Notable Omissions from this Year’s Oscar List

The Oscar ceremony is coming up this weekend. While it claims to honor the finest work in the film industry, there’s a treasure trove of video achievement that wasn’t recognized.

Barnhart has an extensive video library of compelling content. And while it doesn’t contain blockbuster titles, we’d like to recognize some of the worthy contenders that were omitted.  

Entitled, “400 Ton Barge Crane,” this piece is noteworthy for its cinematic scope. How did this one not get a Supporting Role nomination? We were robbed.  

“In it for the Long Haul,” charts the compelling journey of an awkward overweight vessel. Yet, it failed to be recognized in the Live Action Short Film category.

For those who haven’t taken our informative webinars like “Crane Configurations in Bridge Building,” this video might be a candidate for Best Foreign Language Film.

Still, we are not bitter that our work was snubbed. In fact, we know that there is an audience out there for our useful and informative video library content. Plus, there’s always next year. 

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Barnhart specializes in transporting cargo from Point A to B – even when those points are roughly 9,000 miles apart. In this instance, four Texas Towers in Italy required delivery to Illinois. This journey including oceanic travel, inland US waterway navigation, over the road super-heavy transport and brutal winter weather.  

Towers in Italy

The towers, which were 87’ long and weighed up to 325,000 poinds, were barged to the Port of Marghera in Italy by the local fabricator. Barnhart received the towers from the barge at the port directly to the heavy lift vessel, BBC Everest.

After nearly a month’s journey by sea, the towers arrived at Associated Terminals in New Orleans. Barnhart’s crew received the towers to a 250’ X 54’ deck barge by the ship’s gear. The barge then headed to its final stop, a refinery in Joliet, IL. 

Enroute to Joliet, the towers traveled through various inland waterways – the Tombigbee, Tennessee, Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The barge journey was made under a dedicated tow to the roll off location.   

Snowmaggendon in Illinois

Upon arrival in Joliet, the Barnhart crew rolled the cargo off the barge and transloaded it to self-propelled platform trailers. The towers would then be delivered over the road to the project site. Barnhart had acquired the necessary road permits for this stage and planned for obstructions along the way. But Old Man Winter had other ideas.  

During the roro operations, the crew faced arctic winter weather. Snowmageddeon 2021, the paralyzing snow storms in February, resulted in icy roads and subzero temperatures. Working conditions were impossible. The arctic blast complicated the final leg and delayed delivery for days.

Once the weather finally lifted, Barnhart transported the towers to the site one by one. The sections were self-offloaded to stands and beams. Final delivery was safely completed in early March.    

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While Alan Barnhart and his brother Eric share the name behind our business, they aren’t the owners of Barnhart. They are merely the stewards of its incredible growth and success. 

In this video, Alan and his wife, Katherine, outline their spiritual journey and Barnhart’s business journey, and how those paths became one and the same.

Barnhart started in 1969 with 10 employees in one location and grew to over 1000 employees in 50 locations. Through the hard work of a talented team, the company grew from revenues of 1.5 million in 1986 to 400 million in 2019.  

Remarkably, though, the Barnharts grew the company only to give it away a decade ago. This video tells you why.      

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Wind Project Uses Innovative Method

A recent project at a wind farm in West Texas employed a revolutionary method for blade and bearing replacement in the wind industry.  Barnhart used a new “craneless” method to complete the project. 

Customarily, a replacement project requires two and sometimes three cranes. By eliminating even one crane in the process, the cost of mobilizing that crane, along with its crew, are also eliminated.  

However, craneless does not mean completely crane-free. Instead this system utilizes smaller assist crane and ancillary equipment in place of the large crawler cranes that are normally used to exchange blades and bearings.  

Barnhart, in partnership with Windcare India, introduced this method of blade and bearing exchange for the first time in North America. For the first time ever in the world, it was also utilized on this particular turbine platform.

