As soon as Crane Service Company was contacted to help construct a new data center in the greater Washington, D.C. area, the search began for the crane to complete the job. The project had unique requirements that limited how high the crane could lift and how close it could be to the load. In the end, the Maryland-based company concluded the Grove GMK7550 all-terrain crane was an ideal fit.
Brian Mazzella, vice president of Crane Service Company, explains the challenges the company overcame by using the GMK7550.
“The data center we were helping to construct was just a few miles south of Dulles International Airport, so FAA rules regulated how high the crane could lift,” he said. “Also, because of the way the roof was designed, we had to set the crane far back behind a concrete curb and rig across the roof.”
The company decided a Grove GMK7550 would be the best crane to handle the project based on its lift capacity and reach. Crane Service Company purchased one from Louisiana-based H&E Equipment and set to work on the data center. The company was hired by mechanical contractor Southland Industries, based out of California.
The GMK7550 is Grove’s largest all-terrain crane. It can lift up to 550 t and has a 197 ft. Megaform boom. The crane features Megatrak suspension on a seven-axle carrier, a removable rear outrigger box, an Allison automatic transmission and a Twin-Lock boom pinning system.
“H&E has been very helpful to us,” Mazzella said. “For this data center job, they sent out technicians to help set up the GMK7550, they trained our operators on how to use it and they continue to help us with other services.”
The job included hoisting several air conditioning units onto the roof of the data center that ranged in weight from 25,000 to 42,000 pounds. FAA restrictions held the crane to a 270 ft. clearance height, so Crane Service used the MegaWingLift capacity-enhancing attachment and a luffing jib to add lifting power and reach while keeping the lift at 80ft. The crane was configured with full 176 t of counterweight, 115 ft. of main boom and 141 ft. of luffing jib.
“Due to the weight of the AC units and the distance between the crane and load, the only way we could complete the lifts were with this setup on the GMK7550,” Mazzella said. “We’re very happy with the product - this crane has the best charts in its class and we were able to utilize it on this job perfectly.”