As part of Royal Wagenborg, Wagenborg Nedlift provides a complete range of services for hoisting, heavy transport and assembly in Europe for clients mainly from the oil and gas industry. In order to meet the strict safety requirements of its clients in this industry, Wagenborg Nedlift continuously invests in its equipment. BU Transport Manager Erik Maassen van den Brink talks about the new truck-mounted crane in their vehicle fleet.
“Most of our customers operate at the front end of the oil and gas industry, the production end. For example, NAM in Sappemeer the Netherlands, is currently carrying out gas pigging operations at one of the production sites of the Groningen gas field. The term “gas pigging” is derived from Pipeline Intelligence Gauge. This gauge is an instrument for measuring gas, which we send through gas pipelines from the various sites on the Groningen gas field to central hubs like the one here in Sappemeer”, says Erik.
Wagenborg is responsible for the logistical operations relating to gas pigging, such as inserting and removing the “mole”. The trucks have been specially designed and adapted so that they can actually push this mole out of and into the gas pipeline. Erik explains: “Normally, you can only use a truck-mounted crane for hoisting and lifting operations. We have taken this one step further and have even adapted the truck to comply with the Machinery Directive, as these trucks can also perform a push-pull movement which, of course, is not a natural movement for a crane”.
“This is certainly not a standard solution. Everything about this truck has been meticulously engineered, precisely for the task for which it was built.”
The new truck-mounted crane was jointly designed by Wagenborg and its suppliers. This included the supplier of the chassis, Scania, the supplier of the superstructure, VDA, and the crane supplier, Palfinger. Together, they investigated how the truck had to be designed in order to arrive at the best possible mix of functionalities that Wagenborg wanted for the truck. “What is really important for us with these operations is the stability of the vehicle while it is working. But, on the other hand, it also has to have a high loading capacity. That’s why we opted for a Swedish chassis, because its main characteristic is its optimum stability”, Erik continues. “In this specific case, we chose a Scania because it is the only one that meets the current Euro 6 emissions standards and has a chassis height of 94 cm without causing any further obstacles in the way of the superstructure of the vehicle body, which we placed on top of it. This is certainly not a standard solution, although that’s what it looks like when you see the truck standing there. Everything about this truck has been meticulously engineered, precisely for the task for which it was built.”
The Palfinger crane is surrounded with specific technological devices. The truck has a fully proportional outrigger programme. This means that it uses sensors to continuously detect where the outriggers are and how much pressure is being applied there and, in this way, also determines how much capacity it can provide. The two fully air-sprung Scanias have been designed as an 8x2 and are extremely manoeuvrable thanks to their three steering axles. A 450 HP SCR-only diesel engine has been chosen to guarantee compliance with the Euro 6 standard. VDA supplied the vehicle body and the Palfinger PK92002SH crane. “We chose Palfinger because this crane shows the best performance for the type of work that we want to use it for. The crane is characterised by its very smooth operation. As the driver gives commands on his remote control, the crane knows how much capacity to provide or whether to move at a moderate or faster pace. And at the end of its movement, it makes another adjustment by applying a little less pressure to ensure that the load moves with no fits and starts or oscillations, which is extremely important for the equipment that we have to extract from the pipeline”, Erik explains.
Furthermore, for example, there is a certified end piece against which loads may be secured. The truck also has tie-down rings at all the strategic positions on the vehicle body, but also has retaining stanchions along its length and across its width. This means that a small load, which is heavy and has to be placed above the axles immediately because of centres of gravity, is retained by stanchions and securely lashed with straps.
“We also chose Scania to provide the driver with a very user-friendly environment. As far as safety and ergonomics are concerned, the Scania comes out on top. And if you combine that with fuel consumption and economic aspects, which you ultimately need to be able to operate this kind of vehicle profitably, the Scania is the best choice for us”, Erik concluded.