Is your team responsible for performing maintenance inside an industrial facility? Or maybe you are planning a plant expansion that will include the installation of heavy machinery?
From inspections to expansions or turnarounds to new construction, there are lots of reasons you might need to move large equipment into a building or within it. Due to space restrictions or limited access, using cranes isn’t always feasible.
Safe moves where cranes are not practical sometimes call for jack and slide systems and hydraulic skidding systems. These systems are designed to load, offload and trans-load valuable and sensitive equipment to engineered specifications.
Jacking systems, as you probably know, are used to raise heavy objects — think bridges and construction modules. When coupled with “skidding” systems, the “jack and slide” process lifts heavy loads, then moves them horizontally on a guided track using a controlled friction service. High friction values virtually eliminate the risk of uncontrolled movement or runaway.
Skid “shoes” (pushed by hydraulic cylinders) slide the heavy loads without the external forces a crane would require. The track has a “ratchet” design, so the cylinders are retracted with each movement and automatically reset in the next position, ready for the next push. The hydraulic pump used is what determines the speed, but about a foot and a half per minute is typical once the skidding starts.
How do jack-and-slide systems simplify things?
For one, maneuvering heavy transformers inside power plants is an engineering and logistical puzzle that used to call for multiple workers operating different machines in tandem. A custom hydraulic skidding system will provide the same team with the ability to maneuver and transport transformers, heat exchangers and other power equipment in tight spaces without damaging anything.
Surprisingly small in proportion to their strength, jack-and-slide systems capable of moving 500 tons are typically less than 10 feet long. This allows for accurate positioning, even in tight spaces. H. Brown Inc. offers hydraulic jacking systems that can move extremely heavy petrochemical and electric utilities equipment that weighs 3,000 lbs. up to 1 million lbs.
As we already mentioned, sometimes there just isn’t enough room within a facility to maneuver large equipment using overhead cranes. Safety is also a factor. Because skidding system tracks are “low profile,” the loads are never freely suspended and don’t require winches or external force. A single operator remotely controls the skidding movement, so there is no need for workers to be standing near the load while it’s being transported.
Here’s another benefit of jack-and-slide systems: They’re relatively lightweight and portable. Maintaining this equipment is easy, too. We keep our skidding equipment clean and make sure the parts and sliding surfaces aren’t damaged.
H. Brown Inc. provides hoisting, pulling, jacking, heavy equipment rigging and heavy haul transportation. We offer expertise in the rental of the safest and most reliable hoisting and rigging equipment in Louisiana. Contact us now to find out more about jack-and-slide systems, and whether one might be the answer to your rigging needs.