Project to Assemble World’s Largest Press Wins SC&RA Award

A Barnhart project in California involving 40 components and 50 lifts has received a 2019 Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) Rigging Job of the Year award.

The award, our 37th since 1992, was in the category of Rigging over $2 Million. It was one of two SC&RA awards Barnhart received this year, adding to a Hauling Job of the Year award.

The winning project started at the Port of Long Beach where Barnhart was hired to receive and transport over 40 press components ranging up to 740,000 pounds from the port to a steel forging plant.

Over the course of a year, the components were transported by dual lane trailer and suspension girders to the site. The project required over six different trailer configurations, which was accomplished by the modular flexibility of the trailer. The hydraulic trailer also allowed the equipment to be self loaded by Barnhart at the port. The cargo also included several large asymmetrical pieces, which were positioned as needed in the suspension girders.

At the site, the components were transloaded to a Goldhofer SPMT and brought into the new facility to be assembled. The team utilized its Modular Lift Tower with strand jacks to make the lifts. On several of the asymmetrical pieces the CG was not centered between the lifting lugs so Barnhart utilized their extensive inventory of lifting devices to make rigging adjustments as needed on site.

Some larger pieces needed to be bolted together and assembled to a 0.1 mm tolerance using an assembly table made of Barnhart powered rollers and hydraulic jacks. The largest lift, the foundation crosshead, was assembled of seven components adding up to a final lift weight of 4,500,000 pounds.

In the end, the team made over 50 engineered critical lifts with very low ground bearing requirements and helped assemble one of the world’s largest presses.

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Made in the USA

On Thursday, July 4th, the United States will be 243 years old. Americans will celebrate across the country in traditional ways with backyard cookouts, fireworks and festivities in communities large and small.

This year, Barnhart is celebrating a milestone birthday, our 50th. While not being old for a country, that’s a pretty significant birthday for a company. Those years reflect thousands of projects, innumerable hours of work, and prudent decisions at strategic junctures.

We are a proudly American company, founded in 1969 in Memphis. Barnhart started with a single location in Memphis. The office was a kitchen table in the family home of current president Alan Barnhart.

Fifty years later, we’ve grown from that single office to 44 locations across the country – branches from sea to shining sea – and one of the largest heavy lift and transport companies in the United States. We are thankful to be in a country we have opportunity. Opportunity to grow through continuous improvement and arduous work.

But a company is only as good as its employees. We have assembled gifted leaders and a talented team who work diligently, solve problems, make us look good on every project and uphold our company standards.

Our employees represent all regions of the country and reflect different political persuasions, cultures and ethnicities. These employees possess talents that are indispensable to our company’s success, from engineers to crane operators to truck drivers.

We don’t have a secret to making it to 50. Like the eating an elephant analogy, we take it one project at a time. Plus, we stick to our mission, which is to improve and grow and glorify God.  With this in mind, we look forward to another 50 years.

Happy birthday America! You have given us so much.

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Tanker Haul Wins SC&RA Job of the Year

Barnhart recently took home a Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) Hauling Job of the Year award for a project that involved three 644,000-pound vessels, three states, 7,667 man-hours and two months.

The three 117′ long tanks started at the manufacturer in Idaho. They had to be hauled to two different natural gas facilities in Colorado where they would be set at the sites. Transportation permits had to be secured for the oversized load from several states, plus arranging pilot vehicles and bucket trucks.

The load was carried on a bolstered 22-line WesTrac dual-lane transporter, which is designed to handle extremely heavy loads and to meet DOT requirements for highways in the western United States. Winter conditions and local regulations further complicated the project.

Barnhart had to come up with different options to deal with bridge crossing restrictions, including crabbing over one bridge. The trailer was configured in such a way that the front and rear trailer could split, so the load could be distributed over different lanes.

At the site, the tanks were offloaded to elevated pedestals. To handle ground bearing requirements, the team built a temporary runway that allowed the trailer to come alongside the pedestals. Barnhart’s 500-ton one shot gantries were used to pick and set the tanks.

