Towers of the prairie under construction

[Click on photos below to enlarge.]

[July 25, 2020]     Send a link to a friend  Share

Pictures by  Curtis Fox

The crane has over 5,000 feet of 32mm cable to lift, well, anything on the job site hundreds of feet into the air.
The crane boom can almost touch the sky.



Busy place! New tower in the foreground and finished tower with the giant crane in the background at the Sugar Creek Wind Farm One west of Lincoln. The small angled part at the top of the crane boom is called the jib.
Notice the crane in the background with its boom towering into the sky. The crane in the foreground “walking” down the road with the short boom is used to assemble and disassemble the giant.

WHOA! This is the third largest crane that a German crane manufacturer Liebherr makes. Can you imagine what the largest crane looks like! The stack of plates with the red arrows is the counter weight. Each plate weighs ten tons, and there is another stack on the other side. Do the math.
This is the control center where the operator Chad Johnson sits with an airline like digital display and controls.

Rick Kidd stands over six feet tall and the crane treads tower over him. Each tread has two motors to drive it. The treads are so large that it takes two flatbeds for each tread.

Jerry Kitson of Buckner Cranes uncovers the “brains” of the crane, a complex of wires and controllers. Jerry is in charge of assembling, disassembling, and moving the cranes.


The car body of the crane towers over Rick and Jerry. The two stacks of counter weights hold well over 500,000 pounds. They keep the crane from tipping over while lifting heavy objects.

Chad Johnson sits in the control cab. He has been a crane operator since 1990.


The hook block that picks up the wind tower sections weighs approximately 22,000 pounds.


Compare the pickup trucks to the crane car body.


This is the nacelle that sits atop the wind tower. The blades are attached to it. It weighs 350,000 pounds. The crane in its current configuration can lift 370,000 pounds.


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