New machine on the building site

An exceptional machine appeared on the building site of ICE Krakow in January. It is a huge-size crane, a Terex AC-500 model – a name which may sound exotic to some persons. Contrary to first associations, Terex is not a subsidiary of the Polish company Melex for special operations or a product of fans of Jurassic Park or the tyrannosaur (Tyrannosaurus Rex, abbreviated as T-rex).

The machine is a Terex AC-500 wheeled crane – this 10-wheeled monster can lift up to 500 tons in its maximum configuration (requiring 180 tons of counterweights in such case). However, such heavy elements will not be installed on the building site of ICE Krakow – 120 tons of counterweights are sufficient for a lifting capacity of 250 tons.

The crane is partially equipped during operation. Its maximum reach is approx. 55 m – a weight of approx. 10 tons can be carried within this distance in the current configuration.
Fans of motor vehicles may be interested in the fact that the Terex AC-500 has a 653 hp engine, 14 gears, including 2 reverse gears, an air conditioning system and an immobiliser. Combustion or acceleration data are not stated by the manufacturer.

Terex has an extremely important mission to accomplish: it has been brought to erect a steel structure of the foyer. 30 supporting pillars will constitute bearing elements of the entire foyer. Each pillar is 20 m long, weighs 7 tons and is 0.5 m in diameter. The beams that will be fitted to these pillars will then serve as a support for further levels of the foyer ceiling. The structure is protected against fire by a special paint that expands at high temperatures (at the moment of its arrival at the building site, it is already painted with the paint and the lacquer that gives colour and protects the paint against fire). The Terex AC-500 will operate on the building site till almost the end of February.

Terex, the manufacturer of the company, has a long history which began in 1933. Established by the Armington brothers, Euclid Company became a successful manufacturer of dump trucks. The company’s success was so big that it was acquired by General Motors. The development of the company led to an intervention of the U.S. Department of Justice due to the monopolisation of the market. Forced to divide its business and change its profile, GM created a TEREX brand, combining Latin words terra (land) and rex (king). Then an American-style string of successes followed, with many „biggest” and „innovative” models. Terex became a global brand, not only developing in times of prosperity, but also coping with recessions. From the perspective of our construction project, the last important moment in the company’s history is 2012, when Terex purchased Demag, a crane manufacturing company, after 10 years of holding shares in it. Currently Terex is a major global player which ranks approximately 300th in the list of the top 500 companies published annually by the Forbes magazine.


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Michał Zalewski
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