Liebherr Crane Erecting Wind Turbines in Holiday Paradise

A Liebherr LR 11000 crawler crane from the fleet of Buckner HeavyLift Cranes was used to install wind turbines on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii. New Vestas wind turbines have been under construction there for over 3 months. A major advantage is the possibility to move the crane without a derrick, as the deployment area is in extremely hilly terrain.

The LR 11000 was the biggest crawler crane that had ever worked in the American surfers paradise. Buckner’s 1000-tonner erected Vestas V-136 wind turbines. A total of 8 new turbines were installed on the island’s north shore. They form part of the Hawaiian energy supplier’s plan to expand the proportion of renewable energies from 18% currently to over 65% in the year 2030.

For this deployment, the LR 11000 was set up in the SL3F configuration with a main jib of 108 m and a fixed tip of 12 m. In this configuration, the crane has a maximum load capacity of 173 t. When erecting the new wind turbines, the heaviest parts – the hub with motor casing and drivetrain – weigh about 100 t; the crawler crane has to lift this weight to the hub height of 105 m. Equipped with 90 t of central ballast and a slewing platform ballast of 250 t, the crane can be used without a derrick. This was an important criterion when selecting the right crane for this job, as the wind farm sits in extremely hilly terrain on which the crane has to be frequently moved and occasionally converted. Deployments without a derrick can take place much more easily here and thus faster, too. In addition to the LR 11000, other auxiliary cranes were used, including a Liebherr LR 1350/1 crawler crane.

Buckner HeavyLift and Liebherr had to make provisions for the supply of spare parts – the biggest challenge on the island, which lies far from the U.S. mainland.

“Our construction site was supplied from the new Liebherr warehouse in Lodi, California, but for safety’s sake we also have various tools and spare parts available locally for this job,” explained Kevin C. Long, director sales at Buckner HeavyLift.

The crane operator for the project in Hawaii was Burkhardt Hartinger from Warburg-Rimbeck near Kassel, in Germany. Mr. Hartinger has a lot of experience operating a LR 11000 crawler crane, which is also present in the fleet of his own crane company.

“The offer to work in Hawaii was very tempting,” he said. “And I also have a little free time to explore the island after work.”

Buckner HeavyLift Cranes based in Graham in North Carolina is very keen on the Liebherr brand, particularly when it comes to heavy-duty cranes. The company has been completing heavy lift projects of all kinds for over 70 years and is one of the largest crane contractors in the U.S.

Source: Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH

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