Remote jobsites with difficult terrain pose some substantial logistical challenges when it comes to getting equipment and materials on site. I’ve seen several different methods used in the past, such as heavy equipment carrying blimps, cargo planes, helicopters, and the Fat Truck, but I recently came across a new method: a cable car.
Much like a ski lift, these cable car systems run up a hill side, but instead of hauling up a couple of humans with some snowboards, these monsters are hauling materials and even heavy equipment to some of the world’s toughest jobsites.
Technically called a “heavy duty cable crane system,” LSC Cable Cranes has shared a couple of videos on Youtube recently, showing off their systems on a hydro power plant projects in the mountainsides of Austria.
In order to install the towers that the hold the cable system, the team had to use mobile cranes for the more easily accessible areas and helicopters for the tougher areas. The cables on this specific project have a diameter of 2.36 inches (60mm) with a tension on the top and bottom stations of 110 tons each (I’m assuming that’s metric tons, but it’s unclear).
The system is powered by two electro-hydraulic power units at the top base station, each having 400 kW power output. With a full load, the cables can pull materials and equipment at a speed of nearly 9mph and 13.4mph with a partial load.
To see how the system is constructed, check out the fist video. The second video shows the cable crane system in action on another mountainside project in Austria. Both videos are by LCS Cable Cranes.