Babcock’s recent acquisition of a new Tadano ATF400G-6, 400 t, all-terrain crane has further extended its capabilities and has enabled it to increase its level of service to a broader sector of industry.

“With the acquisition of this 400 t crane, being the biggest Tadano unit in our fleet, we have beefed up our heavy rigging capacity to meet most of the demands of any infrastructure development where we will be called upon to quote,” explains Ian Kendrick, MD, Plant Services.

Babcock’s Plant Services business can be regarded as one of the largest empowered crane and plant services provider in southern Africa today. Its Level 4 Broad- Based Black Economic Empowered (BBBEE) rating places it in the forefront of contention for any major infrastructure project development that requires their mechanical construction plant hire.

With a combined inventory of more than 40 000 items of plant for hire, from mobile cranes to welding and construction plant Babcock caters for the energy, process, marine, petrochemical and mining industries in southern Africa.

The ATF400-6 crane has been allocated to the Richards Bay branch, from where it will be operating at Richards Bay Minerals on a three year contract. The branch in Richards Bay has been established to cater for the proposed industrial expansions in the area.

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The new Tadano ATF400G-6, 400 t, all-terrain crane

Richards Bay Coal Terminal and Mondi in particular will be high demand areas. Before the ATF400-6 was placed in operation, a heavy rigging crew of 12 personnel with an average of 20 years experience, received training at Tadano as they will be in constant attendance wherever the crane operates.

The Tadano ATF400-6 All Terrain Crane boasts a spacious two man panoramic carrier cab of composite structure with safety, tinted glass, and air-cushioned adjustable seats. The ergonomic design of the cab ensures the driver has complete control of the vehicle for road travel at all times with all the basic functions at his fingertips.

On the road the six-axle vehicle is highly manoeuvrable with all six axles steerable and four driven. The driven axles incorporate transverse differential locks. Power for the ATF400-6 carrier is provided by a Mercedes-Benz OM 502 LA 8-cylinder diesel engine rated at 480 kW @ 1800 rpm and 3000 Nm of torque @ 1300 rpm.

The ZF-TC-Tronic HD transmission with torque convertor and integrated intarder, electro pneumatically operated dry-type clutch and automatic gear-shifting incorporates 12 forward and two reverse gears.

The superstructure frame of the ATF400-6 is a torsion resistant, all welded structure of high strength steel. It is connected to the carrier by a triple roller bearing, slewing ring with external gearing for 360 degree continuous rotation.

A full central lubricating system is fitted as standard. The slewing system consists of an axial piston motor with three-stage planetary gear with automatic service and parking brake.

The telescopic boom extends to a full length of 60 m making it the highest capacity in its class and with the additional “Power System” allows the crane to increase its lifting capacity. The boom consists of five sections, made of high tensile, fine grained steel consisting of 1 base section and 4 telescoping sections extended by means of a single telescopic cylinder. The Hydraulic Telescoping Luffing Jib (HTLJ), when fitted on top of the main telescopic boom, gives the crane an additional 36m and allows it to operate in narrow areas.

A major feature of the ATF400-6 is the 138 ton counterweight combination that is infinitely divisible depending on the application. The counterweight can be assembled and disassembled by hydraulic cylinders operated by remote control. This feature ensures a minimum site establishment time before the crane commences operation.

One of the safety features incorporated into the design of the ATF400-6 is the Lift Adjuster function which completely prevents the load from swaying. Operated by the driver at the touch of a button, the Lift Adjuster is particularly advantageous when having to pick up non visible loads or loads at height.

The operator can completely concentrate on the load and the load environment, including all the workers around the load because the crane radius is automatically maintained without having to keep an eye on the crane instruments. The result is a sway free load pickup, thus ensuring the safety of the load and the personnel in the vicinity.

Due to its comparatively high load capacity the ATF400-6 rarely operates at its limit compared to competitors cranes. This is not only an advantage for the safe handling of the material but also reduces operating errors from the operators cab.

With itsever increasing fleet of highly specialised cranes and also being the only plant services company in South Africa with full ISO accreditation, Babcock is well geared to enter into any partnership on any major project in southern Africa.

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