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Houston, Texas, USA-based Fagioli, Inc. used its 500 US ton (454 tonne) capacity Hydra-Slide HT500 heavy track hydraulic skidding system and other rigging equipment to remove a 230,000 pound (104 tonne) pipe bending machine and replace it with a spare system.

Fagioli accepted a scope of work to remove the existing machine from a pit, slide it to a loading area, load it onto an hydraulic trailer and repeat the operation in reverse with another pipe bender that was kept in storage for replacement purposes. Both systems were identical in weight and were 18 by 10 by 8 feet (5.5 x 3 x 2.4 metres).

Fellow Texas company, Cowboy’s Services Inc. (CSI), a Wallisville-based heavy haulage specialist, won the contract for transportation of the machines and sub-contracted Fagioli for the replacement operation. All parties combined over three days of planning and a further three days to complete installation in the upgraded fabrication shop.

Edoardo Ascione, president and managing director at Fagioli Inc., said, “We already had plans to acquire a Hydra-Slide skidding system and securing the order [from CSI] was the tipping point to proceeding with the purchase. Given that we already had the contract, we were reliant upon Hydra-Slide’s speed of delivery and efficiency of service to honor our commitments, which we gratefully received, allowing us to accomplish the challenging task in hand.”

The team also used four 200 ton (181 tonne) capacity Fagioli hydraulic climbing jacks and timbers to raise the machine 6 feet (2 m) out of the pit before commencing the slide over 60 feet (18.3 m). Ascione explained that due to limited headroom, the combination of climbing jacks and skidding equipment was the only viable solution to replace the machine. The HT500 has a total height of only 8 inches (200 mm), saving jacking time and suiting the product to such confined spaces.

 “The design information for the machines was not complete, as is often the case for such equipment,”” added Ascione. “”We estimated the center of gravity based on how the machine was supported in the pit. The capacity of the jacking system was a lot more than required, as a measure of safety. Once the jacks took the load we could confirm the position of the center of gravity and carry on the replacement operation.”

CSI chief operating officer Keith “”Bubba”” Jannise and Simone Gabrielli, operations manager at Fagioli Inc., oversaw the project in combination with additional representatives of both companies. Ascione concluded, “Keith, Simone, Hydra-Slide and others demonstrated the role collaboration has in challenging heavy rigging applications. Without bringing together such varied products and engineering expertise, this project wouldn’t have been possible.”

Ascione also confirmed that Fagioli has two further applications lined up for the HT500, which he described as “easy to set up and smooth to operate.”” He also anticipates placing additional orders for hydraulic skidding systems in due course.

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