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Old 06-12-2019, 01:00 AM   #1
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Question Moving MCCs, Switchgear, UPSs, Etc.

I work for a company installing MCCs, Switchgear, UPSs, and other electrical components into skids. These things are really heavy and there is no supports from above to use a chain pull. Is there an easier way to set these things than with prybars crowbars, and sledgehammers? I was thinking of air gliders that are used for moving appliances but I can find one rated for more than 800 lbs. Any suggestions or information on how to make these tasks easier, safer, and quicker are greatly appreciated
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:42 AM   #2
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I can't speak to the UPS', but all the MCC's, SWBD's and the like all have picking eyes on the brands we buy. So I don't know what to tell you there....

We have been known to sling and cinch around some cabinets that did not have picking eyes though. Folks can get pretty creative with rigging to ease the workload when the situation calls for it.

Remember, you only have one back. You don't want to find out what it feels like to have a bad back well before retirement because you work for a company that can't figure out how to pick gear safely and resorts to prying and bangin on everything to get it set in position. This is 2019, not 1919.

Just sayin...
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:54 AM   #3
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I can't speak to the UPS', but all the MCC's, SWBD's and the like all have picking eyes on the brands we buy. So I don't know what to tell you there....

We have been known to sling and cinch around some cabinets that did not have picking eyes though. Folks can get pretty creative with rigging to ease the workload when the situation calls for it.

Remember, you only have one back. You don't want to find out what it feels like to have a bad back well before retirement because you work for a company that can't figure out how to pick gear safely and resorts to prying and bangin on everything to get it set in position. This is 2019, not 1919.

Just sayin...
Thanks for the response. I agree that there must be a better way that wont eventually cause injury. There are picking eyes on most of the equipment, but nothing to hoist off of and a gantry isn't getting into the building. What do you lift it with or by?

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Old 06-12-2019, 02:45 AM   #4
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The pull points for NEMA transformers are inside. You are expected to pull off the top. That takes but a few minutes. You put the top back, of course.

The same option exists for almost all gear.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:24 AM   #5
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The pull points for NEMA transformers are inside. You are expected to pull off the top. That takes but a few minutes. You put the top back, of course.

The same option exists for almost all gear.
But the building is empty, so where do you attach the other end of whatever you are using to pull?

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Old 06-12-2019, 08:36 AM   #6
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3/4" GRC into rollers helps get most every piece of equipment moved around. Chain fall, come along or hydraulic rams to help move it on the rollers. Use a crane or a zoom boom lift before the roof or walls go on.. Lots depends on the building, the access, the size and type of equipment, etc..
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:44 AM   #7
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I would have the gear sent to a transfer company, they put it on their truck and set it down exactly where you want it. All you need is one person to point.

Otherwise, we use an AC lift , turtles
, a pallet jack and set our own anchors in the ceiling if necessary.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:44 PM   #8
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Two chunks of rigid pipe for rollers will move anything, anywhere. Just be careful where you place the pipes so that you always have one of them close to the balance point of the object you are moving.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:50 PM   #9
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Riggers can put anything you want anywhere you want. Everybody on this site always advises "hire a qualified electrician". Hire qualified riggers, let them do what they are good at. Drop one piece of gear, or smash one apprentices' hand or foot and you will wish you had, for a long time to come.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:51 PM   #10
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I basically always used pipe, look at the many images of how they supposedly built the pyramids.

Cheers
John
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:09 PM   #11
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sky hooks.

Ive been sent to the parts room to get one but they were out of stock.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:01 AM   #12
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Knock down portable gantry cranes are what the contractors that worked in the plant used. They also would use fork trucks and gear dollies . I have seen contractors set new Eaton 15KV VCPW gear on pads that had 15KV GE Magneblast gear . The VCPW gear was custom made for the retrofit application.
Anouther thing is if you are using draw out breakers and draw out PT's get as much weight as you can out of the gear.

LC
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I would have the gear sent to a transfer company, they put it on their truck and set it down exactly where you want it. All you need is one person to point.

Otherwise, we use an AC lift
We use one of those lifts for aerial cooler fan motors. There is a concrete sidewalk below all the fans and it works real slick. Carry a 6" piece of 6" pipe for the shaft down motors and a couple of ratchet straps.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:23 PM   #14
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A typical MCC section is around #500-800 lbs, depending on what's in it, and most MCCs are shipped in Shipping Splits of 2-3 sections, so a breaker lift is not going to work.

You need a portable A-Frame gantry crane system, the type that breaks down to get it in and out of the building as Line Crapshooter suggested. Some industrial rental yards will have them for rent, but if you are doing this for a living, you should buy your own.

Small cheap ones will handle 2 tons, but you have to check the max. lift height because remember, MCCs and Swgr are going to be 92" high.


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Old 06-18-2019, 09:59 PM   #15
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This week we will be moving a 1200 amp 4 pole ATS. It’s too big to fit into the customers elevator.
We have have to remove the guts and the door to shed some weight. Then get it into the elevator at some odd angle.
We can’t be inside when the car moves
It’s going to be like Shrodingers switch to us when the doors open.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:37 PM   #16
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Just had to replace some 1960s vintage MCCs in a sugar mill, where the mill was built up and expanded over the years and conveyors were added to the original electrical room (making it a classified area that nobody paid attention to, but I digress...). So the end user wanted to have the entire new MCC built as single sections with bus splices for every section (19 sections altogether) so that two guys could lift and carry them over the conveyors and along the catwalks...


Aside from the obvious risk of back injury for those workers, most MCC mfrs will tell you not to do that because you can twist the frame and damage the bus supports. So I proposed lifting the standard shipping splits in via crane from the outside through a new hole in the wall. So what do they do? They make the hole exactly 92" high... <sigh>


After a little more on-the-spot Sawzall work we finally got the MCCs into the building, after having to pay the crane operator overtime. But that's OK, I'm just marking it up and charging them for it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southeast Power View Post
This week we will be moving a 1200 amp 4 pole ATS. It’s too big to fit into the customers elevator.
We have have to remove the guts and the door to shed some weight. Then get it into the elevator at some odd angle.
We can’t be inside when the car moves
It’s going to be like Shrodingers switch to us when the doors open.
Heh. When we were bringing in UPS battery cabinets, we had something like 150 pounds spare on the weight of the battery cabinets and the stumpiest hydraulic ram freight elevator in the complex. No riders, couldn't leave the pallet jack in it. That weight rating turned out to be a lie. The first cabinet made it to the basement OK, the second one dropped 6 inches too low and killed the elevator. Something sprang a leak. When the elevator tech came out and fixed it, the third cabinet repeated the process. The poor tech had to manually run the thing for the next 7 cabinets, overriding the safeties and goosing it a little.

Building management was not pleased with what we did with their 5400lb elevator, but the shipping company verified that the shipping weight matched the listed weight and management signed off on it...
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