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Old 07-22-2020, 06:52 PM
terry lingle's Avatar
terry lingle terry lingle is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Birch Island, BC, Canada
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A buddy of mine bought a retired marine crane on a 300 ft X150 ft barge from a shipyard in Seattle.
It had a long reach crane on it that ran on a circle made of railroad track 60 ft in the air on a tower. 440 Volt 3 ph.power to run the crane came through a set of slip rings on a 4 inch hollow pin in the center of the circle.

We inspected it and all the critical parts had current inspection reports so I put a 100 Kw gen set on the deck and wired it up.we went up the ladder into the operator station carefully because the sheet metal floor was rotted out (First clue) I checked out the electrical room and all was OK.

We went into the operator station and picked the boom out of the cradle fortunately we lifted the boom to 60 degrees before we tried any other functions.

Next up was a rotate. At about 60 degrees from home we had a brown shorts event when the rotted out floor of the counterweight failed and dumped about 10 tons of counterweight onto the deck leaving us stranded unable (and unwilling)to return the house to its home position so we could access the ladder.

A cell phone call on my Motorola 9100 Brick got the Vancouver harbor fire boat over to pick us off with the boom fire nozzle.

The transfer over was terrifying but we survive.

Post disaster analysis was that the hooks were ripped from the track on the loaded side and the center pin was about 90% failed.

We fixed it up got the counterweight back into the crane in much stronger metal boxes so we were not relying on the skin to support the load.
Later we did some research and learned that the crane had been built to run at ground level on a custom wide track railway in the shipyard.
The tower and barge were cobbled together near the end of the cranes use full life to do special projects away from the yard.
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