SC&RA Announces Rigging Job of the Year Awards for 2015

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has announced the winners of the Rigging Job of the Year Awards. The winning entries demonstrated how SC&RA members successfully meet professional challenges encountered in rigging. The focus of each of the winners was on ingenuity, hard word and a concern for safety:

The awards went to Barnhart Crane & Rigging, Memphis, Tenn., in both the Jobs over $2 million and Jobs under $150,000 categories; Transdata Movimentacao De Cargas Complexas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the Jobs between $750,000 and $2 million category; and Fagioli, Opera, Italy, in the Jobs between $150,000 and $750,000 category.

Over $2 Million: Barnhart Lifts, Transport and Sets Radioactive Components

Barnhart Crane & Rigging engineered and built equipment to lift, transport and set the 340 vault and 309 reactor from the Washington Closure Hanford site in Washington to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF). There were several challenges to this project beyond that of dealing with nuclear waste.  The 340 vault was originally a basement for a larger building. The building had to be removed from above the vault, and then extensive excavation was required to allow access to lift the vault as well as to provide access to transport the vault to surface level. The highly radioactive 309 reactor was also located below grade in the bottom of a containment structure and had to be removed concurrently with its shielding structure as one large monolith.  Engineering for the project began in January 2012, and the final piece was set at the ERDF in February 2014. The project was completed with no recordable injuries or illnesses.

$750,000 to $2 Million: Transdata Sets Massive Rolling-Mill Components in Brazil

Transdata Movimentacao De Cargas Complexas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, used 1,000- and 500-ton hydraulic cranes to place two giant rolling-mill pieces measuring 48 feet by 18 feet 4 inches by 7 feet 3 inches and weighing 325 tons onto their bases at one of the largest manufacturing plants of specialty long steel in the world. Companies traditionally use gantry cranes for erections of this type, but Transdata’s team found a more efficient way, which dramatically reduced the time and costs of the operation and resulted in a safer operation. The procedure had never been used for erection of plate mill housings with similar characteristics. There were no recordable injuries or illnesses during the project.

$150,000-$750,000: Fagioli Installs Connecting Beams in Italy’s Tallest Building

Fagioli, Inc., Opera, Milan, Italy, installed connecting beams to the tallest building in Italy by means of a tower-lift and strand jacking system with a lowering operation inside the tower. The 50-story building towered 662 feet and was inspired by Brancusi’s Endless Column, a metaphor for a building stretching limitlessly towards the sky. The structure of the building required No. 2 connecting beams called P1 and P2, which weighed 72 tons and measured 121-feet long each, and No. 2 connecting beams called P3 and P4, which weighed 112 tons and measured 194-feet long each. There were two beams on each side of the building, each of which was constructed of two sections that had to be lifted separately. Even though the sections were different shapes and weights, they required the same installation plan. Consequently, Fagioli used the same Tower Lifting System at two different heights. There were zero accidents.

Under $150,000: Barhnart Removes and Replaces Damaged Wind Turbine Blade

Barnhart Crane & Rigging, Memphis, Tenn., removed and replaced a damaged blade of a 2.5-megawatt Clipper C-96 wind turbine generator, using a craneless single blade solution. The additional weight posed by ice build-up on the blade posed a challenge that Barnhart met by employing a “steam genie” to melt the ice and perform the exchange. The project began on March 3, 2014 and ended on March 8, 2014. It was completed with no recordable jobs or illnesses. “The jobs our members successfully undertake continue to grow larger and more complex,” noted SC&RA Vice President Beth O’Quinn. “Accordingly, we had to add a larger category to properly recognize the full range of projects.”

In addition to the four winning entries, the judges considered the following 11 other rigging jobs:

Over $2 million

Halbert Brothers, Inc., Industry, Calif. unloaded, uncrated and install 365 truckloads totaling 11,500,000 pounds of pipe manufacturing equipment at California Steel Industries, Fontana, Calif. The heaviest item was 300,000 pounds. Diverse rigging techniques were used to the various component shapes and weights. The job was logistically complicated because concrete was not yet installed in all areas.

