A day in the life of an
HTC-8670 Link-Belt truck crane
Lexington, Ky. (November, 1999) –
When their new truck crane arrived, its
owners, Commercial Steel Erection of Madison Heights, Va., didn’t wait
long to try their new Link-Belt crane. In fact, it was put to work shortly
after its arrival.
"We purchased our new Link-Belt HTC-8670 LB crane to fill a need
in our extensive crane fleet. More specifically, it fills a need we had
for a machine with a long boom reach like it has. The fact that it has the
capacity to pick heavier loads at shorter reaches was not overlooked
either," said Robert W. Moon, vice president, Commercial Steel
One of the first jobs that Commercial had for the new crane was at an
industrial site. The crew had to lift and load out a sealed classified
cargo container with only an approximate weight. Upon moving in, one of
the first things the crew did, after timber cribbing the pontoons and
raising the machine on its outriggers, was to add the three-section
removable counterweight. "We do not travel our crane over the road
with the counterweights in place. To traverse the steep hills and valleys,
and negotiating the hairpin curves of the Blue Ridge Mountains we need all
the power and speed that we can get. We also carry the counterweights on a
truck because of the potential for additional, unwanted, wear and tear on
the machine. We always carry the counterweights, cribbing and heavy lift
block on the flat bed service truck," said Moon.
The second job of the day for the new HTC-8670 LB Link-Belt was to load
out a large machine press. The thing that took the longest here was that
the riggers had to weld some lifting "ears" on the steel box to
assure safe lifting points during the pick. That lift, too, was well
within the load chart limits.
The third lift on the same day was precisely what the new long boom
Link-Belt crane was designed for; reach high and long. Commercial was
tasked to place and position an air conditioning unit that weighed 2,200
pounds on the roof of a building. The lift was not all that high as might
be the case with the erection of a cellular or microwave towers. But the
reach, or load radius, combined with the height of the building and the
weight of the unit took every bit of the machine's capability. The boom
was out 127 ft. with a 67 ft. jib. The load radius was 125 ft. with a 64°
boom angle. On top of that, the jib was offset 40 degree to facilitate
placement of the load well into the center of the existing building.
"The environmental movement in this country has given our industry
a needed shot in the arm. We set and service all manors of pollution
control devices. Papermaking plants, power plants and many other
businesses require them. When any of these clients have a planned
maintenance shutdown, they also have a need for our services. And the key
word here is "service."
Another recent need in our area is a cellular tower and antenna located
on the top of a nearby mountaintop. The reception in the valley is lost
quickly if a tower at the top of the mountain can't be transmitted.
Cellular service is in great demand here.
"Typically they plan these shutdowns well in advance, so we can
plan for the equipment we are going to need. Occasionally, however, that
unanticipated accident happens.
"In one instance there was an accident at a paper mill. They
estimated that the downtime was costing them about $600 a minute. So they
called us for help. Those are the type of operations in our business that truly
separate the men from the boys, " said Moon.