New Booms

Friday, August 27, 1999
The contract started with 11 new Snorkel TB 60 telescoping booms that were shipped directly from the factory to Norshipco. The TB 60's have 500 lbs. unrestricted platform capacity, 66-ft. working height and 50-ft. horizontal reach capability. They are driveable at full height and use fully proportional ramp-on controls for boom lift, swing and drive. Norshipco is a division of United States Marine Repair, the largest non-nuclear ship repair company in the U.S. The company specializes in conversion, overhaul, modernization and maintenance of government and commercial ships and has the largest non-nuclear shipyard on the East Coast. Recently, an unusual job illustrating Norshipco's flexible talents was overhauling a 16th Century replica of Susan Constant, the ship that brought the first English settlers to the Jamestown Colony. Aerial work platforms are used 95 percent of the time for re-coating ship exteriors. It is a three-step process involving removal of the old paint by pressurized grit blasting, power washing and then re-painting. Because of all the particulate matter, humidity, heat, confined working area and salt air, the work is particularly hard on the telescoping booms used by the workers. The Snorkel telescoping booms have several standard features making them appropriate for the harsh environmental conditions encountered at Norshipco. The cowling is steeply angled so blasting grit doesn't accumulate on the outside of the machines, and the platforms are steel rather than aluminum or fiberglass. They can withstand minor bumps better than platforms made of other material; and if they are dented, can be repaired with standard welding equipment. Also the engine compartment is open at the bottom so particles don't accumulate there. The placement of the rotator assembly and pinion gear is another design factor. They are positioned high up from the base to keep foreign matter from accumulation in the gears. The Snorkel telescoping booms supplied to Norshipco are all fitted with Deutz air cooled engines with a 12-stage filter at the air intake to prevent contaminates from entering the engine. Norshipco has found air cooled engines work better in this environment.
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