Balfour Beatty Power Networks to use 'McCormick muscle' for powerline installation
and maintenance operations
Burgess supplies 30 New McCormick tractors to strengthen Balfour Beatty'sfleet
of off-highway tractors for powerline maintenance, renewal and installation
• Five McCormick MTX120 and MTX135 BetaPower
six-cylinder tractors (115hp and 131hp) for towing, heavy winching and vehicle
• Twenty-five McCormick
CX85 XtraShift four-cylinder tractors (84hp) with loaders and winches for component
lifting and general handling duties
Balfour Beatty Power Networks
Ltd, the UK's leading contractor for the installation, refurbishment and maintenance
of the nation's overhead electricity power lines, has chosen a fleet of McCormick
agricultural tractors to provide the muscle for winching, heavy on-site towing
and component handling operations.
The tractors, built at McCormick's
assembly plant in Doncaster, South Yorkshire - one of only two major tractor production
centres in Britain . "We've previously bought tractors from the Doncaster
factory and they've given us very good service," says Rob Sonnex, mechanical
plant manager at Balfour Beatty Power Networks, Derby. "When it came to expanding
our fleet in anticipation of a busy powerline renewals programme in 2005, McCormick
was the obvious choice."
The 30 new tractors - all turned out in
Balfour Beatty's blue corporate livery instead of the familiar McCormick red and
silver - join eight McCormick MTX tractors purchased early last year. A key feature
of these six-cylinder models is the cast chassis frame that gives the tractors
enormous strength; on many tractors, the engine and transmission are used as the
main stress bearing components. "We'll be using the two MTX135s for towing
cable drum puller-tensioner units that can weigh up to 18.5 tonnes, while the
three MTX120s will have 5 tonne capacity winches installed for straining the conductors,"
explains Mr Sonnex. "Tensioning operations can put huge loads on the tractors
but judging by past experience, we know the McCormick MTX can cope."
Burgess will fit all five of the MTX tractors with hydraulic loaders for
general handling duties while BBPN's own engineering workshops at Derby will install
the winches. A front-end hydraulic loader and smaller 2 tonne winch will be fitted
to each of the 84hp McCormick CX85 XtraShift tractors, which will be used to hoist
components such as insulators and running out bocks into position on pylons. The
tractors will also have rear-mounted lifting forks for carrying conductor reels
on site. "With all powerlines running across farmland and other difficult
terrain, we need appropriate vehicles to move and operate equipment on-site,"
notes Mr Sonnex. "The McCormick tractors will play a key role in the big
powerline renewals programme that Balfour Beatty Power Networks has lined
up this year."