Found in The Magazine DCI: ‘More E-Cranes Handling Grain in South America’

For the past few years, more and more E-Cranes are popping up in South America to handle grain. A few months ago, we discussed a several E-Crane installations taking place in 2014 and 2015. All of these machines are successfully up and running, and a new E-Crane installation is set to take place in the Fall of 2015.

The E-Crane is ideal for bulk handling applications that require heavy-duty production cycles and has proven to be a top solution for grain handling operations involving barge unloading, ship loading, and midstream transfer.


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Type1500 Series / Model 11264 PD-E
LocationZarate, Argentina
ApplicationBarge Unloading
MaterialGrain, Soybeans
Duty Cycle Capacity16,5 Mtons / 18.2 UStons
Reach26,4 m / 86.5 ft
Attachment14,0 m3 / 18.3 yd3 Hydraulic Clamshell Grab
Power Source200 kW / 300 hp Electric Motor


In 2014, a 1500 Series / Model 11264 E-Crane was commissioned for CHS in Zarate, Argentina. CHS is a leading company in agribusiness with locations all over the world. The E-Crane is dock mounted, and is used to unload soybeans and grain from both Mississippi and Paraná sized barges at the CHS facility in Zarate. The E-Crane transfers the material from the barges to a hopper and conveyor system located on the dock using a 14.0m3 (18.3 yd3) hydraulic clamshell bucket.


This was a greenfield project, with all new equipment, in order to expand operations at CHS. CHS contacted E-Crane back in 2013, looking for a solution to offload grain barges. E-Crane engineers worked closely with CHS to determine the best possible setup. E-Crane service technicians were on site in Argentina for the E-Crane installation, training, and commission to make sure that operations were successful.


[table type=”simple”]

Type700 Series / Models 4264 PD-E, 4290 PD-E
LocationPueblo Esther, Argentina
ApplicationBarge Unloading
MaterialGrain, Soybeans
Duty Cycle Capacity5,5 Mtons / 6.0 UStons
Reach4264: 26,4 m / 86.5 ft


4290: 29,0 m / 95.0 ft

Attachment4,5 m3 / 5.9 yd3 Hydraulic Clamshell Grab (x2)
Power Source110 kW / 150 hp Electric Motor


Also in 2014, UABL realized the benefits of the E-Crane for grain handling with the installation of two 700 Series E-Cranes. UABL, a subsidiary of Ultrapetrol, owns and operates river terminals and provides barge and terminal services across South America. In 2014, the order was placed for two E-Cranes mounted together on a single barge. Both E-Cranes work together to unload grain from Paraná sized barges into two separate hoppers also located on the barge. The hopper outputs the material onto a conveyor/ship-loader system which transfers the material into Handymax sized vessels on the other side of the crane barge.

The two UABL E-Cranes in situ.
The two UABL E-Cranes in situ.

The E-Crane solution is ideal for situations that require floating equipment such as this. The E-Crane’s balanced design is based on a parallelogram style boom which provides a direct mechanical connection between the counterweight and the load. Because of this, the E-Crane remains in a near perfectly balanced state throughout its entire working range. This results in significant energy savings, allowing gravity to work in the E-Crane’s favor, but also makes the E-Crane ideal for mounting on a floating barge. Because the E-Crane is balanced, the movement of the E-Crane causes very minimal listing and movement of the barge. A barge mounted E-Crane is beneficial because it floats up and down along with the material barges as the water elevation changes. This means that the cycle of digging material out of the barge is never affected by water fluctuation.

The E-Cranes were installed on schedule in 2014, and commissioning and training took place in the summer of 2015. Commissioning took place several months after installation due to delays with other grain handling equipment for the barge. The E-Cranes are now up and running successfully! 

E-Crane Continues to Expand in South America

The barge-mounted E-Cranes are doing sterling service for UABL in Argentina.
The barge-mounted E-Cranes are doing sterling service for UABL in Argentina.

In 2015, an order was placed for another E-Crane to offload grain barges near Santa Fe, Argentina. The E-Crane is a 1500 Series / Model 10290 with 29,0m (95 ft ) outreach and 14,0 Mtons (15.4 UStons) duty cycle capacity. The project will be similar to the previous CHS installation and the E-Crane will be used to offload grain from Paraná sized barges into a hopper on shore. E-Crane has proven itself as the ideal solution for grain handling and hopes to continue to expand throughout South America.

About E-Crane

Specifically designed for barge unloading processes, anything from coal to limestone to fertilizer to grain to scrap steel can be handled with the E-Crane. The E-Crane is a truly versatile machine in that it can easily switch between commodities and still offer the high production required at many ports and industrial facilities. Built for 24/7 duty cycle operation, E-Cranes have unprecedented life cycles, high efficiency, and low maintenance costs.

The standard E-Crane product line consists of five series of balanced hydraulic cranes (Equilibrium Cranes): 700 Series, 1000 Series, 1500 Series, 2000 Series, and 3000 Series. E-Cranes provide longer outreach and higher duty cycle capacities than typical material handlers. Outreach ranges from 24.8 to 47.8 meters (82 to 157 feet) and duty cycle capacity ranges from 5.5 to 39 metric tons (6 to 42.9 US tons).

Click on the picture to see the original publication.



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