The SC&RA awards are given to companies for projects that demonstrate exceptional organization, skill and commitment to safety.

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Barnhart Purchases Burkhalter Rigging

Barnhart Crane and Burkhalter Rigging, Inc., of Columbus, Mississippi, entered into an agreement on Friday May 31st under which Barnhart will purchase the majority of Burkhalter’s assets.

The two companies have complementary skills and similar paths.

Burkhalter, a third-generation family business, traces its roots to 1973. In 1984, the company expanded from local crane service to providing engineered heavy lifting, rigging and transport for petrochemical, power, civil and marine industries.

Barnhart, based in Memphis, was founded in 1969 as a family-owned business. The company focuses on crane rental, rigging services, outage planning, engineered solutions for component replacement, heavy haul and national project cargo logistics.

“Burkhalter represents an excellent fit for Barnhart, and this acquisition further enhances Barnhart’s market position as the lifting and logistics provider of choice in this area,” said Brooke Burkhalter, Branch Manager of Barnhart’s new Columbus office. “Burkhalter has a good reputation for engineering custom solutions that mirrors Barnhart’s approach.”

Burkhalter customers will also benefit from access to Barnhart’s nationwide network of locations and equipment. We also boast one of the largest engineering teams in the industry, including a full R & D department and a fleet of barges for transport on inland waterways. This extensive network ensures Barnhart’s customers receive the lowest total project costs.

With the acquisition of the two Burkhalter facilities in Columbus and Rosharon, Barnhart doubles its presence in those states. Barnhart also has full-service branches in Jackson and Houston.

Barnhart is one of America’s leading lifting and logistics contractors. With a current network of more than 50 facilities, we provide world-class service through a local presence.


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Barnhart Part of Kentucky Workforce Development Program

Barnhart is part of an effort to prepare Kentucky’s workers meet growing workforce demands. Currently, the state is facing a shortage of highly skilled workers to fill approximately 115,000 open jobs.

Through the InDemand program, a partnership between Kentucky Educational Television and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, individuals can learn about opportunities in high-demand career sectors. A 10-video series and accompanying website provides an overview of careers available in advanced manufacturing, business and IT, construction, healthcare, and transportation and logistics.

The series includes footage and employee interviews from businesses across Kentucky, including Barnhart’s Owensboro and Calvert City branches. The videos explore careers in those fields, skills required and average salaries.

Barnhart is among the companies featured in the construction and transportation and logistics videos. If a career in any of those fields appeals to you, explore career opportunities with Barnhart in one of 44 branches nationwide by visiting our jobs page.


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Barnhart Sets Steeple Just in Time for Easter

A Catholic church in Utica, Nebraska had been missing its steeple for many years, seventy to be exact. Back in 1949, the steeple at St. Patrick’s Church had been struck by lightning and consumed by flames. In the following decades, it was never replaced.

Thanks to the efforts of an anonymous donor and church pledges, a new copper steeple made its way to its permanent home in Utica this week. Barnhart played a critical role in restoring the steeple to its former glory.

The church needed a company capable of lifting and setting the 30-foot tall steeple. It also weighed 23,000 pounds, even though the copper-clad steeple was hollow. Barnhart’s Lincoln office stepped in and donated its services.

“With the tragic news of Notre Dame’s burning in Paris and the three churches lost to fire in Louisiana, this project happening during Holy Week is very meaningful,” said Barnhart’s Director of Marketing Chris Teague. “The fact that someone donated the steeple and the parishioners raised the money to renovate the bell tower sets a good example for us all. The least we could do was to donate our services to help restore the steeple in time for Easter.”

On April 13, Barnhart used a 100-ton mobile crane to lift the steeple and place it atop the bell tower. According to the local newspaper, The Seward Independent, the historic moment was witnessed by a delighted crowd of 25 people and two dogs.


