Barnhart, in a partnership with a leading barge company, is offering customers a unique service called the River Train along the navigable U.S. river systems.

Using a fleet of 3000 hopper barges, Barnhart can transport nearly any oversized project cargo of 150 tons or greater.  This type of cargo can be a logistical nightmare to transport over land.

One of the key advantages of the River Train is its flexibility and different levels of service.  The River Train has regular departures and destinations, plus tracking and delivery.

“We call it the Fedex on the waterways, in that we can get it there when you need it to fit your schedule and your needs.  Standard delivery, Express or Premium, ” says John Mickler, national logistics development manager for Barnhart.

Another advantage of the River Train is that it’s less expensive than dedicated line service. Plus, a customer benefits from Barnhart’s network of services, including their engineering teams and infrastructure.

Most of Barnhart’s offices are located near ports and waterways, enabling them to provide more efficient turnkey “Anchor to Anchor Bolts” services.  This availability of equipment and expertise means Barnhart can easily mobilize the resources needed to offload the cargo, transport it to the delivery site and rough set it on the foundation.

For more information on the River Train service contact Evan Bradley at 251-706-8745.

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During a spring turnaround at a petroleum refinery in Illinois, Barnhart was asked to remove and replace eight heat exchanger bundles. Four were located on the second level and four were on the third level of the unit. The challenge was how to safely and effectively reach 10 feet into the unit to replace them.

A further challenge was a pipe rack on the outside of the structure which protruded an additional eight feet.  Also, due to the support members on the unit structure, several windows needed to be created to pull the exchanger bundles from the unit.

Barnhart’s Moving Counterweight Cantilever Beam was utilized to make the 10 foot reach into the unit.  The bundles were then basket-rigged tightly to the beam in order to clear the steel support structure between the first and second levels. In addition, Barnhart’s innovative engineering team provided an alternative solution to dismantling the pipe rack on the outside of the unit.

The bundles were successfully removed and replaced. Efficient planning and coordination by Barnhart’s team enabled the project to be completed safely and profitably, while providing a value solution to the client.

For more project stories, check out Barnhart’s Lifting Letter. If you would like to be added to our distribution list please send us a note at sales@barnhartcrane.com or sign up on our website.


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Barnhart was hired by a Wisconsin nuclear power plant to remove and replace four feedwater heaters, a condensate cooler, and two main feed pump motor skids during a spring outage. They then repeated the process in a fall outage in a job that won Barnhart SC&RA’s Rigging Job of the Year in 2012.

The challenges Barnhart faced were many, including the fact that the floor beams wouldn’t support the 124,000 lbs. feed water heaters. Plus the 42’ heaters, which were 6’ in diameter, were very difficult to move through the facility.

See how we solved these challenges in this video case study 

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The old saying “time is money” is never more true than with turnarounds, shutdowns and outages requiring cranes and other specialized equipment.  The need to reduce cost through better planning is where Barnhart’s national network of branches, people, and deep inventory of cranes and other rigging and transportation equipment really make a difference.

With now over 30 branches strategically places across the entire United States, Barnhart can easily mobilize cranes, equipment and expertise to any job site anywhere in the country. Our inventory of over 200 cranes ranging in capacity from 18 tons to almost 1,800 tons can supply the machines to meet the needs of the most challenging outage project.

Rigging supervision, lift planning, site transportation services, crane services and more can be provided through our team of professional supervisors, engineers and project managers. And, when needed, Barnhart can easily meld with you or your contractor’s craft labor and work with local crane providers to complete the entire scope of your outage.

The expertise of Barnhart helps ensure the safety, quality and timely completion of your next project. When brought in early, our team has proven over and over its ability to reduce risk and the overall cost of an outage.


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There’s never a dull moment at Barnhart. Over the course of a year, we perform hundreds of projects for customers each with its own set of challenges.

We compile the “best of” in our Lifting Letter newsletter which highlights projects of interest across the company. Inside you will find many examples of our ability to provide innovative solutions to those lifting and moving challenges of our customers from outage support to heavy haul to condenser removal and replacement.

If you would like to be added to our distribution list please send us a note at sales@barnhartcrane.com or sign up on our website.

In the meantime, check out the latest edition.

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There’s a long list of contenders for the year’s top viral videos.  But you can always count on anything with kids and animals to be near the top.

There was Tara the hero cat, whose brave assault on a dog who mauled its four-year old owner was captured by a surveillance camera.  The startled dog relinquished its hold on the child and ran, the video was released on YouTube and Tara got her own Facebook page and share of the national spotlight.

Five-year-old Noah Ritter’s adult manner and regular use of the word “apparently” in a short interview for a local TV station at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania charmed 18 million viewers on YouTube.  It also landed Noah an appearance on Ellen.

Dogs are always a safe bet, particularly if they’re dressed like mutant spiders.  This video topped YouTube capturing 123 million views.

But the most astounding viral sensation of 2014 was the ice bucket challenge, a fundraising gimmick for ALS.  Sparked by former Boston College baseball player Peter Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, the challenge caught fire and gave the unheralded disease the kind of attention reserved for breast cancer in Pinktober.

Celebrities from Katy Perry, Tom Cruise, Cristiano Ronaldo, Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Bill Gates, Tim Cook and millions of regular folks took the challenge and it paid off.  Since July 29, the ALS Association has received $115 million in donations.

This is the power of a contagious idea. Contagious ideas, according to an article by Rick Smith in Forbes, have three common ingredients: they are big, selfless, and simple.  In concert, they attract, inspire, and involve others, and create a multiplier effect that can result in broad achievement beyond what any person could hope to accomplish alone.

At Barnhart, we think that’s a pretty positive message to end on as 2014 comes to a close.  We wish you a Happy New Year!


