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Harnessing the Wind

Terex® AC 500-2 All-Terrain Crane Delivers on JPW’s Wind Turbine Challenge



WAVERLY, IOWA, October 06, 2011 – Renewable energy continues to be a headline grabber as countries search for avenues to replace fossil fuels. Wind, solar and hydro projects are underway to feed the United States’ appetite for energy and replace the country’s dependence on imported oil.

Over the last decade, large wind farms have been constructed in rural America, harvesting this natural resource to supply electricity to the nation’s energy grid. New York’s Maple Ridge Wind Farm, located just 75 miles northeast of Syracuse in Lowville, is one such complex of energy-producing wind turbines. Nearly 200 units generate 320 MW of electricity, enough to power 160,000 New York homes.

Harnessing the wind’s power potential, these turbines allow people to breathe a little easier by producing clean energy. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm prevents annual emissions of approximately 586,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 625 tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide and more than 810 tons of sulfur dioxide – the equivalent of taking 105,000 cars off the road.

Heavy Lifting Required

With structural and operational components weighing tens of thousands of pounds, turbine erection and maintenance require significant crane and rigging support. Often, heavy-duty crawler cranes are called on to tackle the tough lift requirements of heavy loads and high winds.

“These turbines are placed where the winds are prevalent as evidenced by locating Maple Ridge in the foothills of the Adirondacks,” says Dave Schwalm, executive vice president of JPW Riggers, Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y. “Small hydraulic cranes with high booms may offer the extension necessary to work on the turbine, but they only offer a 16 to 18 mph wind rating.”



For this reason, JPW historically relied on lattice boom crawler cranes for wind turbine construction and servicing. However, the recent acquisition of a Terex® AC 500-2 all-terrain crane gives the company another reliable and efficient option for turbine work.

In business since 1953, JPW offers rigging, lifting and erection services with its fleet of hydraulic, rough-terrain, all-terrain and crawler cranes with capacities reaching 650 tons. Schwalm sees a market potential of 22 states for wind turbine maintenance for the Syracuse-based company. “There are thousands of turbines operating along the East Coast, and they must be maintained,” he says.

Within a couple of weeks of delivery, the AC 500-2 was put to work at Maple Ridge. JPW’s first test for the crane was to lift a 35,000 lb. (17.5 US tons, 15.9 tonnes) generator 350 ft. (107 m) in the air for maintenance work on one of the wind turbines. “The AC 500-2 moves in and is assembled quickly, and that is what we are looking for,” comments Schwalm.

In the 600-ton capacity class (500 tonnes) and with a 478.3-ft (145.8 m) maximum working height, the AC 500-2 offers a variety of set-up configurations to handle a host of lifting tasks. JPW’s crane can be moved in 6 to 16 loads, depending on job specifications. For the generator project, the company mobilized the crane in only 7 loads.

On hand to assist with crane rigging were Empire Crane Company’s crew and a 70-ton Terex® RT 670 rough-terrain crane. Also located in Syracuse, this Terex crane equipment dealer has a long working relationship with JPW. “Even before we opened our doors, our father, Tom, sold JPW a P&H CNT 650 crane (a Terex legacy brand) 30 years ago, and we are still supporting it,” says Paul Lonergan, president of Empire Crane Company. “JPW purchased the first Terex crane we sold, and with the AC 500-2, they bought the largest crane we have sold to date.”

Empire’s RT 670 crane assisted JPW’s rigging crew with stacking the 11-ton (10 tonnes) counterweights on the AC 500-2. It also positioned the lattice work for assembly of the crane’s luffing jib. Workers had the crane rigged and ready for operation in one day. “Quick assembly saves us time and money,” says Schwalm.

The AC 500-2 features a unique Sideways Superlift (SSL) system that improves boom strength at extended lifts. Rather than being positioned perpendicular to the boom, the SSL juts out to the sides at 30- or 60-degree angles to provide more structural stability. JPW greatly reaps the advantages offered by the SSL system when positioning gearboxes for wind turbine maintenance, as it reduces the bending of the main boom.




