate when there is little space to work with, and can telescope and retract its boom very quickly,” explains crane operator for the auxiliary crane Tony Hentschel. With these advantages at its disposal, the four-person team was able to set up the AC 350/6 for the job at the town’s historic center in a matter of six hours.
“The right touch made it possible to avoid a ‘bowing’ effect”
Much like the AC 40 City, the AC 350/6 also has a compact design. It is the smallest and most compact six-axle mobile crane with a lifting capacity of 350 tonnes (385 US tons) in the industry However, this is not the only reason why project manager Erich Reichmann thinks highly of the unit: “The AC 350/6 is not only very maneuverable, but also very cost-effective thanks to the fact that it is very easy to set up. Most importantly, however, it is able – unlike comparable models from other manufacturers that cannot do without bracing at all – to perform a range of heavy lifts without needing a Superlift configuration at all.” For this particular task, the company used the Superlift in order to be ready for any surprise the spire might present. The Terex crane was set up with a 40.7-meter (133.5 ft.) main boom, a 4-meter (13 ft.) adapter, a 48-meter (157.5 ft.) luffing fly jib, in this case making full use of the Superlift configuration, and a 75.1-tonne (82.8 US tons) counterweight – a perfect setup for lifting the spire at a height of 89 meters (292 ft.). Naturally, using this configuration required its own careful planning and measurements in advance so as to ensure that neither the counterweight nor the Superlift bracing system would accidentally hit the surrounding trees and buildings during the lift.
There was, however, much to do before the actual lift, and the Schares team had to perform a series of highly delicate tasks at dizzying heights: For starters, the weathervane had to be removed, properly secured, and then brought down safely to the ground before the team could start its actual preparations for removing the spire. To ensure a stable lift, the experienced team used a rectangular spreader that was slung with round slings and shackles, after which it was positioned above the steeple so that the team’s riggers would be able to secure the load onto it. Once this was done, crane operator Christian Emmerich pulled the spire with a tension of around three tonnes (3.3 US tons) in order to secure the load in place. After this, the riggers were finally able to perform the time-consuming task that had been waiting for them from the very beginning: On the steeple, they had to unscrew 400 bolts that had been used as a substitute for the original mounting rivets, which had already been drilled out previously. Once every single bolt was out, Christian Emmerich was finally able to lift the load with a working radius of 26 meters (85.3 ft.). “Doing so required just the right touch, since the load had to be lifted without any tilt in order to avoid a dangerous ‘bowing’ effect. However, it all went smoothly with the AC 350/6’s precise controls,” comments the crane operator, whose experience with this kind of lift was just as crucial as the machine’s accuracy. In order to set down the steeple, the crane’s working radius was increased to 32 meters (105 ft.) by lowering its boom structure, making it possible to safely deposit the steeple on the ground – all carefully followed by the eyes of the church pastor, who did not miss a single second of the spectacle, and followed by an enormous round of applause from curious passers-by.
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. The crane 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 40 City
As the most compact unit with a 40-tonne (44 US tons) lifting capacity from the City Crane series, the Terex AC 40 City is particularly well-suited to operations that have to be performed in constrained spaces: its overall height makes it possible to work with clearance heights as small as 2.99 meters (9.8 ft.), while a total length of only 8.57 meters (28.1 ft.) and a carrier length of 7.34 meters (24 ft.) ensure a high level of maneuverability even under the tightest conditions.
The crane’s maneuverability is further enhanced by the three-axle crane’s independent rear-axle steering. In addition, the fact that the crane is allowed to travel on public roads with its maximum system length of 44.2 meters (145 ft.) is of particular advantage.
The telescopic main boom’s length ranges from 7.80 to 31.2 meters (25.6 to 102.4 ft.), while the four boom head sheaves are designed for maximum loads of up to 34.4 tonnes (37.9 US tons). A heavy-lift attachment with an additional sheave, which makes it possible to achieve a maximum lifting capacity of 40 tonnes (44 US tons), is one of the many options available for the unit. Other available options include 7.1-m and 13-m (23.3 and 42.6 ft.) main boom extensions with a folding jib/double fly jib, as well as a three-sheave, 1.2-meter-long (3.9 ft9 assembly jib designed for loads of up to 15 tonnes (16.5 US tons). Finally, the crane’s standard counterweight weighs 5.45 tonnes (6 US tons).
About Autokrane Schares GmbH
Fourth-generation family-owned Schares company was founded in 1898 and employs 89 people at its four locations in Bocholt, Goch, Oberhausen, and Willich/Krefeld. Its fleet includes 40 cranes with lifting capacities of 25 to 300 tonnes (27.5 to 330 US tons) for lifting heights of up to 125 meters, of which a large number consists of Terex units such as the AC 360/6, AC 120-1, AC 100/4, AC 80-2, AC 70, four AC 40 City, and the AC 25. The company’s range of one-stop combined crane and special transport services enables it to perform work for customers at particularly attractive price points.
For more information, please visit www.schares.de
Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer of a broad range of equipment that is focused on delivering reliable, customer-driven solutions for many applications, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utility and manufacturing industries. Terex reports in five business segments: Aerial Work Platforms; Construction; Cranes; Material Handling & Port Solutions; and Materials Processing. Terex offers financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of equipment through Terex Financial Services. More information can be found at www.terex.com.