The Summit Station polar research facility in Greenland has taken delivery of a specially modified Genie Trax boom lift.
The order from CH2M Hill Polar Services was placed with the Genie distributor for Denmark - Jøma Lift Teknik. The company was looking for a boom lift with a working height of around 15 metres, that could handle the challenging ground and climatic conditions. There were also serious logistical challenges involved in delivering the machine to site, which involved transhipping and an hours flight in a specially adapted cargo plane.
Jøma Lift proposed a specially prepared 45ft Genie S-45 TraX telescopic track-mounted boom lift. Unlike most crawler booms, the S-45 Trax has four separate track units – one on each wheel – rather than the usual skid steer system and retains the four wheel steering and oscillating axle features found on the normal wheeled models. The machine offers a working height of 15.7 metres, an outreach reach of 11.2 metres and a platform capacity of 227kg. Each triangular track unit also articulates up 22 degrees in the vertical plane, to maintain full ground contact, allowing it to adapt to undulating of sot ground conditions, as well as coping well with break over angles.
As part of the machine’s preparation for Summit Station’s polar extremes, the boom lift was equipped with Genie’s Cold Weather Kit that includes full synthetic engine oil, a 110V battery blanket, oil pan heater, freeze plug heater and a minus 40°C hydraulic hose rating. Jøma Lift also recommended the replacement of the standard hydraulic oil with specialised arctic oil, better suited to freezing temperatures.
Additionally, given the station’s high altitude changes were made to the Deutz diesel power unit. In addition to providing the right equipment for the job, Jøma Lift also played a key role in the administrative and logistics process involved in shipping the machine to the port of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland where it was loaded onto a version of the Lockheed C-130 military cargo plane specially equipped with skis, in which it was flown a further 500 miles/800km to its final destination.
Jay Burnside, construction and technical services manager for CH2M Hill said: “Tracks are king on an ice cap, without them the ice could not support the weight of the machine and we could not navigate the hills and bumps. In addition to fitting on the aircraft that brought it to our site without any modifications, the reach of the Genie S-45 TraX boom is also perfect for us. One of the key reasons for ordering this new machine was the construction of a new sleeping facility built on stilts to avoid snow drifts blocking access to the building. Due to the extreme winter cold, we can only work during the summer season and since we have had the Genie S-45 TraX, it has performed extremely well, saving us the time and inconvenience of setting up scaffold, which is something that we really appreciate in our severe polar climate!”
“Jøma Lift Technik was the only supplier able to meet each of our specific requirements. Chief executive Jorgen Martinsen was very helpful during the investigation phase and responsive to the documentation, training and acceptance that were required for what was a U.S. government purchase. The Jøma team was also very supportive in accommodating our special requirements for engine modifications, emissions, fuel type and shipping, as well as a special cover for winter storage.”
The Summit Station is dedicated to research related to the polar ice core and is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation since 1988 and managed in cooperation with the government of Greenland. Operating year round, the site is located at 72 °36’ North, 38° 25? West at an altitude of 3,231 metres, with an average annual air temperature of minus 31 degrees Celsius with extremes of minus 55.