Case Studies: Lifting Barriers

Roads & Bridges / March 26, 2007

Highway construction zones require regular installation and removal of concrete barrier wall. The sooner barriers can be installed and traffic diverted, the sooner the work can begin. And after the job has been completed, there is an urgency to remove the barriers to restore normal traffic flow as soon as possible. United Highway Technologies, a division of United Rentals, operates three Gradall excavators with highway-speed undercarriages that are used exclusively for setting the barrier walls. Two Model XL 4100 excavators and one Model XL 5100 excavator are busy virtually every day, either placing or removing barriers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Each of the excavators is equipped with a Kenco Barrier Lift attachment. These lifters are specifically designed to lift barrier wall and do not require additional hydraulics to operate. The Barrier Lift is simply lowered into position over the wall, and the weight of the lifter allows it to grip automatically. Once the wall has been placed, the Barrier Lift is again lowered onto the wall and it automatically releases its grip.

Working along a section of I-79 north of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Gradall Model XL 4100 was able to easily move 12-ft-long barriers weighing 6,350 lb. “We can set about 8,000 ft of barriers in about 12 hours.” said Scott Shaffer, job superintendent. By using the Kenco Barrier Lifts, “we can pick up and load a mile of barriers in an eight-hour shift. That’s something we couldn’t do with a knuckle boom machine. The excavators with the barrier lift attachment are able to perform the wall placement and removal process very smoothly, lifting and telescoping the barrier into precise positions.”

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