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Enbridge, Outdoor Electric Top Running Double Girder Crane

Enbridge approached WF to build a crane for outdoor maintenance that would be installed over live oil and gas process equipment and that would be able to withstand extremely cold temperatures. It would be one of the largest spanning cranes in all of Alberta.

Why WF was chosen

Enbridge chose to work with us not only because of our turn-key design and manufacturing capabilities but because their engineering consultant trusted our team’s experience.

Other suppliers were apprehensive to design a crane for use in temperatures as cold as -40C as standard crane components are typically not rated for anything less than -20C. However, our team of expert iron workers and field personnel executed the plan without incident, ensuring the project was successful start to finish.

The Challenges

  1. The crane needed to span 45 meters (147.5ft), which created a number of design challenges as the girders needed to be rigid enough to support their own weight, in addition to the live load of the trolley.
  2. The crane required special explosion and spark proof features.
  3. When temperatures get below -20C standard steel and mechanical components become brittle and no longer perform as designed.

The Solution

We built a custom double girder cranes for extreme cold temperatures with specialty components. By providing pre-award courtesy engineering services that were vital in determining the project’s feasibility and in developing the specification for the crane, we were well equipped to design, supply, install, and commission the crane with supporting structures.

Our Process

  1. Design a custom girder with optimal geometrical dimensions to give it the required strength while minimizing its self weight. Each girder was built in 3 sections to reduce transport cost to site. The girders were shipped in pieces to site on regular transport and assembled on the ground prior to installation on the rails.
  2. Specialty high impact steel used for the bridge structure and mechanical components designed with higher safety factor.
    Fit electrical controls in explosion proof enclosures.
  3. Fit motors and electrical controls with heaters to keep them in good working condition even if the crane sat idle for weeks at a time.
  4. Four-wheel drive and rail scrapers on both trolley and bridge travel allowed the crane to push through ice and snow built up on the rail. The four-wheel drive provided the crane with the necessary drive and braking power to deal with heavy winds.
  5. Use wire rope stainless steel, with bronze hook, and bronze wheels. All festoon cables were supported by stainless steel non-sparking festoon trolleys and included a wireless remote control explosion proof.
  6. To ensure maximum safety during installation, we partnered with the mobile crane rental company to engineer a lift plan to safely assemble and erect the crane and its structure in place over live process equipment.

Project Details


Custom Cranes
Oil & Gas


Since 2013, we have trusted WF Steel and Crane to be our partner on multiple project. They provide exceptional fabrication in record on time. The WF Steel and Crane team helps ensure that we exceed client expectations.
—Brent Field, Aecon, Project Manager

Project Images

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