Shuttlelift Announces Gantry Crane Developments

Shuttlelift, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., is offering new options for its SL and ISL gantry cranes—a wheel jacking technique and an automatic variable throttle (AVT) system. Additionally, the SL100II LDG, a folding crane that is in the final stages of development, was unveiled at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) show in Chicago in early May.

The wheel jacking application is available on all units with a cantilevered wheel frame. A self-contained motor, pump, and hydraulic reservoir can be hooked up to the crane’s battery, a stand-alone 12v battery, or the battery of a service vehicle. The system will drive the pump, actuating a hydraulic cylinder that is bolted to the wheel frame, raising the wheel clear of the ground enabling the flat tire to be changed. Tires can be changed in confined spaces where access with cranes or large forklifts is difficult.

Built-in programming of the AVT automatically adjusts the engine speed to produce sufficient power to carry out the task in hand. Depending on what function the crane operator selects, the AVT will only produce sufficient rpm to accomplish that selected activity and will return to idle once the task has been completed. With the AVT option, engine rpm management does not require any operator input. There are no manual processes to be completed before a significant reduction in fuel consumption is immediately realized.

The folding crane was developed to address a common problem on many wind farm construction sites—a gantry’s progress can be hampered by overhead power lines. Reducing the overall height of the crane by removing the retaining pins on each leg and thus folding down the top beams allows the gantry to pass under existing overhead obstacles, which may have impeded the crane’s movement through the erection site. Once the top beams have been folded down, the overall height is reduced from a typical 33’ 7” to a profile of just under 16’.

The folding concept will initially be available only on gantry cranes with a 100 ton carrying capacity, the most popular model of choice for wind farm constructors today.

This unique characteristic is a result of discussion with wind farm constructors and is particularly helpful when using a gantry to lay out wind turbine components prior to erection. Designers are confident that this new folding gantry crane will be suited to other applications; Discussions are being held with contractors in construction and manufacturing identify additional applications.