Past Projects

Montana Rail Link Line Bore

It is not every day we have the opportunity to make tandem lifts indoors. This day in particular, was a good one to be indoors.  It was a typical March day in Livingston, Montana; cold, wet and windy.  The crew needed to remove a line boring machine used to re-build locomotive engines at the MRL shop in Livingston.  Able Machinery Movers was completing the majority of the removal and transportation of the machine to its new home.  Able hired us to lift the 20-foot tall, 70,000-pound mast section and lay it down so it could be loaded onto a flat car and shipped away. 

We selected a pair of 70 Ton Hydraulic truck cranes to make the lift.  Two cranes typically provide the best control when it comes to standing up or laying down tall objects. The only access to the area was via a locomotive transport cart that was only a little over nine feet wide, so many of our larger cranes would not have fit.  With the 70 Ton cranes, we were able to chart the load with 15% reduced load charts per our company policy on all tandem lifts.

Fitting both cranes inside the building was half of the challenge. A strange phenomenon occurs when a piece of heavy equipment drives into a building: the equipment gets a little bit bigger, and the building gets a little bit smaller!   In this case, where we planned on having a few feet of clearance quickly turned into a few inches, but after a little jockeying around we were setup and making the lift. 

First, some of the components of the mast were removed, and then we used both cranes to lift the mast off its pedestal.  When the mast was in place, one crane rigged to the top of the mast and the other rigged near the bottom.  Both cranes were used to lift the mast up and roll it horizontally in the air.  We then set it on blocking so MRL could load it out with their overhead crane.  The lift went very smoothly thanks to good planning and the experience of both crews.


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