Genie Z-45 XC Boom Takes On Tough Antarctic Mission
On the highest, driest, coldest and windiest continent on Earth, Antarctica construction projects are an extraordinary challenge that require the use of robust, reliable machinery. This is how Netherlands-based Authorised Genie Distributor HDW, came to provide its customer Royal BAM Group (BAM) with a custom-tailored Genie Z-45 Xtra Capacity (XC) boom lift to support the needs of the British Antarctica Survey (BAS) and partners NERC, SWECO and Rambol.
Delivered to Antarctica in January 2019, the Genie Z-45 XC boom lift is scheduled to remain onsite for five years to assist in wide range of tasks. These notably include the expansion of mooring facilities for the new RRS Sir David Attenborough polar vessel, the extensive modernisation of the Rothera Research Station, which is the UK’s most important Antarctic hub, together with the improvement of facilities and working conditions at other BAS research stations in the area.
While research at the station continues all year round, even at -60° C (-91° F), due to the extreme wind and cold, work with machines can only take place during the summer from October to February when temperatures rise to a relatively bearable -15° C (-59° F). As longstanding HDW customers, BAM relied on its partner’s recommendation: The Genie Z-45 XC boom.
Offering a maximum working height of 15.87m (51ft 6in), a maximum horizontal outreach of 7.55m (24 ft 9in) and a maximum up-and-over clearance of 7m (24ft 5in), the Genie Z-45 XC boom is the redesigned Xtra Capacity (XC) version of the popular rough-terrain Genie Z-45/25 J RT diesel-powered articulating boom. Thanks to its dual-envelope design and lift capabilities of 300kg (660lb) unrestricted and 454kg (1000lb) restricted, this machine provides the ability to lift two people with their tools and materials in the platform, increasing productivity on a wide range of heavier lifting tasks on construction and industrial job sites.
“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.” said Wilco Donkersloot, account manager of HDW. “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 1100Cca that we connected to a trickle charger to ensure that the maximum battery power would always be guaranteed. We also installed a 110 V 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 5-year mission, the Genie Z-45 XC boom will be hard at work, running 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 time comes,” says Donkersloot. “The machine was delivered just over a year ago, so it’s still early days and communications with the research station are difficult to say the least. However, for the moment, we are delighted to say that the last we heard from BAM is that their Genie Z-45 XC boom is running reliably and work is proceeding as scheduled.”