Knuckling down

20 March 2008

Setting tanks with the Autogru PM model 47025P knuckle boom crane

Setting tanks with the Autogru PM model 47025P knuckle boom crane

Lide Industries manufactures storage tanks for a broad spectrum of customers who use the tanks for storing feed ingredients, raw materials for industrial applications, waste material and petrochemical products.

Since the family business was founded in 1976, Lide Industries has become a major player in the storage tank industry, fabricating tanks to exacting specifications in carbon steel and stainless steel for cylindrical, rectangular, cone-bottom, silo, double-wall and other configurations.

After 30 years in the business, Lide has reviewed many options for lifting, transporting and setting the tanks for customers. Many years back, the company determined that knuckle boom-equipped trucks are an efficient way to load and unload the tanks from tank trailers.

Lide Industries has a fleet of 12 trucks with knuckle boom cranes. More recently, Billy Lide, president, says the company has been purchasing the tractor trucks and Italian-built Autogru PM brand of knuckle boom cranes from Peoria, IL-based Cranes & Equipment Inc. “As we replace our older units we're replacing them with PM cranes we purchase from Cranes & Equipment,” says Lide. “We have a good relationship with them and the cranes perform very well.”

The cranes are used primarily to set oil field trucks, says Lide. “Basically, it's the best way to set the tanks,” he says. “We've been using them this way for almost 30 years.” Rather than depend on third-party carriers, Lide prefers to deliver its products itself, ensuring there are no surprises from third-party carriers to jeopardize commitments made to clients.

Varying tanks

The tanks that Lide Industries builds for the oil field industry come in different sizes but the three basic sizes are: a 210 barrel tank that is 10 foot in diameter, 15 feet tall and weighs 5,500 pounds; a 300 barrel tank that is 12 foot in diameter, 15 feet tall and weighs 7,000 pounds; and the last, a 400 barrel tank that is 12 feet in diameter, 20 feet tall and weighs 8,400 pounds. The company makes tanks that weigh upwards to 10,000 pounds that can be off-loaded in certain situations.

Cranes are mounted just behind the cab of the truck, and the tanks are secured to trailers pulled behind. “We use flat bed trailers but we also have a lot of tank trailers that are designed specifically for tanks,” says Lide. “They are low to the ground with a concave bottom.”

At the location, the crane lifts the tank up of the trailer and sets it on its foundation. For the most part, the lift and setting is a smooth operation with no obstacles. “Some locations will have firewalls,” says Lide. “We like to get the firewalls flattened before setting a tank, especially with the 400 barrel tank because it's so tall.”

While the cranes can be operated via remote control, Lide says his operators prefer to operate the cranes from the unit's control panel. “Most of the time they like to be there by the crane,” he says. “Ninety nine percent of the time we have another person there to guide the tanks while the operator is operating the crane.”

The Autogru PM Model 47025P is the newest crane that Lide Industries has been buying, according to Joan Ausbury, president of Cranes & Equipment. “Lide Industries’ loads are oversized and create a challenge in their erection, but with the help of knuckleboom cranes on the delivering tractors, it makes the setting of tanks much easier and without the need of hiring a mobile crane,” says Ausbury.

The Autogru PM Model 47025P has a maximum rating of 46,300 pounds and a maximum horizontal hydraulic reach of 55 feet, 3 inches and a maximum vertical hydraulic reach of almost 67 feet. The crane weighs between 9,612 pounds and 11,662 pounds, depending on certain variables.

Demand continues to grow in the US for the Italian-built PM cranes, according to Ausbury. More than 4,400 cranes were produced by PM in calendar year 2006. Cranes & Equipment Corp. has been a distributor for PM since 1988.


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