Haul and Lift of Refinery Combination Tower Goes Off Without a Hitch

Previously featured in AC&T Magazine

Load, haul, roll and set — seemingly simple words unless associated with a 555,000-pound, 160-feet long, 18-feet wide, over 19-feet tall refinery combination tower.

For this particular job in Beaumont, TX, Deep South provided turnkey services including heavy haul, barging, and logistics as well as heavy lift and rigging. The company also performed all the necessary lift planning and engineering work.

“The combination tower weighed 555,000 pounds and measured 160-feet long, 18-feet wide and measured 19-feet 3-inches tall,” said Warshaw. “The first task was to weigh the tower at the fabricator using our compression load cell system.”

Deep South borrowed from its extensive planning, engineering, logistics, heavy haul/heavy lift, rigging, and barging experience to complete the move of the tower over the road, over the water and into position. Crews lifted the tower using a 700-ton capacity J&R Engineering gantry system, loaded it onto a Goldhofer dual-lane transporter, and hauled it about 43 miles to the dock. Crews then transloaded the tower using gantries and SPMTs and rolled it onto a waiting barge.

“We transported the tower over the road at a height of 25 feet and an overall length of 242 feet,” Warshaw said.

Once docked near the refinery, two 6-axle-line, double-wide SPMTs were used to roll the tower into position where a 2,500-ton VersaCrane TC-36000 rigged with a 450-foot boom and a 440-ton Terex-Demag CC-2400-1 crawler rigged with 98 feet of boom were ready to lift it into position. From start to finish, the over-the-road transport, transloading, barging and setting were completed in just five days.

The route from Cheek, TX to Port Arthur, TX was about 43 miles. Once in Port Arthur, the tower was transloaded using gantries and secured to SPMT transporters.

Because of several difficult-to-navigate bridges and pipe rack obstacles at the refinery, the combination tower was transported over the road and by barge.

“Due to a number of bridges and pipe rack obstacles at the refinery we couldn’t get all the way there over the road,” Warshaw said. “We were able to barge them right to the refinery and then roll off inside the facility.”

Two 6-axle-line, double-wide Scheuerle SPMT transporters were used to roll the tower into the refinery. The road and barge transport spanned three days.

Deep South had already dispatched its 2,500-ton VersaCrane TC-36000 to the refinery and rigged it with 450 feet of boom. The tail crane was a 440-ton Terex-Demag CC-2400-1 crawler rigged with 98 feet of boom.

While any job like this is a huge challenge considering the size of the combination tower and installation in the confines of a live refinery, Deep South’s team performed the work with safety as the number one consideration.

“With the Covid-19 issues, we were working on a compressed schedule,” said Warshaw. “We were able to meet and even exceed the dates given.”

Deep South handled every aspect of the project, including lift plans, transport plans, route analysis, permitting, and barge transport.

“We did it all,” said Warshaw.


About Deep South: Deep South Crane & Rigging is a leading provider of heavy lift and transport solutions in the refining, chemical, and energy sectors and strives to provide its customers the best tools to complete the task at hand and is home of the VersaCrane fleet. The firm offers a complete range of services, from bare crane rental to turn-key heavy lift and transport solutions to clients in North and South America. It operates out of 7 locations including Baton Rouge, LA; Sulphur, LA; New Orleans, LA; Dequincy, LA; Beaumont, TX; Houston, TX; and Catlettsburg, KY. Sister company DS Americas operates out of Bogota, Colombia. Recent recognition includes 2018 Houston Business Roundtable (HBR) Best of the Best Safety Excellence Award, 2019 Mentor Award, and 2020 Finalist; 2018 Industrial Safety Training Council (ISTC) Safety Achievement Award; 2018, 2020 and 2021 Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA) Contractor Safety Excellence Award, Crane & Rigging; 2019 Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA) Workforce Development Best of Division OneAward; 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SCRA) Safety Award; 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Louisiana Worker's Compensation Corporation (LWCC) Safest 70); 2021 Texas Mutual Platinum Safety Partner Award; and 2021 Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) Silver Level Contractor Safety Performance Award.

Pressed for Time

A vehicle manufacturer’s large stamping press—a massive machine used for shaping body panels—is online and operational thanks to efficient installation by Deep South. The three primary components included a 181-ton press bed (27.72’ L x 16.4’ W x 13.12’ H), 250-ton press crown (28.38’ L x 16.4’ W x 13.12’ H) and a 92-ton press slide (21’ x 10.83’ x 10.5’).


Multi-Module Mission

The heavy haul transport of oil and gas refinery components is always a challenge. Transporting 17 modules, all in the span of two weeks, raised the bar. The modules varied greatly in size and weight. Two of the modules exceeded 260,000 lbs., while 11 were more than 16’ high, three were more than 19’ high, and 13 had widths greater than 18’. Initially, the customer had trouble finding a company to move the modules to their site in Texas.


A successful job is built on precise planning and safe execution. request a quote