Alternative counterweights: an unusual use of the auxiliary crane

Use of the tailing crane as counterweight. Picture copyright Helling GmbH & Liebherr

If you are familiar with the huge cranes used in wind farm construction, you will know that a lot of time is consumed rigging and derigging the main crane.

Part of the effort is in the manipulation of the ballast (the counterweight needed to operate safely). The cranes use a modular ballast concept – different steel slabs are added or removed depending on the task to be performed.

These slabs are very heavy – the ones used by Liebherr for instance weight 10.000 Kg each and depending on the crane configuration and the type of lift you can have more than 20 slabs.

Several transport trucks back and forth trips are also needed to move these slabs around the wind farm.

It is important to know that usually the majority of the ballast is needed when the main boom is lowered to the ground (for instance to be dismantled) or it is lifted before the start of the erection works.

I have discovered that a German crane company (Helling GmbH) has developed an alternative technique. It seems that this solution has the blessing and approval of Liebherr, so maybe you want to consider it for your project.

Basically they used one of the hydraulic auxiliary crane as ballast.

In wind farm construction there always at least one “tailing” crane, helping the main crane rotating the wind turbine components in the correct position or assembling and disassembling the main crane itself.

They have had the idea to connect the auxiliary crane to the main crane (in this case, an LR 1600/2 erecting a Senvion turbine with hybrid tower).

The solution worked perfectly, and the 150 meter boom was lowered and lifted without problems.

2 responses to “Alternative counterweights: an unusual use of the auxiliary crane”

  1. mohamed mostafa Avatar
    mohamed mostafa

    Dear sir/madam

    I hope this mail finds you in a good mood

    please find the below and send me a quot ASAP

    Counter Weight Total weight 75 ton

    small unit weight

    1. Francesco Miceli Avatar

      Hello Mohamed,
      first of all, I am not a subcontractor. This is my blog.
      But even if I were a subcontractor… How do you imagine it would be possible to send you a quote if you don’t even specify where in the world you are?

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