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Turnaround Expertise on Display in Refinery Project

Barnhart has years of experience in successfully performing projects for customers during outages and turnarounds. So when we were hired to remove and replace a T-805 tower during a turnaround at a refinery in Texas, it was a project that was right in our wheelhouse.

The new T-805 was located in the refinery’s laydown yard. The team used an LTM 1400, a 500-ton hydraulic crane, to load the tower to a Goldhofer trailer with 10 lines PST.

The 500-ton crane was then moved to the existing T-805 tower location where it was used in conjunction with a tailing crane to lift and tail the tower.

Once the old tower was in the horizontal position it was loaded on to a Goldhofer trailer and transported to the laydown area. The new T-805 was then transported to its final location, lifted and tailed to the vertical position and set in place.

The project was performed by Barnhart’s Houston office. In addition to crane services, Barnhart provided client specific training needed to perform work inside the refinery.

The team remained on the site for three months operating 265-ton crane service to remove and reinstall E-803 exchangers and miscellaneous equipment during the turnaround.

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Innovative Rigging Helps Barnhart Tackle Rooftop Job

Barnhart was hired to install a 15,679-pound chiller through the top of an 11-story building in Little Rock, Ark. In order to get the proper setup for the crane, the team had to use a public street. This required blocking off several blocks in downtown Little Rock to reduce traffic.

The team used a 275-ton crane to lift the chiller to the top of the building where it was to be lowered through a roof hatch. But preplanning had determined that the chiller was larger than the opening on the roof.

Barnhart’s engineering team helped create a rigging system using a swing away jib that allowed the team to invert the piece so it could go vertically through the hatch. Then they used two 10-ton chain falls to level the piece out and set it into place with air skates and a motorized pallet jack. This innovative approach provided the customer with a unique and cost-effective solution.

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Hauling oversized cargo is nothing new for Barnhart, so a project to receive and transport a degassing and recovery column from the Port of Houston to a plant site in La Porte, Texas was right in our wheelhouse.

The recovery column was nearly 200 feet long and weighed 529,104 pounds. It was offloaded at the port to two 8-axle-line EasTrac transporters with bolster configurations.

While the permitted route to the plant was just 35 miles, it included safely navigating the column through the congested city of Houston.

Once the recovery column was delivered, the degassing column was transported two days later by a 12-line EasTrac transporter to the site. Both columns were delivered safely and on time.

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Transport Components 1000 Miles. Repeat.

Barnhart projects often have a long timeframe of at least several months, but in the case of a recently completed project, the timeline was more like six years.

As featured in an article in Waterways Journal, the project to deliver six water runners from New Orleans to a hydroelectric plant in Ludington, Michigan started in 2013. But the plant could only accept one at a time.

Each trip was 1,100 miles and took an average of six months. The runners would arrive in New Orleans by vessel from Shanghai, China. Each one weighed over 610,000 lb., was 28’ 2” in diameter and stood 16′ tall. It was accompanied by a wearing ring 24′ in diameter and 3′ high.

The components were offloaded to a hopper barge in New Orleans for transport to Chicago. The barge was necessary to clear the low-lying Lemont Bridge on Illinois’ Des Plaines River. With an air draft of 19’6” from the bottom of the bridge to the top of the water, the barge cleared within only two feet.

At Barnhart’s heavy lift terminal at the Port of Chicago in Calumet, Illinois, the cargo was transferred from hopper barge to an ABS deck barge with a TC3000 truck crane to continue its journey across Lake Michigan.  In Ludington, the wearing ring was picked off the deck barge via 60T crane, while the water runner was rolled off using a 14-line single-wide PSTe Goldhofer trailer, transported to the plant and staged for placement.

Barnhart’s Chicago branch handled the project. According to Project Manager Jose Alva, the biggest challenges were communication and safety.

“Managing the line of communication between several contractors and the potential daily safety risks involved with working near water, pinch points, welding and staying clear of the load were a challenge. We’re happy with our team for always implementing the best safety practices.”

Watch a short video of the 1000-mile journey.

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