Terex Speeds Up Wind Farm Construction

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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 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,” Portz says, explaining that he 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 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. 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. To learn more go to www.terex.com.