Superior ships mammoth cranes

Waukesha-based crane manufacturer Superior Crane Corp. is preparing to ship two 320,000 pound cranes to a major steel mill in Arkansas.

“These two cranes are the largest cranes, from a dead weight standpoint, that we have ever built,” said President Andy Sharp.

The average crane Superior builds has a 50 ton capacity. The capacity of these cranes is only 42 tons, and the higher dead weight comes from several peripheral features the customer requested.

One person can sit in the cab, which includes air conditioning. The cranes will be working 24 hours per day, seven days per week lifting completed 35 ton slabs of steel, he said.

“You have a magnet lifting beam system suspended from the crane that is lifting these slabs of steel,” Sharp said. “They’re coming off of a continuous casting machine and when they come off of the continuous caster, they are cut to a length and they need to be moved off the line and stored.”

Superior, founded in 1951, has 72 employees. Its Waukesha manufacturing facility is 100,000 square feet. It also has sales offices in Chicago, Waukesha, Sheboygan, Green Bay and Minnesota.

It took about nine months to engineer and build the cranes, which are replacing two old overhead cranes. They will be shipped with a special hauler truck in early February.

Superior will host a send-off event for the order on Feb. 4 at 9 a.m.

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