Saddle Up: Customized Solutions Place Refinery Column with Care, Ease

The Deep South team was tasked to receive, transport and set a 790,025-pound debutanizer. This specialized distillation column measures 174’-3” long with a 21’-3” diameter.

The debutanizer was received from an ocean-going vessel at the Port of New Orleans. Once cleared through customs, the debutanizer was loaded on a barge and pushed to a roll-off site 8 hours upriver, and prepared for transport to the refinery. The column was loaded on to a double-wide 18-axle-line Scheuerle SPMT for the initial 2.25-mile haul to the refinery. Along the way, crews built a temporary bridge to cross a railroad track, to accommodate the length and weight of the debutanizer.

The debutanizer was then lifted with an 800-ton gantry onto cribbing in readiness for the one-mile move to the lift location. To facilitate the transport, Deep South worked with the vessel manufacturer to customize the debutanizer’s shipping saddles for the 52-ton Scheuerle SPMT-SL (Split) Trailers. The SPMT-SL has a per axle line load rating of 104,000 pounds. That adjustment helped shrink the overall transport envelope of the debutanizer, lower the load and accommodate a problematic route in tight conditions.

One of the challenges was that the debutanizer load needed to cross under multiple pipe racks with very little clearance (less than 1”). The debutanizer was designed specifically to fit under the pipe racks with minimal clearance. The shipping saddles with the split trailer configuration was ideal for this circumstance.An 1,800-ton VersaCrane™ TC-28000 in configuration 4/8 with a 303’ main boom and a double-wide 12-axle-line Scheuerle SPMT with tailing frame were used to lift the debutanizer onto its foundation. Once vertical, the debutanizer was set on its foundation using the VersaCrane TC-28000.


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 and 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.


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