LEXINGTON, Ky – Belt Cranes, part of the Belt Group of Companies of Cumberland, Maryland has purchased a new Link-Belt 175-ton (160-mt) 175|AT all terrain crane for their taxi crane fleet. The Belt Group of Companies umbrella includes general construction, paving and road construction, and roofing. Belt Group covers a 70-mile radius that includes Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia in the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains. The 175|AT was added to their existing fleet of Link-Belt Cranes which include a 75-ton HTC-8675 and 90-ton HTC-8690, both hydraulic truck cranes.
“The 175|AT crane fits into our company well because, we are in the mountains and the 175 holds itself back on down grades and climbs really well for its size. Also being an all terrain, used for different sites, it’s nice because when in an area that is rough and tight, you have all your wheel configurations. That’s what I like about this machine. It’s tight for the size of it. You can maneuver it just about wherever you want to with no problem,” said Belt Cranes Operator, Travis Ryan.
One of the 175|AT’s earliest projects included a West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) two-lane bridge project over North Fork Patterson Creek in Maysville, West Virginia. During two separate seven hour road closures, Belt Cranes was able to place eight total beams for the new bridge deck. Most beams were 52 ft. (15.8 m) long and 33 in. (.8 m) square prestressed precast concrete, weighing 40,000 lbs. (18 143 kg). The 175|AT worked with 90 ft. of boom in the EM1 mode using four part line, and working at a 50 ft radius at the bridge site. The heaviest lift included guard-railing already attached to the bridge deck that weighed 45,000 lbs.
Typical of a taxi crane, the following five days the crew spent in Keyser, West Virginia replacing and installing thirteen rooftop HVAC (heating ventilation air-conditioning) units at Keyser Middle School. Once older units are lifted off and new bracing is added, the 175|AT reaches at up to a 140 ft. radius up to 5,000 lbs.
“We love the boom on this 175AT, and the lighter boom with the 197 feet available to us. That is very valuable to us. Even the foldable jib is an advantage and we like the hydraulically offset full jib. We no longer have to put it down on the ground and remove pins and find something to support the jib and then offset it, and then bring it back into position,” said Dave Madden, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Belt Group of Companies.
“We have a good relationship with Link-Belt Mid-Atlantic, their sales group and service people. Most of the parts for the Link-Belt’s are U.S.-based so they’re easy to acquire and parts inventory is good if you need something expedited or overnighted,” said Madden.