INDUSTRY

Cellular Communications

EQUIPMENT USED

  • Grove GMK 6300L-1 350-ton All Terrain Crane

When a nationwide cellular network upgrade occurs, even the most remote towers need to be retrofitted with new antennas. For the telecommunications organization tasked with upgrading the 200-foot tower on Washington’s Green Mountain, it became clear that not only would heavy-lift support be necessary, but an expert crane services company with the right equipment and an experienced crew. 

Known for our world-class solutions, the company reached out to Omega Morgan’s Seattle crane services team. The heavy lift: remove and replace three 1,500-pound antenna sectors at the top of the cell tower. The challenge for us to overcome: accessing the site meant traveling one mile up a logging road, the last quarter of which has a 600-foot elevation gain. Our answer? “We got this.”

FLEXIBLE & STRATEGIC CRANE SERVICES

After accepting the project, our Seattle crane team had just under two months to plan for the heavy lift. We began by visiting the site and taking careful measurements of the logging road and the mountain-top area to ensure adequate space for the crane to move and operate safely. Taking access and lifting requirements into consideration, the team planned to use a 5-axle, 160-ton crane. Due to the height of the pole, the crane would also need a jib attached. 

The day before the project started, a challenge presented itself when it became clear that our selected crane would not be available. Team Green, staying flexible, shuffled the fleet and chose a new crane for the heavy lift. Moving quickly to secure a crane before the next day, the team selected our Grove GMK 6300L-1 350-ton all-terrain crane—a larger crane with an extra axle, but with the benefit of not needing a jib as its boom would be long enough.

PULLING OFF THE MOUNTAIN-TOP HEAVY LIFT

On the morning of the lift, our crane operator, rigger, crane, and rigging truck headed out to the site, reaching the logging road after about an hour. Removing the 350-ton crane from its trailer, we left the trailer at a designated off-highway spot and lifted the boom to drive the crane. Once the crew reached the last section of the logging road, we hooked the crane up to the rigging truck for the final steep climb up the mountain.

Ahead of our arrival, the telecommunications company—our customer—had built out the three new sectors with upgraded antennas and components. After the pre-lift meeting, our crews and the customer’s crews were ready for action.

The customer’s crews began climbing the 200-foot pole as our team prepared the hooks and ensured they were facing in the correct direction. We brought the rigging up to the first sector, where the customer team hooked it up and detached it from the pole before carefully bringing the component down. When the time came to place the new sectors, we began by rigging the component before lifting it up to the pole where the customer team secured it. 

Once each sector had been successfully replaced, our team cleaned up and headed back down the logging road after a successful one-day project. The customer was extremely pleased with the efficiency, safety, and teamwork that our team exhibited.