Lexington, KY – Max Foote Construction Co., LLC of Mandeville, Louisiana was awarded a $43.5 million warranty contract at Lake Charles (La.) Wastewater Treatment Plant. Sixteen rigged shafts, each 4 ft. (1.2 m) in diameter and weighing 4,600 lbs. (2 086 kg) were lifted and replaced by a 75-ton (70-mt) Link-Belt 75|RT rough terrain crane rented from Doggett Crane Sales & Service to improve water emptying into Contraband Bayou. The plant treats 8 million gallons of wastewater daily, and more during periods of flooding.

Kevin Heise, city wastewater superintendent, said the plant’s treatment “far exceeds any regulations by the state Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

To improve liquid sediment flow into two oval shaped tanks for oxidation, components for each of the eight shafts are removed for better motion for water treatment. Since both tanks are close to one another, a crane was needed with a long reach to access each tank. There are three spots to set the crane specific to where the shafts are located. With just the right amount of room between the tank and perimeter fence, the 75|RT was positioned with fully extended outriggers to lift the shafts farthest away.

At a 95 ft. (28.9 m) radius, the 75|RT hoists the shafts out of each tank at a 49-degree boom angle, and swings 120 degrees to store at ground level. Fine metering on the 75|RT was used to lift the shafts out of filled tanks of wastewater.

The 75|RT later lifts 2,900 lb. (1 315 kg) 60 HP (44 kW) motor assemblies at 102 ft. (31 m) to 115 ft. (35 m) radius with full boom at various boom angles near the direct line of the shaft before splash guards are removed.

According to crane operator Jim Walters, with 33 years of experience on all brands of cranes, the 75|RT performs smoothly with sensitive controls.

“I like it. It’s a new age crane and the controls are sensitive compared to the old ‘dinosaurs’. I like the cameras while in the swing mode, and especially on the winch. I  know how much I am actually giving the crew when they say just a little lower or higher by looking at how much cable line I give them. I also like the fine metering – I use it a lot,” said Walters.