Reynold's Transformer Skid in Madison, Wisconsin – Heavy Lift News
27 Mar 2020

Reynold’s Transformer Skid in Madison, Wisconsin

The Featured Title photograph is from another Reynold’s story, but it certainly grabbed your attention! This photograph is from a 66,000-lb/30t load moved by wood rollers. Reynolds Transfer and Storage still has the tractor unit from the 1940’s.

Back to more recent news when Reynolds Transfer and Storage used Hydra-Slide hydraulic skidding equipment to complete the removal and replacement of a transformer at a utility company in its home city of Madison, Wisconsin.

The multifaceted project involved removal of the existing 237,000-lb. (107t) transformer, which was installed by Reynolds in 1984, and installation of a 170,000-lb. (77t) replacement, which was redundant but in working order at another site. Integral to safe completion were a 300-ton capacity HT300 heavy track hydraulic skidding system and a 10 ft. x 10 ft., 500-ton capacity turntable, both chosen for their lightweight and suitability to the substation environment. A telehandler was utilized for moving equipment around the site.

Thomas Reynolds, president at Reynolds Transfer and Storage, explained that “the move occurred within a substation so that the existing pad could be removed and replaced with a design that is consistent with current standards. We then moved it to a remote site by sliding over 1,000 ft/305m. The 20 ft/6.1m and 10 ft/12.2m Hydra-Slide track lengths were leap-frogged ahead to provide for continuous movement with less total track length.”

 A Hydra-Slide skidding system and hydraulically powered turntable are both used for this transformer slide and rotation. A Reynolds Transfer crew member watches the move closely.


The majority (700 ft/ 213m) of that ground was covered in a single day with three changes of direction and a 90-degree turn to get through an opening with only 1 ft/30cms of clearance.

Reynolds continued: “When the new pad was ready, we went to Fond Du Lac, loaded the replacement unit onto our 85-ton capacity trailer and hauled it to Madison. We needed to take the trailer apart just to get into the substation for unloading. The substation is very congested and energized so we unloaded and slid from the trailer onto the new pad. We also needed to rotate the new unit 90 degrees and then went over the new 4 ft/ 1.21m-deep pit and onto the pad for final placement.”

A four-port propane Hydra-Pac, also from Hydra-Slide, was used to power the skidding system. Reynolds also owns a larger, six-port system for even bigger projects. In this instance, an umbrella was used to protect the operator from direct sunlight. A common challenge for rigging professionals working at substations is that these sites are in their nature exposed to the sunlight without shade or protection from rain.

Onsite, Reynolds was represented by up to six people at any one time, sourced from a heavy rigging team of 16. Inevitably, the project involved street occupancy permits and road closures.

Reynolds said: “Our crew of experts is vital to every job. Using common sense and experience, we have been able to succeed despite difficult situations. I am very proud of our people and their willingness to work with me through difficult jobs and challenging times. I also appreciate that our customers that see the Hydra-Slide [equipment] as the best solution.”

The Reynolds Transfer crew is shown at the end of the job. “All that we needed to do is jack it down a couple feet. I am so proud of my crew and everything that we overcame to complete the job” — Thomas Reynolds, president.


Source Reynolds / BridgerHowes





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