A new world record of more than 3,000 metric tons has been set for the heaviest commercial load ever to be lifted by a land-based mobile crane.

Heavy lifting specialist ALE performed this historic task as part of an FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) vessel integration project in southern Brazil. The four-month project, which has recently been successfully completed ahead of schedule, involved lifting 40 separate modules weighing total of over 36,000 metric tons onto the FPSO.

The German-made Gleistein slings deployed for the job were some of the strongest to ever leave the production floor: a total of twelve slings made of 128mm diameter DynaOne, each boasting a breaking load of 4,500 tons (SWL: 900 tons).

The specifications set out by international heavy lifting specialist ALE for the textile lifting slings they required for their AL.SK350 crane – the world’s largest capacity land-based mobile crane – were formidable: a dozen slings that would be capable of tackling some of the world’s most challenging lifting operations ever.

The individual slings of 128mm diameter weighed in at between 560kg and 1,030kg, and together with the final lifting gear setup have a total combined weight of approx. 8.5 tons. That is around 57 tons less than a comparable conventional steel rope solution – and thereby effectively increases the maximum lifting payload by the same margin.

The ability to install complete modules on the FPSO meant there was no need to relocate the ship’s hull for final construction. This ultimately not only saved ALE’s client considerable money but also a significant amount of time in the overall construction schedule.

By Jake Frith