“When hoisting a 35,000-lb. (17.5 US tons, 15.9 tonnes) generator 350 feet (107 m) in the air, it’s nice to have a 22 mph (9.81 m/s) wind rating for the crane,” mentions Schwalm. “Since we are often working in windy conditions, this extra capacity can mean the difference between putting the project on hold to wait for the wind to die down or installing the new generator and moving on to the next project.”


While offering high lift capacities, at just 56.1 ft. (17.1 m) long the Terex AC 500-2 boasts the most compact undercarriage in the eight-axle class. With eight axles (axle 1-4 and 6-8 steerable and axle 1, 2, 4, 5 driven), the crane efficiently moves onsite and offers exceptional maneuverability in confined spaces. In addition to enhancing crane stability, the star-type outrigger configuration saves space at the job site.


Within a half day, the AC 500-2 lifted and positioned the turbine’s new generator, quickly completing the 35,000-lb. (17.5 US tons, 15.9 tonnes) lift. Schwalm reports that the crane was very smooth to operate, partially because of the crane’s IC-1 computer system controls. This unique Terex computer system delivers automated control over lifts to enhance operating safety. The operator simply inputs crane configuration parameters, load and radius via the user friendly touch screen. With all load charts stored in IC-1, the system continuously monitors the lift and green, yellow and red screen lights alert the operator when a load approaches lift configuration limits.


“Quick set-up and assembly and smooth controls of the AC 500-2 offers a win-win situation for us and our customer,” concludes Schwalm. It saves time and money for both.


About the Terex Cranes

The AC 500-2 gives JPW an alternative to using only crawler cranes for wind turbine maintenance. Its low-load transportability and quick on-site set up offers a higher level of efficiency.


At the onset of the Maple Ridge project, the 70-ton Terex RT 670 crane provided assistance with the AC 500-2 crane set up. The RT 670 features a boom length reaching 111 ft. (33,8 m) with a maximum 170-ft. (51,8 m) tip height. Similar to other Terex rough-terrain cranes, the RT 670 boasts three steering modes, a compact and rugged design, boom that telescopes under load, comfortable and ergonomic cab, and intuitive and easy-to-operate controls.



The crane’s powershift transmission features six speeds in forward and reverse, and its eight-wheel drive (axle 1,2,4, and 5 are driven) allows the crane to navigate challenging terrains. Quick and easy serviceability reduces downtime to increase equipment return on investment.


Built to offer big lift capabilities in a compact design, the Terex AC 500-2 delivers in the 600-ton (500 tonne) capacity class a maximum tip height of 478.3 feet (145,8 m). Its 56.1-ft. (17,1 m) long undercarriage is the most compact in its class, and when combined with 7-axle steering and 8 –wheel drive, the AC 500-2 is one of the most manoeuvrable all-terrain cranes on the market.


Its exclusive Sideways Superlift system enhances the reinforcement of the main boom. The crane’s star-type outriggers help reduce system deformation and provide an outstanding level of stability.


The crane’s design delivers extremely short set-up time. Operator efficiency is improved on heavy-lift projects with the AC 500-2’s exclusive IC-1 crane control system, which stores all load charts. The system automatically selects the right charts, based on crane configuration, which is inputted by the operator via a user-friendly touchscreen. A rated capacity limiter protects crane operators from pushing the crane’s lifting potential beyond configured limits.


About JPW Riggers, Inc.

Ranked the 41st largest crane company in North America in 2008, JPW Riggers, Inc. has operated from its Syracuse, N.Y. facility since 1953. The company travels the East Coast offering day-to-day rigging and lifting services for a range of applications from wind turbine construction and maintenance to high-rise structural steel buildings. It owns and operates a full range of hydraulic, rough-terrain and all-terrain cranes and has one of the largest fleets of crawler cranes in the United States.

Currently operating under the second and third generation of leadership, the family-owned JPW Riggers is affiliated with JPW Erectors and JPW Structural Contracting. The erecting division is an AISC (American Institute of Steel Contractors) Advanced Certified Erector, whose expertise ranges from small retail buildings to large, complex commercial, governmental, institutional and educational steel structures. Operating out of a 100,000 sq. ft. facility with state-of-the-art equipment, JPW Structural Contracting was the first AISC-Certified steel fabrication and erection company in the State of New York.

About Terex
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


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