Grove Tele-Boom Crawler Cranes Enable Efficient Assembly of Solar Panels

Mortenson Construction, Minneapolis, Minn., is using a trio of Grove GHC55 telescopic-boom crawler cranes to perform a new method of solar panel assembly and installation at Alamo solar farms in Uvalde, Texas.

Traditionally, solar panels have been constructed by adjoining several 2-ft.-by-3-ft. modules, each requiring a separate lift. The GHC cranes' ability to pick and carry maximum-capacity loads increases jobsite efficiency by letting Mortenson connect 15 to 20 modules together on a table and then carry them to the final placement site before lifting them about 20 ft. up for installation. The heaviest lifts are about 3.5 tons.

“We have chosen these telescoping-boom crawlers because, as a rule, Mortenson will not pick and carry loads on cranes with rubber tires—especially on a remote job site with off-road terrain,” said Steven Klatt, crane manager with the company. “With 100% pick and carry, we can prefabricate the solar panels and run the cranes back and forth from the trucks to where they are placed on the solar farm. The crawler tracks easily handle the terrain, and the GHC’s booms withstand the wind. This has increased our efficiency,” Klatt said.