Rotor Lock Plates and Blade Tacos

There were multiple challenging steps during this execution of this project. For instance, the rotor for this specific tower would not lock at the 6 o’clock position, which was essential to execute the craneless method. The engineering team quickly designed and fabricated a rotor lock plate on site to address this issue.

The first successful blade bearing exchange was completed last summer in Abilene. Following that, the system was tested on a blade from a different manufacturer. Due to this blade’s structural integrity, which was different from the previous one,  the blade was damaged during the exchange.

In response, the Barnhart technical team worked together quickly and developed a modified procedure to utilize trailing edge and leading edge protection (or blade tacos). Once the new rigging method was approved by the customer and their technical team, Barnhart mobilized on site.

The field team completed the project safely in two phases. The first phase lowered the damaged blade using the craneless system, with the modified trailing edge and leading edge protection.  The second step safely raised the blade using the same system after the repair was completed by a third-party.  Barnhart used two different teams on the project, which required over 4000 total man-hours.  

The job was completed safely and efficiently and resulted in a client that was happy to see the turbine up and running again.

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Ten Safety Rules for Riggers

Riggers perform an essential function on any heavy lift and heavy haul project and in the daily function of many industries. Performing with excellence and managing the risks of work go hand-in-hand, plus abiding by standard rules and safety practices.  

With that in mind, here’s a few tips:

  1. Always determine the weight of the lift.
  2. Always consider the center of gravity of the load.
  3. Always check the capacity of the rigging to be used.
  4. Always consider sling angles and make allowances.
  5. Always consider the surface area of the load and wind conditions.
  6. Never kink, crush or cut slings by improper application.
  7. Never side load shackles, lifting eyes or lugs.
  8. Never use a spreader bar as a lifting beam.
  9. Never leave rigging on a job site.
  10. Never lift an unstable load.
Barnhart rigger=

Remember, safety comes first.  Not only your own, but that of your colleagues, customers and the general public. So be careful out there.

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The City of Seattle’s waterfront has undergone an extensive transformation over the past decade. It has involved reconstructing the 1930s Seattle seawall and boring a new 2.2 mile tunnel to create a subterranean waterfront corridor. An aging Alaskan Way viaduct has been demolished and a world-class waterfront district is in the process of being created.

At each of these stages, Barnhart has played a vital role. Most recently they were part of the final phase, joining forces with Granite Construction and Gary Merlino Construction to develop a concept to construct the new Elliot Ave. Bridge. It would be placed over some of the busiest live Burlington North Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks in the Seattle area and surrounding region.

The topography of the area and close proximity to existing structures required months of planning and coordination among team members. This included the waterfront project team, the City of Seattle and BNSF. The challenge was to create a plan that would limit the impact to freight while maintaining an efficient and safe work environment.

Over the course of three days and two weekends, Barnhart placed 18 girders over the BNSF railroad tracks near Pike Place. They used their AC1300 (500 ton) and GMK6350 (350 ton) all-terrain cranes to set the concrete girders, which ranged from 63 to 150 feet long and weighed in excess of 79 tons. They were installed during six-hour windows at night when fewer trains were passing below. 

This project was one of the first major structural milestones toward building the new Elliot Way. The girders will support a four-lane bridge over the tracks, which will be a key connection between the waterfront and Belltown for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The work is part of a $728 million Waterfront Seattle program that is a complete redesign of the waterfront district. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

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As an historic, sorrowful and eventful year comes to a close, we wanted to share a special holiday message.  

Peace we leave with you.

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Transporting heavy loads are nothing new for Barnhart, but a recent multistate job was nearly one for the record books.  

Barnhart was hired to transport an energy tower, also known as a deisobutanizer, more than 1600 miles to a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. The journey started in Oklahoma City, where the tower had been fabricated and insulated.   

Two cranes loaded the tower onto a 6 and 10-line EastTrac. When the pull and push truck were added, the entire convoy was 280’ long.  The rig had 24 total axles, 156 tires and weighed nearly 700,000 lbs.

The vehicles and crew of 17, which included police escorts and bucket trucks, left Oklahoma City on Oct. 25. The trip to Superior was more than 1600 miles and wound through six states. The convoy could only travel at a maximum speed of 35 mph on a route that was mostly two-lane roads. 

