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Wed June 23 2021

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Custom Genie boom lift supports Antarctic project

19 Mar 20 A specially adapted rough-terrain Genie boom lift is providing long-term support on BAM construction projects under way in the extreme conditions of the Antarctic.

Netherlands-based authorised Genie distributor HDW has provided Royal BAM Group with a custom-tailored Genie Z-45 Xtra Capacity (XC) boom lift to support the needs of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and partners NERC, Sweco and Ramboll.

Research at the station continues all year round but work with machines can only take place during the summer from October to February, when temperatures at Rothera Research Station are typically 0 and 5°C.

The machine has recently passed its first anniversary on site and latest reports are that it is running reliably and work is proceeding as scheduled.

The Genie Z-45 XC boom lift is scheduled to remain on site for five years to assist in wide range of tasks. These include the expansion of mooring facilities for the new RRS Sir David Attenborough polar vessel, extensive modernisation of the Rothera Research Station and the improvement of facilities and working conditions at other BAS research stations in the area.

HDW account manager Wilco Donkersloot said: “The Genie Z-45 XC boom lift combines the advantages of rough-terrain performance and increased lift capabilities, allowing up two people with more materials and tools in the platform. This is a strong productivity benefit that — for a mission where work can only get done five months in the year — made this model perfect for the job.”

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He added: “Naturally, the unit required a number of modifications to adapt to Antarctica’s extreme conditions. Among others, we chose a gel battery that is more resistant to freezing temperatures and has a longer lifespan. The standard battery pack was replaced by a more powerful battery offering a peak capacity of 1,100CCA that we connected to a trickle charger to ensure that the maximum battery power would always be guaranteed.

“We also installed a 110V heating system for the oil sump and hydraulic tank heating elements to keep the engine oil and hydraulic oil at the right temperatures.”

During its five-year mission, the boom will run up an estimated 2,000 machine hours in total. “Planning ahead, we made sure that BAM were provided with ample spares for maintenance as well as parts to repair critical breakdowns that will be useful when the time2/2 comes,” added Donkersloot.

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