Thursday, January 12, 2012

Boom Time

I unload a lot of tanks at oilfield supply yards - and today was no different. I'd already unloaded the two right and one left tanks, and was waiting for a compadre to back his trailer with three more beside that outrigger. I've got two sets of hydraulic cylinders for lifting - the twins are far weaker than the single ram. Part of that is due to simple torque - if I let the twins down a lot, the range of the boom fully extended is increased. However, when something relatively heavy comes along, it's best to use the most lifting power available. Thus, the twin rams are extended fully, and I'll do all my lifting with the single.

When I handle fiberglass tanks, I can lock in the single ram and use the twin rams for the lifting, and gain the extra length by having a section extended horizontally rather than vertical. Just about every fiberglass tank I've ever unloaded was light enough that this knuckle boom crane can handle 'em at full extension.

This crane has another two extensions retracted within the second extension in this picture. Those 12'x15' 300bbl steel tanks exceed the lifting capacity of the unit at three extensions. Once I start getting past the third, it's over, and I've got to use some tricks to "get it back" and lifted. Rode in that particular rodeo before. Heh.

Some of our heavier cranes have six extensions, and they can lift 12'x20 400bbl steel tanks run all the way out. They have to be careful, though, because the geometry can assure that a truck can tip over. I've had the front end of my truck off the ground several feet before. That will make ya nervous.

At any rate, I'm always showing pics of our other trucks doing what I was doing, or a big crane or other heavy equipment. Just lettin' ya know I do it, too.


drjim said...

The next time we call out the big cranes to do some lifting for us, I'll snap some pix and post them.
We use an outfit called "Hill Cranes", and these guys are masters of the trade.
I've seen them lift a 1500lb satcom dome off the ship, and put it down "on the dime" using a crane that can go up to 300'!
You'd really get a kick out of it.

Jess said...

Have you ever had the urge to install a magnet and wait at intersections for crummy drivers?

I know I have. That and waiting with a bulldozer.

Jeffro said...

I've always wanted to mount an old steam locomotive cow catcher on the ol' wagon. Cut me off and shut me down making a left turn? You couldn't follow behind me for three seconds? Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!