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Tailing Over a Live Pipe Rack Emphasizes Complex Project

Heavy lift tail crane

From a tricky bridge crossing to a complex coordinated lift, Deep South facilitated the delivery and setting of components for a petrochemical facility acid modification and upgrade project in Louisiana.

The key components included a 627,000-pound acid settler, 689,000-pound first stage reactor, acid storage drums and associated parts.

Roads, Rails and Bridges

The turnkey project began with a ship-to-barge transfer of 11 components at the Port of New Orleans. Deep South staged and secured the components with its support equipment onto four barges and then barged them to the client site, unloading them using 18-line double-wide Scheuerle SPMTs.  The barge shipments were completed at separate times during the project.

One of the most challenging phases of the transport was the heavy haul of the 689,000-pound First Stage Reactor over a series of railroad tracks within a narrow time frame.

“The railroad company would not allow us to put temporary matting directly onto their tracks,” says Jeremy Landry, Project Manager with Deep South. “Using our existing steel bridge components, we were able to bridge the tracks with a maximum clear span of 53 feet.”    

The railroad company also stipulated that the bridging had to occur within a two-hour window before the next train passed. This meant that Deep South placed the bridge, completed the transport, and removed the bridge within the two-hour window. This process was repeated for every vessel and all components were then brought to a staging area.

Tailing Over A Live Pipe Rack

Once inside the plant, the Deep South crew needed to place all components into final position, but one major obstacle was in the way. In an already confined work space, there was a 40-foot live pipe rack. In addition, the site-allowable ground bearing pressure varied from 2,000 - 2,500 psf. 

Due to this, the positioning of the acid unit upgrade components were the most challenging. The largest component was the 627,000-pound, 27-foot diameter by 88-foot long acid settler.

To overcome the obstacles around the acid unit, Deep South used its 1,500-ton VersaCrane TC-24000 (in configuration 6 with a 110-foot radius) as the main crane and the 750-ton VersaCrane CC-9600 as the tail crane. The CC-9600 crawled the load over the live pipe rack while simultaneously meeting the ground bearing requirements. The TC-24000 was configured with a tight tail swing to swing clear obstacles needed to complete the complex lift in a very confined area.

“What made this lift particularly challenging was the tight 2-ft tail swing clearance of the TC-24000 with a ground bearing pressure of 2,000 psf during the lift over the live pipe rack,” Landry says. “The CC-9600 also walked the load 135’ while maintaining a ground bearing pressure of 2,500 psf." 

Once over the pipe rack, the acid settler was lifted into a vertical position and set in place. 

Within the scope, Deep South also provided PE stamped lift plans, transport plans, rigging services, barging subcontracted services, and logistical services.

The job was completed safely, on time, and with no damage to existing equipment. 


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