Texas Tech, home of the Red Raiders, is best known for its teaching and research institutions, but it also boasts one of the nation’s largest campus recreation facilities — the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center. The facility offers 242,000 sq ft of activity space enabling more than 35,000 students, faculty and staff to participate in almost any indoor recreational activity imaginable. When recent renovations to the center’s 53-ft tall rock climbing wall required the use of a Genie scissor lift that was too large to fit through any of the facility’s doors, experts in picking and placing were called in to help.
With more than 80 years of experience in the crane and rigging industry, local company Marks Crane of Lubbock, TX, was contacted by the construction company, Minnix, to get the scissor lift into place. “This job was unique, as lots of our jobs are,” said Marks Crane Branch Manager, Justin Moffett. “The construction crew needed a scissor lift to take down a rock climbing wall inside the facility, but it was too large to go through any other doors and the area had stairs leading down to the doors, which prevented Minnix’s crew from simply driving the scissor lift down to the doors. Using our Terex® Explorer 5600 all terrain crane, we hoisted the 17,500-lb Genie GS-5390 scissor lift down into an area at the back of the recreation center. ”
Thanks to the crane’s compact size and maneuvering abilities, as well as the project’s parameters, the crew was able to get to the project site in 40 minutes with just one transport. Once on site, Moffett’s crews took 1-1/2 hours to set-up the crane and get ready for the lift. “It was very important to the university that we preserve the landscape as much as possible during the project,” says Moffett. “We had to access the site through a small alley and then set-up on a manicured, sloped lawn so we had to be careful to not spin the tires while maneuvering into place. Once we had the crane in place, we used mats under it to distribute the pressure of the machine’s weight evenly over the ground.
“Most importantly, using this crane helped us save money for our customer because we were able to get to the location and set-up without any issues and minimal damage to the landscape,” adds Moffett.
Configured with a 94.5-ft main boom, 36.6 kip (36,600 lb) counterweight and full outriggers (26.7 x 24.6 ft), Marks Crane’s 180-ton Terex Explorer 5600 all-terrain crane offered more than enough power and productivity to get the scissor lift into place. The crane was tasked to pick the scissor lift up, lift it 7 ft off the ground at a 45-ft radius to get it up and over the facility’s outside wall and then lower it 15 ft down into the location. The challenge for the crew was that once the scissor lift was lifted over the wall of the facility, operator, Jeremy Payne, was no longer able to see the load and had to rely on teamwork communication with his oiler/rigger, Joey Young, and the Minnix crew to complete the lift.
Because the lift happened while school was in session — the university has classes seven days a week, and the recreation center is open seven days a week — Moffett’s crew barricaded the work area and staged men at the edges of the barricades to keep the people out of the work area.
According to Moffett, the lift proceeded smoothly and was accomplished with one pick, completed in four hours, without any complications.
The Right Choice
Marks Crane’s Lubbock operations yard is located only 40 minutes from the rec center, making Moffett and his crew very familiar with the landscape and layout of the job. The company had recently purchased the Terex crane and chose it for use on this project because of its excellent turning capabilities and narrow body design. Terex designed the Explorer 5600 crane to quickly travel streets and highways. Its’ five-axle chassis, 41-ft carrier length and short 4.7-ft overhang enabled Marks Crane’s crews to transport this crane through the streets of Lubbock without restriction.
“In order to get to the location, we had to make some tight turns and drive down a narrow alley,” says Moffett. “The Explorer 5600 was able to easily navigate through these restricted areas thanks to the different driving/steering configurations it offers.” The Terex Explorer 5600 crane is equipped with all-axle steering, giving it tight cornering capabilities, as well as crab steering which enables operators to easily get the machine positioned on project sites.
“With the power of this crane, even with the counterweights on the machine, we had no problem getting into place,” adds Moffett. “Our customer had not used a crane before this project so the main thing I heard from them was how impressive the crane was in appearance. They were also impressed with the ease of set up, as well as how quietly and smoothly the crane operated.”
According to Moffett, once the old rock climbing wall is down, the scissor lift will also be used to erect a new one. Once the project is complete, the Marks Crane crew will return with the Explorer 5600 crane to remove the scissor lift from the same location.
“This was the right crane for the project because of its compact size and excellent maneuverability — we were really able to show off its capabilities,” finishes Moffett. “Overall, I am happy with the performance of our Terex Explorer 5600 crane and am ready to start making more revenue with it.”
For more information on the crane please follow the link: Explorer 5600.