Andy Hodges of Northwest Crane and Liebherr's Ingo Schiller at the Liebherr booth at Bauma in Munich

Andy Hodges of Northwest Crane and Liebherr's Ingo Schiller at the Liebherr booth at Bauma in Munich, Germany in April

With plans to expand further into “the other energy business,” Northwest Crane Service has ordered two Liebherr LR 1400/2-W crawlers featuring the narrow track design to use for wind turbine erection and related wind farm maintenance work Northwest Cranes President Andy Hodges inked the order prior to Bauma, and noted that the two cranes will be the first narrow track LR 1400s to come into the US.

“These crawlers offer substantial advantages due to their smaller width,” he said. “You can walk the cranes from turbine to turbine without derigging them, and yet these units are large and strong enough to do the heavy lifting work required at a wind farm.” The LR 1400/2-W features a 15 foot wide crawler chassis, as opposed to the 30 foot wide chassis on the LR 1400/2.

Footprint means less damage to the terrain, an attribute that Hodges said will allow his company to be more competitive in the wind market.

“This crane has a better chart than the standard crane with the wider track,” he said. Hodges also placed the first US order for the recently introduced-EMBER Liebherr LR 1600, which is set to be delivered after it is displayed for the first time at ConExpo 2008, according to Liebherr's Ingo Schiller.

Hodges said this new model will also add to his company's ability to serve the wind market. “We have three cranes doing windmill maintenance and these new cranes will give us the ability to do erection and full service wind tower maintenance work.”

Northwest Crane is a fourth generation company and has served the oil and gas market in Oklahoma for many years. The company currently owns 16 cranes.

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