Oil refinery maintenance is a demanding market for crane owners and operators. At an Exxon Mobil refinery just south of Joliett, IL, a Manitowoc Model 12000 is tediously setting piping and scaffolding on a 250-foot tall coker structure.

Chellino Crane, also based in Joliett, IL, owns the new Manitowoc 12000 that, for this particular job, is outfitted with a luffing jib, according to the crane's operator Frank Chellino, whose father and uncle Greg and Frank Chellino own and operate the company.

“This is the first time we've used the luffing jib,” he says. “We think it's the first 12000 in the world, or at least in North America, with a luffing jib.”

Rigged with 140 feet of main boom and a 170 foot luffing jib, the crane features 310 feet of boom. It is working in very tight conditions, in a spot between a heater and the live processing unit.

“When we swing, we have about 12 inches of clearance,” Chellino says.

For this particular job, the crane's capacity is not as important as the height it can reach. Chellino says that so far, the heaviest piece the crane has lifted was a 100-foot long piece of eight-inch pipe that weighed about 6,000 pounds.

With a 120-ton lift capacity, the Model 12000 is equipped with a 332 hp engine, and has a 535 fpm maximum line speed and a 46,700 pound maximum line pull. Chellino pointed out that his company chose to use the new WRCA XLT-4 wire rope for the jib hoisting line.

“This type of wire rope has only been out for a year or so and we think it is performing very well,” he says.

Chellino purchased the crane last May from Walter Peyton Power. It has been operated on a variety of jobs throughout the Chicago area, but the refinery job is the first job in which the luffing jib has been required.

“The crane is performing perfectly,” says Chellino. “It's very well suited for this type of work. We have a lot of refinery work in our area.”

Chellino purchased the luffing jib late last year, thinking that this attribute would give them even more versatility in applications.

“We like this crane because we can go from using the luffing jib for refinery work to just using the heavy duty boom for pile driving and bridge construction,” says Chellino.

With 30 cranes in their fleet ranging from capacities of 8 to 200 ton, Chellino Cranes was founded in the late 1950s by Sam Chellino.

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