Caldwell Rotary Leg Lumber Lifter Employed by Freres Lumber Co. Inc in Oregon – Heavy Lift News
3 Dec 2020

Caldwell Rotary Leg Lumber Lifter Employed by Freres Lumber Co. Inc in Oregon


Freres Lumber Co. Inc. is using a custom below-the-hook attachment, manufactured by Caldwell, to lift long lumber loads at its Mass Ply Panel (MPP) facility in Lyons, Oregon.

The 15-ton capacity, 53 ft.-long (16.15m), motorized rotary leg lumber lifter handles lamellas (thin layers / plates) of structural composite lumber, used to manufacture MPP products. It is attached to a 20-ton capacity overhead crane with two hoists; the lifting equipment and attachment were provided by U.S. Crane & Hoist, also of Oregon (Wilsonville).

The crane, hoists and lifter combine to lift product from a roll case and place it into inventory. The maximum unit dimensions that the motorized lifter picks is 60 ft. long by 30 in. high by 4 ft. wide. (18.29m x 76.2cm x1.22m) This is approximately 600 cubic ft. (almost 17m³) of material, which weighs a little over 11 tons. The lifter itself weighs another 6 tons.

Kyle Freres, vice president of operations at Freres Lumber, said: “We knew we needed to pick extremely long units, and we were aware that lumber lifters had been utilized in the past due to our relationship with LVL [laminated veneer lumber] producers. The lifter was a natural fit for that reason.

The rotary leg lumber lifter, which is in daily use, can effectively lift two bundles of lumber side-by-side, fully supporting them from underneath. Freres explained that the lifter “forks” or “legs” are rotated out parallel to the length of the machine. This allows the lifter to drop on top of the unit of product that is to be picked. Once the “legs” are under the unit they are rotated 60 degrees so that they are below the unit. When the crane starts lifting it picks the package with it. The aforementioned roll cases have rolls spaced so the lifter can set the unit gently onto the case.

Freres added: “Due to the length of our product, and the requirement to pick both 2 ft.- and 4 ft.-wide material (60cms x 1.2m), we could not consider a standard sheet lifter. Having units split down the middle and still have the lifter function properly was an important requirement. The lifter was required to handle all lengths between shortest packages, 32 ft. in length (9.7m) and  the longest ,60 ft.(18.29m).

Source The Caldwell Group Inc. / Bridger|Howes Ltd

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