A container-handling capacity upgrade at the world’s biggest inland harbor in Duisburg, Germany, recently required relocation of a dockside gantry crane weighing 630 tons. The contractor for the job, namely Kahl Schwerlast GmbH (Moers), employed PST/SL-E heavy-duty modules supplied by Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft, the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty and oversized cargo vehicles. “With their outstanding steering angle, these self-propelled Goldhofer modules are ideal for such challenging operations,” says Tim Kruse, who helped manage the project for the heavy-duty transportation specialist.

Kahl Schwerlast Chooses Goldhofer

The Duisburg Harbor upgrade project involves an increase in container-handling capacity from one million standard containers to about five million by the beginning of next year. That is to be achieved with the help of four more container cranes, the addition of 13 hectares to the transshipment and storage area, and relocation of the trimodal 630 t portal crane on Logport 1. The crane, which is 139 m long, 20 m wide and 18 m high, originally stood parallel to the quayside. The challenge was to turn it through 90 degrees to create a waterside outreach of a good 15 m. “That was a special challenge for us,” says Tim Kruse. “Maneuvering a crane of that size in such a tight space with almost centimeter precision is a tall order.”

To handle the job, Kahl Schwerlast GmbH chose two six-axle and two four-axle self-propelled modules from the Goldhofer PST/SL-E series with hydrostatic drive and electronic multiway steering and a payload of 45 t per axle line. The two four-axle modules were additionally combined with conventional three-axle THP heavy-duty modules to further increase the payload.

Kahl Schwerlast Goldhofer Modules

“We decided not to take any risks and played absolutely safe with the payload,” Tim Kruse explains. “Maneuvering so close to the quayside is always a little bit dangerous. So the six additional THP axles provided a margin of safety that permitted us to slightly reduce the axle load on the individual PST modules.” The drive for the heavy-duty modules, which were connected and synchronized via data cable, was supplied by four power packs with an output of 155 kW (210 PS) and 360 kW (490 PS).

Following hydraulic pickup with the Goldhofer modules, the portal crane was raised 300 mm. Ninety-degree rotation and repositioning was performed in five steps before the crane was placed on girders in its final position. Maneuvering in such a confined space was facilitated by the availablity of electronic multiway steering with a steering angle of +/-135 degrees, which offers standard steering options like normal, 90° transverse, diagonal and carousel and can also be programmed for other steering modes.

Schwerlast Relocate 630 Tonne Gantry Crane

With the Goldhofer PST modules, we are perfectly equipped to handle really heavy outsized loads with almost centimeter precision,” says Tim Kruse. Even so, the whole relocation process, for which Duisburg Harbor had to be closed to shipping for a short period, required eight Kahl operatives and lasted a good twelve hours. The final act involved eight heavy-duty cranes, which were needed to lift the portal crane for final installation in its new position – “a good 30 m above the quay”, Tim Kruse adds.

Kahl Schwerlast GmbH – an international operator and one of the leading heavy-haulage companies in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with 130 employees and about 250 vehicles – had a strong reason for relying solely on Goldhofer vehicles for such a demanding project: “As a customer of many years’ standing, we have the complete Goldhofer portfolio in our fleet,” Tim Kruse explains. “And we know that, even for exceptional heavy-duty operations, we can always rely on the cutting-edge technology supplied by the world market leader.”