Holyoke Gas & Electric Replaces 50 Ton Gantry Crane

UPLOADED: 7/29/2017

Mass Crane is pleased to announce the successful commissioning of a replacement, unequal leg, 50 Ton capacity, dual hook gantry crane for the Holyoke, Massachusetts Gas and Electric Company (HGED). The crane services four gates that control the Connecticut River water flow to the hydroelectric station on-site. The existing gantry crane, built over 50 years ago was controlled by a manual hand crank, many of the parts were long since obsolete, the structure was severely corroded, and HGED employees had to climb up its legs to remove, then replace cross braces every time the crane was moved. When the time came to select a bidder for the project, Mass Crane and Hoist was selected based on cost, design, and their unique installation plan which allowed for virtually no down-time for HGED.


  • 7'-0" Span, 8'-0" elevation difference between adjacent legs.

  • Dam Gate pick points were offset from the Crane centerline, creating higher wheel loads on the low side.

  • The upper side is equipped with a walk-on service platform, allowing HGED's employees to rig the hooks to the gates at a comfortable working height.

  • The lower side has a NEMA 4X (it's a Dam, and a very wet environment) control panel with a face-mounted push button control station.

  • The downstream end of the runways have "drive-in" wind locking stations that prevent movement or tipping in a storm.

  • The upper platform is fully decked for servicing purposes, complete with a spring-activated gate, an OSHA-compliant ladder and cage, a light capacity "tool jib" for hoisting tools, and two 120 volt single phase outlets.

  • The hoists are equipped with 30HP motors, class "F" insulation with a thermostat, paddle limits, geared upper and lower limits, as well as in-line overload limits.

  • All controls and motors are in NEMA 4X enclosures with heaters.

  • The crane and hoist was painted with a special, marine grade epoxy for longevity in a very moist environment.


Mass Crane's project managers worked together with HGED to develop and implement a schedule for the completion of the work in the spring of 2017, to be finished before HGED's "busy season." Mass Crane installed the new crane using a 275 Ton Hydraulic crane, set up in engineered locations above the hydroelectric penstocks. Five trailer loads, four legal and one overwidth and escorted, were coordinated for arrival on-site over the course of 2 days, with the bulk of the actual crane assembly completed in one 12 hour day. Mass Crane's millwrights and electricians then expedited the completion, startup, commissioning and testing of the new crane, complete with a HGED scheduled outage and gate test-pick, before the old gantry was rigged and removed from the dam. In May of 2017, Mass Crane turned the new Gantry over to HGED, where it will service the city for the next 50 years.