Mammoet USA South, Inc., Rosharon, Texas, removed and replaced six coke drums weighing 552,000 pounds for Chevron. Mammoet devised a rigging solution that required more than 200 rigging components, including three in-house fabricated spreader bars, six custom square spreader bars and a 90- foot long by 36-inch diameter spreader bar that was engineered to hold the 50 degree sling angle without a hitch.

$750,000-$2 million

IRH, Salt Lake City, Utah, removed and replaced a Louisville Driver unit weighing 600,000 pounds and measuring 140 feet long by 14 feet 6 inches diameter from the smelter building located at Kennecott Utah Copper in Magna, Utah. Installation was performed with the precise use of custom hydraulic lift cans without affecting the building structure or process piping while maintaining full control of the units during all operations.


Barnhart Crane & Rigging’s Fairhope, Ala. branch, removed and replaced an HP2A Feedwater Heater (FWH) that was 70 feet above grade and an HIP FWH that was 52 feet above grade from a very congested area of a plant. Barnhart used four 450-ton J&R gantries atop two 40-foot gantry tracks. the gantry tracks were supported at one end by the existing plant structure and at the other end by two legs of 600-ton gantry.

Deep South Crane and Rigging, Baton Rouge, La., simultaneously jacked and slid two vessels 800 feet under two pipe racks with only a 2-inch clearance while “hop scotching” the slide track and negotiating a downhill slope. The vessels were 375 tones and 189 tons. The use of Deep South’s slide system saved the client time and money.

Emmert International, Clackamas, Ore., installed the Cryostat into the MC-1 building at Fermilab National Laboratory, Chicago, Ill. The Cryostat weighed 35,500 pounds and measured 50 feet 4 inches in diameter and 8 feet nine inches in height. Emmert engineers developed a lifting frame to minimize the stresses and distortions to the Cryostat and coils during removal and replacement.

Erickson’s Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., removed and replaced four vertical CTS heat exchangers within the auxiliary building containment area of Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. The cells are positioned within cells that restrict removal options, and floor space allowance was minimal, further restricting equipment options. Erickson’s innovative design, attention to procedural detail and lesson learned from training simulation resulted in time savings of 12 hours from the client’s project rigging activities schedule.

PSC Crane & Rigging, Piqua, Ohio, performed a change out of a transformer weighing over 1 million pounds at a First Energy Nuclear Power Plant in Shipping Port, Pa. Time was of the essence because the plant was losing $2 million dollars per day while the transformer was down. PSC completed the project in record time of less than two weeks after receiving a purchase order, using two jack & slide systems and 16 lines of hydraulic platform trailers.

Transtell SA de C.V., Pachucha, Hidalgo, Mexico, transferred a generator weighing 722,000 pounds and measuring 42 feet long by 9 feet 6 inches wide by 16 feet 6 inches high from ground level to a final position located 210 feet forward and 40 feet higher. Transtell accomplished this with the help of an 800-ton gantry system, strand jacks and jacking skidding maneuvers.

Under $150,000

Mountain Crane Service, Salt Lake City, Utah, replaced the Number 8 transformer on the third story of a nine-story production building at the Monsanto Phosphorus Process plant in Soda Springs, Idaho after it unexpectedly failed. The 135,000-pound transformer in\s located about 40 feet inside the building. The rigorous process consisted of the jacking and rolling of the transformer in conjunction with the use of a 275-ton crawler crane over Thanksgiving weekend 2014.

Taylor Crane & Rigging, Coffeyville, Okla., removed and reinstalled 31,000-pound ball mill tires, as well as four auxiliary support rings which were 15 feet in diameter and nestled between two other ball mills at the Central Plains Cement Plant in Tulsa, Okla. Versa-Lift boom trucks were used to maneuver the tires around obstacles with only inches to spare.

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