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Concord’s heavy lift cranes work in tandem whilst servicing the renewable energy sector

Concord’s 550T and partner company’s 440T cranes on site in the Western Cape

The gentle giants that spin powerfully and effortlessly in the wind are highly-efficient pieces of engineering genius, turning wind into usable energy.

A wind farm which is situated in a remote area of the Western Cape, required the assistance of our two heavy lift cranes – the 550T and 440T to replace two turbine blades on two separate wind turbines. Due to the fact that our 440T crane was being used on another project in SA, we hired out a 440T from one our partners in the industry.

What was required?

The blades on the wind turbines were damaged and needed to be replaced. One of the blades had been damaged by malfunctioning and the other was due to general wear and tear. The Concord Cranes team partnered with the wind engineering company to assist with several parts of the replacement process.

Firstly, the new blades needed to be transported from the storage area to the wind farm. The Concord Cranes team used the 54m extendable trailer to transport these abnormally sized blades which extend to 52m in length.

“Once the blades were safely transported to site, we used the 550T and 440T cranes in a tandem lift operation. Our two jobbing cranes were the 50T cranes and these were used as secondary cranes to build the main cranes on site as well as load the new blades onto the trailer,” explains Chester Rawston, Sales Manager for Concord Cranes, Eastern Cape.

How did we execute the project?

The Cape Town Concord team in conjunction with the client’s engineering team meticulously planned the project from start to finish. The role of the 440T and 550T cranes were to work together to remove the damaged blade and replace the blade with the new one – this needed to be performed on two individual turbines. “Each blade was lifted in tandem by the two cranes. Sharing the weight of the load enabled an easier lowering of the hook height which is a lot less complex than using a single crane and spreader bar,” adds Chester.

Why were the 550T and 440T heavy lift cranes needed for this job?

The specs of the operation included a working height of 122m with the weight of the blades totalling 11 300kgs. The job was intricate from both a weight and positioning perspective and these cranes heavy had the capabilities that were a perfect match for the job.

What were the challenges?

Chester has applauded the Cape Town team for executing this blade replacement project accurately and as efficiently as possible, even amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. “The pandemic hit us two months prior to the start of this project and when the project was due to begin, we were well into lockdown level five. The restrictions on travel as well as the movement of personnel were at their peak but the team worked tirelessly to ensure they had all the correct documentation and that all Covid-19 protocols were being strictly adhered to. Thank you to our partner company for assisting us with their 440T crane whilst ours was in use elsewhere in the country. It was a scary time for us all – we were navigating a storm without a compass but there was no option but to find our way,” says Chester proudly.

“This project was a milestone achievement for Concord Cranes and we believe it is testament to our team’s ability to communicate and lead each other in times of paramount uncertainty. A shoutout to our Cape Town team for demonstrating what complimentary teamwork is all about. Your agility in handling the pressure and the unknown s truly inspiring,” says CEO Marcus Wilkinson.

For further information on the capabilities of our 440T crane, please contact one of our specialists or read more here

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