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Two Terex® Cranes keep Innovative Australian broadcasting company “on the air”
Zweibrücken, Germany, September 20th, 2011 – For 50 years, Nine Network, otherwise known as Channel Nine or simply Nine, has been one of the most watched television stations in Australia. The network has a long history as an innovator in the Australian broadcasting industry. TCN-9, Nine Network’s Sydney affiliate, made history in 1956 as the first regularly transmitting TV station in Australia. Its first program was This Is Television, and later that year, Nine Network’s GTV-9 affiliate in Melbourne telecasted the Summer Olympics.
In 2010, it made history yet again as the first free-to-air network in Australia to broadcast in 3-D. Nine Network currently owns and operates affiliate stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin and Papua New Guinea, boasting hit shows like Underbelly and Hey Hey It’s Saturday, as well as syndicating popular shows like Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
Having recently constructed new high-tech, purpose-built studios for GTV-9 in Melbourne, Nine Network needed a 2.8-tonne (3.1 US ton) satellite dish installed on top of the 61-m (200.1 ft) building to transmit from the new site.
“The task of lifting the satellite was made comparatively simple because of the planning that went into the job,” says Tim Metcalf, director of Metcalf Crane Services, who owns and operates Terex crane equipment. “The satellite system was designed by RG Systems, and because of the parameters of the project, the building manager at Nine Network recommended RG Systems have us do the installation.”
To install the 15-m (49.2 ft) diameter dish on the roof, the satellite actually needed to be lifted 80 m (262.5 ft) up and over the building. Metcalf’s 6-person crew relied on a combination of two Terex cranes, an AT-20 pick-and-carry crane and an AC 350 all-terrain crane, to lift the dish from the truck bed and into position on the building’s rooftop in just four hours.
“This project faced some unique challenges, including traffic management restrictions,” recalls Metcalf. “Because Bourke Street and Aurora Lane had to be closed down during the installation, we had to gain approval from the Melbourne City Council, and the entire project had to be completed in a 14-hour shift, including mobilization and demobilization.”
High winds, up to 8 m/s (nearly 18 mph), and the all-glass design and structure of the new GTV-9 studios, further complicated the delicate lift. “My crane operators had to closely monitor the anemometer to confirm the wind speeds and make adjustments accordingly,” mentions Metcalf.
With the new satellite in place, the GTV-9 studios are now equipped to handle day-to-day operations, including the news and commercial sales, as well as to record larger scale studio productions. The first item broadcast from the new GTV-9 studios: the 6 p.m. news bulletin on March 1, 2011.
After evaluating the parameters of the project, Metcalf chose a Terex® AT-20 pick and carry crane and a Terex® AC 350 all-terrain crane for the lift. “This project required specialized equipment, and these Terex cranes were ideal because of their exceptional lift radius and height capabilities,” says Metcalf.
The AT-20 was used early in the lift. This Terex pick and carry crane lives up to its name — it has the strength to pick heavy loads, like large capacity satellite dishes, and the maneuverability to operate in tight spaces, including in and around existing infrastructures like the new GTV-9 office building. The AT-20 offered Metcalf’s crew powerful performance and high productivity with 40° articulation each side of center which provides a total of 80° of slewing arc. This unit’s exclusive park brake attachment allows operators to slew the crane through 80° while it is stationary and the single wheel parking brake is activated. It has a rated capacity of 20 tonnes (22 US tons) at 1.4 m (4.6 ft) radius and 1.60 tonnes (1.8 US tons) at 15.8 m (51.8) radius. Its maximum hook height is 17 m (55.8 ft). Its 4-part hook block has a capacity of 16.8 tonnes (18.5 US tons), with a single line capacity of 4.2 tonnes (4.6 US tons).
Due to the tight timeline for this project, the AT-20’s ability to travel up to 85 km/hr (53 mph) got crews to the jobsite quickly. Since this model’s articulated frame needs no outriggers, Metcalf’s crew could get set up and working almost immediately.
Metcalf’s crew primarily used the AC 350 in the satellite dish installation lift. The entire Terex all-terrain crane line is designed for excellent mobility and versatility on any project, and the AC 350 lived up to that reputation. The variable steering with rear-axle steering offered Metcalf’s operator excellent maneuverability for fast positioning around the GTV-9 building. With a total length of only 16.7 m (54.8 ft), the AC 350 is the smallest, most compact 6-axle mobile crane in the 350-tonne (386-US-ton) class. And, the AC 350’s telescopic outriggers provide both quick setup and rugged stability, letting the crew get right to work.
For the precision placement of components on tall structures, the power and lift capacity of the AC350 had the job well covered. The AC 350 features a state-of-the-art automatic transmission with 16 forward and two reverse gears. For this job the configured boom system gives the AC 350 a lifting height of 51.9 m (170.3 ft) from the main boom at 82°. Equipped with a patented 61 m (200.1 ft) luffing fly jib, Metcalf’s AC 350 can achieve 115.9 m (380.2 ft) of lifting height.
The Terex all-terrain crane line also boasts an excellent relation between crane weight and lifting capacity. With a 142-tonne (156 US-ton) counterweight and designed with a fully automatic counterweight rigging system, Metcalf’s AC 350 is no exception — with a 3.9-tonne (4.3-US-ton) lifting capacity at a 60-m (196.9-ft) radius, this unit has the highest lifting capacities in its class, making it ideal for satellite installation projects.
About Metcalf Crane Services Pty. Ltd.
Established in 1996, Metcalf Crane Services was founded by Tim Metcalf. The company’s experience with general rigging, steel erection and pre-cast concrete erection led to a reputation for unparalleled service in the Victorian market. Telecommunications roll-outs, roads and infrastructure projects, as well as a growing reputation for quality and safety in the market place, enabled Metcalf to grow his company’s services, staff and equipment fleet quickly. Metcalf Cranes now works in all facets of construction and building, including: general crane hire, bridge beam erection, steel erection, precast panel erection, riggers, dogmen, transportation requirements and 24-hour Australia-wide services. For more information about Metcalf Crane Services, visit: http://www.metcalfcranes.com.au.
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 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.
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