Equipment focus: Grove GMK6400 all-terrain crane

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  • Earthmovers & Excavators

Changing a gearbox and generator is normally a straightforward task, unless they’re at the top of a wind turbine. A wind farm in Tasmania has been using a Grove GMK6400 all-terrain crane with a unique MegaWingLift attachment to stay on top of the job.

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The Musselroe Wind Farm has been operating in Tasmania’s north-east corner at Cape Portland since 2013 and consists of 56 Vestas V90-3MW turbines with a combined power output of 168kW.

When it came time for some routine replacements on one of the turbines Musselroe owners Woolnorth Wind Farms contacted the turbine manufacturer, Vestas Wind Technology, to manage the work directly.

Vestas then approached Tasmanian crane rental business Pfeiffer Cranes and secured a Grove GMK6400 with a lift capacity-expanding MegaWingLift attachment.

The main boom of the GMK6400 was configured to 49.6m with an added 43m luffing fly jib. The MegaWingLift attachment’s 115-tonne counterweight meant the setup had a total lift capacity of 28 tonnes, which it could lift to a height of 92.6m and out to a radius of 30m.

The combo proved more than enough to replace the wind turbine’s 24-tonne gearbox and 10-tonne generator.

"The GMK6400 is the strongest six-axle crane on the market and its MegaWingLift attachment gives it excellent lifting capacity when the boom is at high angles, which made it the best choice for this job," Pfeiffer Cranes supervisor and crane operator Dan Pfeiffer says.

"Our company has huge trust in the Grove brand. In addition to the GMK6400, we also have GMK3055, GMK4075, GMK4100L-1, GMK5100, GMK5220 and GMK6300L Grove models."


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