Lafarge Calgary deploys first Shuttlelift Single Beam gantry

The Shuttlelift SB 70ʼs North American concrete market debut has seen Lafarge Calgary Pipe abandon a tandem method for transferring heavier product—yard forklift coupled with rental crane—and typically complete such operations with one versus four crew members. The producerʼs new 70-ton-capacity, Single Beam gantry is equipped with a standard wireless remote control, allowing the operator to stay at a distance from the load and control the crane while visually inspecting its outside parameters.

Lafarge’s Single Beam gantry crane also included the enclosed-cab option, which is beneficial in Calgary’s cold season and provides backup for the wireless remote control. For consistency’s sake, the design of the cab control mirrors that of the remote.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.-based Shuttlelift has delivered the Single Beam gantry to domestic and overseas users outside concrete since the four-tire model’s mid-2010 introduction. The purchase of the SB 70 was a strategic move to accommodate Lafarge’s plans to begin manufacturing heavier products in the near future. With that objective in mind, the manufacturer extended the SB 70 height and width for Lafarge Calgary, one of western Canada’s major pipe & precast operations. “The customization improves our lifting capabilities and business,” says Operations Manager André Geurts. A tight turning radius, he adds, increases the crane’s value to the plant, while an enclosed cab option “is beneficial during the cold season and provides important backup for the wireless remote control.”

Aside from the simplicity of the design and operation, the SB series was the perfect solution to Lafarge’s lifting requirements. With single pick points, they did not require a conventional gantry or the additional costs associated with that. “We were specifically looking for a straight-forward, single-beam gantry crane that got the job done for less,” said Geuts. “Previously, we had to rent a crane and tandem lift with forklifts to move and lift our products. We are now able to work quicker because we only need one piece of equipment and one operator instead of two cranes and four operators. With the SB 70, the operator can rig the load and operate the crane.”

Compared to the stock SB 70 model, the unit at Lafarge Calgary was 5 feet higher than the standard hook height of 25 ft., and was 5 feet wider than the standard inside clear width of 30 ft. The cranes’ dimensions do not vary greatly from a previous-model Shuttlelift ISL70B. According to Shuttlelift, the real benefit comes in the ability to make single or tandem picks without the need for a longitudinal spreader, which is required with a conventional gantry to bring it back to a single pick point. If these are the types of lifts a customer will be making, the SB is a more economical solution since the SB has less structure than a conventional gantry.

“Our cranes provide an increased factor of safety, because there are no load charts to misinterpret. There are also no stability concerns because the weight of the load hangs directly below the crane’s frame,” says Shuttlelift Director of Industrial Sales Kurt Minten. “Compare this to the need to determine the maximum safe load for working and traveling speeds, and you have saved substantial lifting-time preparation using an SB.” —