A Technical Towering Roll, Move and Lift
As part of a complex project for a refinery, the Deep South team was tasked with receiving, transporting and lifting a 114’-7” x 33’-5” x 39’-10” vacuum tower weighing in excess of one million pounds. This multi-step project required considerable planning, technology and creative thinking.
Adapting to Unstable Conditions
The tower was received from ship’s gear onto a prepped barge that was then pushed to the Texas City Dock for roll-off, a task that presented a combination of unique challenges. First the low tide levels prevented the barge from lowering the water side elevation while the shore’s edge rocks extended the barge ramp span and slope, creating an elevation change of 3’.
The team used an increased number of mats to raise the landing side elevation and create a stable and level roll off ramp that extended 40’ feet from the barge deck to dock. The tower was then rolled off with a double-wide 18-axle-line Scheuerle SPMT in standard configuration and then transported into the plant for temporary staging, dress out, and prep work.
The simplicity of the double-wide transport configuration provided the best possible turning capability to support the over the road and in-plant haul, which allowed the team more time to focus on transport height and transmission line impact.
The most challenging part of the transport was logistics to get around transmission lines. Multiple utility companies were involved in pre-planning to determine who was responsible for what lines and the process to get them raised or relocated in a timely fashion to work around the window of transport. Multiple pre-move walks were conducted for review prior to execution.
Deep South then weighed the tower using a Straightpoint Bluetooth Weighing System.
Lines of Concern
Several months following the initial transport and weigh-in, Deep South returned to port to move the tower from the staging area to the refinery.
Once at the site, the move required transportation over a sleeper pipe rack utilizing Deep South’s 100’ jumper bridges, in combination with planned timber matting, to climb down a 6’ elevation change from the staging area to the transport route to the crane location.
Two sets of bridge ramps were utilized for the in-plant haul to cross an elevated pipe rack line from the 6’ elevated approach and levee with 100’ bridge ramps and then to reduce the amount of mats required to step the SPMT down to the approach roadway to the crane while providing the ability to achieve a 30 degree turn by using our 30’ barge ramps to get in line to deliver the tower to the crane tailing position.
Finally, crews set the tower using the 1,000-ton VersaCrane CC-12000 and a 440-ton Tadano Demag CC-2400-1 for tailing.
Planned with Purpose
The vacuum tower project required almost two years of planning with the local governmental authorities and the local power companies to schedule major transmission line outages to safely transport the vacuum tower to the site. Pre-job surveying was conducted to determine what areas on the top approach side and lower landing side required civil work for a level transport.