“The Hulk” Takes on Trademark Nitrogen

 Officials at fertilization production plant Trademark Nitrogen Corporation turned to Sims Crane when they needed help lifting a tank that was no longer in use.  Sims flagship crane “The Hulk”, a Grove GMK7550 mobile crane ,was chosen to lift the 60,000 lb structure.

     Plant Manager Wayne Wilson explained as preparations began for the lift. “We’re first hoping to remove the pipes and ladders on the side, then the absorber. It was used for absorption of gas. It acted as a big cooler.” The described step is part of the process involved in the production of modern synthetic fertilizers, which are mainly composed of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium compounds. Secondary nutrients are generally added to the mix later on. By design, fertilizers replace the chemical components taken from soil by growing plants and improve the growing potential of soil. Some researchers credit synthetic fertilizers with the improved quality and quantity of food available.    
       As he spoke, CCO Dylon Sherman pulled up in a trailer, delivering the last of the counterweights needed to provide the more than 176,000 lbs needed to stabilize the load. Oiler Charles Franklin busied himself quickly setting the counterweights for the 550-ton truck crane.
      Once that was completed, CCO Bill Piper extended the main boom 148 feet, getting close enough to the 50 foot tall tank. Workers in boom lifts loosened and rigged the pieces to start the lift. By mid-morning, several sections of piping and the ladder were being transported yards from the tank, and stacked in piles.
      By early afternoon, it was time for the big lift. As it turns out, it was big news at the plant as well. It was easy to feel the anticipation building among the growing crowd of plant employees. Most people who had digitals camera or mobile phones with built-in cameras started taking them out and positioning themselves in places that would provide the best photo opportunities. New Equipment Sales and Industrial Accounts Manager Jerome Willis was among the many faces in the crowd. He was on site to make sure everything went smoothly.

       By this time CCO Dylon Sherman was sitting in the cab of a 70-ton Linkbelt mobile crane set several yards away from the 550-ton crane. This particular day, he worked double duty. For the bigger part of the lift he used the Linkbelt to “tail the piece.”
     Then the lift began. Piper adjusted the gears and the old tank began slowly rising towards the clouds.  Up and up it went, soaring over the rooftop of a building and then being lowered to come to rest just feet from the ground in an open field. Sherman is signaled to lower his hook. Waiting workers rigged the bottom piece of the tank. With another coordinated maneuver, both cranes worked in unison to turn the tank on its side and lower it to the ground.
        The biggest part of the lift finishes. The crowd thins out. From what we’re told, the tank will be shredded for scrap medal. 

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