256MT Crane Transport

256MT Crane Transport

Two men standing in front of a heavy lift vessel that is unloading cranes. The taller man, on the left, is wearing a yellow high-visibility vest with the UTC Overseas logo on the back. The second man, on the right, is wearing an orange high-visibility vest with the Konecranes logo on the back. Both are wearing white hard hats.

UTC Manages 256MT Crane Transport:
No Assembly Required

UTC recently coordinated the transport of a Gottwald Mobile Harbor Crane from Texas to Florida. By thinking outside the box, UTC's Heavy Equipment Team developed a solution to transport the crane fully assembled, in a fraction of the time.

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UTC rolls on and rolls off fully assembled Gottwald Crane

UTC routinely transports oversize, overweight cargo, but this move was different. The 256 MT Gottwald Mobile Harbor Crane that stands 130’ high was driven directly onto a barge for a five-day trip from Brownsville, Texas, to Tampa, Florida. No external equipment was used to load the crane, and no disassembly or reassembly was required.

This innovative approach was the brainchild of Andrew Johnson, UTC’s risk and field operations expert. Generally, to load a piece this large requires heavy lift cranes and SPMT (self-propelled modular transporter) movers. These are costly to secure and time-consuming to put into action. In addition, the crane must be broken down into smaller, more transportable sections and reconstructed when it reaches the final destination.

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Thinking outside the box

Johnson came up with the idea to drive the Gottwald onto the barge, eliminating the lifting equipment and SPMT’s. This saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time.

Destined for PLRS, Port Logistics Refrigerated Services, in Tampa, the crane moved fully assembled and was driven on and off the barge by an engineer using a remote control device. A spreader and 53’ container with accessories accompanied the unit on the journey.

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Johnson recounts how this idea took shape. “We are always looking for safe and cost-effective solutions for our customers. Using standard procedures meant bringing in special equipment for lifting and disassembling sections of the crane. It would require days worth of time for setup and rigging and comes at a high cost. I researched alternate methods and worked closely with our customer and their engineers to map out all aspects of the plan. Partnering with experienced subcontractors was essential to executing the job. It was a team effort, and success depended on tapping into UTC’s knowledge base and bringing the right people together.”

UTC's pre-inspections are essential to flawless performance

Site visits and risk assessments at the arrival and departure ports were critical to ensuring the plan went off without a hitch. In Tampa, UTC’s Patrik Meyer, product and trade lane development,  discovered that the bumpers were too high to allow for a problem-free roll-off. “While surveying the Tampa port, I found that the bumpers were 6 feet, which is huge and would have impeded our plan. This necessitated making special arrangements. If I had not vetted the area, we would not have known until we arrived at the unloading site. Fortunately, we were prepared ahead of arrival, and there were no surprises or delays.”

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Weather is always a consideration when moving through the Gulf of Mexico during January. Constant monitoring was essential, and UTC along with its partners, had multiple backup plans and contingencies at the ready. Stabilizing this immense piece of equipment and restricting movement while in transit was critical. The boom was lowered and supported, and the unit was firmly secured using straps, d-rings, and chains. Upon arrival at the final destination, the boom was raised, chains, straps, and d-rings were removed, and the crane was fully operational once discharged from the barge.

UTC’s experienced team of professionals in the Houston and Wilmington offices had done their due diligence and were prepared - the plan was executed flawlessly. UTC always considers what is in the customer’s best interest, and this was a huge win for the customer.

UTC's heavy equipment team has specialized knowledge of your equipment, allowing us to provide the most innovative and cost-saving logistics solutions.

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