Mountain Views: Building a 280,000-pound excavator at an active quarry in Darrington, WA
- One Grove GMK 6300L-1 350-ton hydraulic all-terrain mobile crane and one Liebherr LTM 1130 160-ton hydraulic all-terrain mobile crane.
Up in the mountains of Darrington, WA, an active large-stone quarry sits at the top of a steep, mile-long gravel road. An excavation project at the quarry required a 280,000-pound Komatsu PC1250LC-11, but the excavator was too large to make the trip already assembled.
The quarry tasked our customer, a heavy machinery seller and servicer, with building the excavator on-site. As the build date neared, they realized crane services would be necessary to lift the massive components and rig them into place before their builders got to work. Reaching out to our Seattle crane services team with a few days to spare, our customer tapped Omega Morgan’s reliable crew for heavy lift support.
QUICK TURN-AROUND PROJECT PLANNING
Receiving a call on Monday for work beginning four days later on Friday doesn’t leave much time for planning. But then again, Omega Morgan lives for “We Got This” moments like these. Our crane services team provided a quote on Tuesday and completed a site visit on Wednesday.
After the site visit, we got to work planning and coordinating logistics. The excavator parts included the 89,540-pound main body (revolving and center frame together), two track frames each weighing 42,020 pounds, a 24,706-pound 9100MM boom, 14,586-pound 4500MM arm, boom and arm cylinders weighing 8,727 pounds, a 2,185-pound walkway, 1,078-pound duct cover, 1,980 pounds of disassembled parts, and 36,564 pounds of counterweight.
Developing our plan for the heavy lift and rigging support took two days. On Friday morning, we mobilized our crew and two cranes—Grove GMK 6300L-1 350-ton hydraulic all-terrain mobile crane and Liebherr LTM 1130 160-ton hydraulic all-terrain mobile crane.
WORLD-CLASS HEAVY LIFT EXECUTION
Traveling up the steep gravel road towards the site, Omega Morgan’s crew of two operators, two oilers, and three truck drivers—hauling 164,000 pounds of counterweights—arrived ahead of the excavator components to get our cranes into position. The Komatsu PC1250 and all of its parts required five separate loads up the mountain, and, adding a timing challenge into the mix, the third-party trucking company delivering the loads was delayed. Snowfall on the second day also delayed our start further, and our crews stayed in the area for two extra unscheduled days to complete the project.
Once the components arrived and the weather allowed work to commence, we made up for lost time. Over the course of several days, our team provided heavy lift and rigging support as the customer’s crew built the excavator piece by piece. Several of the builds required both cranes as we held separate components in place while their team bolted them together.
When it came time to build the main boom section, our crews took the off-level job site into consideration and rigged the component at an angle to ensure that it lined up with the base pin holes. All in all, the 280,000-pound excavator came together seamlessly as we worked in sync with our customer’s crews.
The customer appreciated our flexibility, and the crew was very happy with our professionalism and execution. We were glad to be of service and provide safe heavy lift support while doing the work we love to do.