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“Work is not something you do to afford to do the good stuff in life. Work is part of the good stuff.”

This was the message of Barnhart president and CEO Alan Barnhart in his keynote speech which celebrated work and profit at the recent World Crane and Transport Summit in November in Miami.

Barnhart told the audience of more than 260 high-level delegates at the Biltmore Hotel, “We should celebrate the innovation, the profits, and the value works creates.”

Using a mix of eclectic references from Charles Koch and his book, “The Science of Success” to a TED talk by “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe, Barnhart illustrated each of his points.

He concluded his address with a segment entitled “Hard Work, Hard Workers” which referenced Rowe’s talk in which he described an episode where he served as a sheep rancher.  During the course of this particular dirty job, Rowe had to castrate a sheep in a graphic manner.

Oddly enough, this proved to be a eureka moment for Rowe, one that led him to make numerous observations on life and work.  A particular insight was that as a society we’ve declared war on work, a message that is reinforced by advertising that says your life would be better if you didn’t have to work so hard.

Rowe extolled the value and benefits of hard work, and of the need for a resurgence of manual and skilled labor to rebuild our aging infrastructure. These jobs, Barnhart emphasized, are the lifeblood of the crane and rigging industry.

The World Crane and Transport Summit brings together key stakeholders in the global lifting and heavy transport industry. The November Summit marked the first time it was held in the United States.  

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The centerpiece of the holiday season in New York City is the awe-inspiring Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.  Each year, a special tree is selected and its entrance to Manhattan is greeted with as much excitement as the arrival of Santa’s sleigh.

The tree before the journey began.

This year’s tree, a Norway Spruce from Danville, Pa., was spotted by Rockefeller Center’s head gardener several years ago.  But at the time, the tree wasn’t ready, nor did the owner want to part with it.

But after a few years’ growth and the home under new ownership, the 90-year old tree was ready for its time in the limelight.

On November 5, the 85-foot tall, 13-ton tree was cut down and loaded onto a custom-made trailer using a 160-ton hydraulic crane and a crew of 15-20 people to handle the tree.  The special telescoping trailer could stretch to 100 feet and accommodate a tree up to 125 feet tall, according to nyc.com.

The tree was then transported 155 miles to Manhattan, traveling in the middle of the night with a police escort on a route designed to disrupt traffic as little as possible.

The tree at its final destination - Rockefeller Center.

On Friday, Nov. 7, the tree reached the city and a 120-ton hydraulic crane set it in its place of honor at Rockefeller Center.  Over the next month, the tree will be bedecked with 45,000-plus lights and a 9 ½-foot wide Swarovski star.  It will then be unveiled on December 3rd, in a tree-lighting ceremony that has been a tradition since 1933. It will remain up until January 7.

While Barnhart Crane has never transported an item with such sentimental value, we’ve had our share of unusual cargo: museum statues, a 1960s era garbage truck,  nuclear reactor heads, bridges, and even a few massive live oaks.   Still, we love a tradition just as much as anyone else and hold fast to the traditions and values we’ve established in our over 40-year history.  We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season.

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Alan Barnhart, Barnhart owner and president, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth World Crane and Transport Summit at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami Nov. 12-13.

The top-level, two-day conference and gala dinner, organized by KHL Group, has become an important gathering place for the world’s crane and heavy transport industries to exchange information and discuss best practices on vital industry topics.  Last year, the conference was held in Amsterdam.

Barnhart’s keynote address is entitled, “Renting Cranes for Fun and Profit.”   The conference will also cover topics including the importance of global partnerships and construction markets, transportation accidents and common causes and prevention, and the impact of investment in energy and oil and gas on the crane and transport sectors.

Serving as keynote speaker is just one of many responsibilities on Alan Barnhart’s plate.  In addition to being president of one of the largest crane companies in the United States with over 30 branches nationwide, Barnhart also serves as president of the Specialized Crane and Rigging Association (SC&RA).  Earlier this year, he was named as a “Top 25 Newsmaker” by Engineering News Record.

For more information on the Summit, visit khl-group.com .

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The iPhone 6: A Fellow Cool Tool

Anyone who thought Apple had lost its cool factor was proven wrong after the opening weekend of the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus when sales topped $10 million. That beat last year’s iPhone 5S opening weekend by $1 million.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

At the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, the line of would-be buyers stretched for more than 10 blocks.  Nearly 1,000 people were already in line the night before the phones went on sale on September 19.  It’s clear the ardor for Apple products has not dimmed among the faithful.

Since the opening weekend, it has been discovered that the new iPhones have a few glitches, as many new products do. But fans love the larger screens and sharper resolution of the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus.

Yes, the iPhone 6 is still pretty cool, but Barnhart has created some pretty cool tools as well. And these tools have been thoroughly tested again and again.

Take the Powered Saddle Roller.  OK, maybe it doesn’t create the kind of mania that the new release of the iPhone 6 inspires.  Maybe people don’t line up around the block to see it perform. But when it solves a problem, or makes a project easier, it turns skeptics into believers.

Powered Saddle Roller

The Powered Saddle Roller is a prime example of Barnhart’s innovation at work. Prior to its invention, the low-profile rollers in existence relied on a secondary piece of equipment to lift loads. Barnhart’s engineering team saw a need for an all-in-one, freestanding roller and jacking assembly. They then went out and made the tool a reality.

At less than nine inches tall, the hydraulically powered units can go underneath a vessel, lift it up and then maneuver the piece to a final destination.  Perhaps the highest profile use for this low-profile equipment was in the removal and replacement of a 350,000 lb. nuclear reactor head at a facility in Southern California.

Take that, iPhone 6.


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