Barnhart worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) in each state to find a route that would pass bridge analysis. On one bridge crossing from Minnesota into Wisconsin the DOT required the crew to remove the push truck in order to reduce the overall gross weight while crossing the bridge. Due to the length of the transport, several light poles, signal lights, road signs and stop signs were removed at intersections along the way to allow the convoy to make turns.

The sight of a 280-foot-long convoy drew many onlookers as it traveled through various communities. A local school in Superior brought out their students on the sidewalk to watch it pass on the final leg of the trip.   

The crew finally arrived at the refinery on Nov. 10th after a trip of 16 days and offloaded the tower. Once assembled, the tower will be 200 feet tall and weigh 130 tons. 

It was a project that was nearly history-making. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the haul was the second largest load ever to enter the state. 

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The Grinch that Stole Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here and it’s hard not to think of the Dr. Seuss’ classic, The Grinch that Stole Christmas. In that famous book, TV special and feature film, the small-hearted Grinch steals what he thinks is the meaning of Christmas. He nabs the decorations, the presents, and the food in his attempt to “stop Christmas from coming.”

When the Whos gather anyway to celebrate Christmas, which “came just the same”, the Grinch has a change of heart. He realizes there is more to Christmas than the trappings of the holiday. 

This Thanksgiving, we have a new, much more menacing Grinch threatening our holiday – COVID 19. For many, Thanksgiving is about gathering with family and friends to eat a big meal. Yet the pandemic is threatening to steal that tradition away just like the Grinch stole the Who Hash. But is Thanksgiving really all about eating?  

The website AllAboutHistory gives a good description of the meaning of Thanksgiving. 

In the Bible, the meaning of thanksgiving reflected adoration, sacrifice, praise, or an offering. Thanksgiving was a grateful language to God as an act of worship. “These things I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng” (Psalm 42:4).

The true meaning of Thanksgiving focuses upon relationship. Thanksgiving is a relationship between God and man. Upon their arrival at New Plymouth, the Pilgrims composed The Mayflower Compact, which honored God. Thanksgiving begins with acknowledging God as faithful, earnestly giving Him thanks, in advance, for His abundant blessings. “. . . In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).  

This Thanksgiving, if COVID forces your family to gather round the table via a ZOOM call, don’t let the stolen trappings of tradition spoil the true purpose of the holiday. Give thanks for all you have been given. If you do you will realize that, like the Grinch, maybe Thanksgiving…perhaps…means a little bit more.

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Barnhart was hired to replace six bridge sections on I-95 in Warwick, Rhode Island. The busy interstate carries over 174,000 cars and trucks a day.

To minimize disruption, the DOT used a different, quicker method – a design-build rapid replacement approach. The new sections of the bridge had been built off the sides of the interstate over the past year. Once they were complete, interstate traffic was rerouted and shifted for the duration of the project.

The old bridge was demolished to make room for the new sections. That’s when Barnhart went to work. The three new northbound sections and three southbound sections had to be moved into place. Each section weighed over 500 tons.    

Two 16-line PSTe series trailers transported the 500-ton sections.

The Barnhart team mobilized equipment including two 16-line PSTe series trailers, 5’ Marino Girders, (2) 40’ long and (2) 100’ long girders along with assorted wood crane mats and cribbing. The self-propelled transporters were then driven under the bridge, hardwood shim stacks were added and the bridge sections were lifted into place.  

The transporters were driven under the bridge and the sections were lifted into place.  

For Barnhart, the challenges of the project included an accelerated schedule, bridge weights in excess of one million pounds, tight working quarters, offset CG’s on the sections, and tight tolerances.

While both motorists and the crew had to work around traffic disruptions, the project took just eight days. The conventional piecemeal demolition and construction method would tie up traffic for months, according a DOT spokeswoman.  

Working two shifts, Barnhart installed the northbound bridges in just three days and the southbound in four days.

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