TCRY's facility is home to Barnhart Crane's Richland branch.
Barnhart Crane is headquartered in Memphis, TN. Barnhart is proud to say that they are a U.S. based company with over two-dozen locations nationwide. Here in the Tri-Cities, Barnhart has maintained a satellite office in the TCRY Richland, WA shop for about 2 ½ years. Mike Hickey is the Tri-Cities branch manager. Mike grew up here in Othello, WA. Mike jumped at the chance to pair his knowledge of our area with creating a Barnhart presence in the Northwest.
For those of us who think Barnhart is just a crane rental company, my visit with Mike was a real eye-opener. Mike describes Barnhart as a Project Based Solutions Company. If you have a moving or lifting problem, Barnhart’s team of engineers will match up the solution. And we are not talking about a little problem...Barnhart deals with problems that can weigh over a thousand tons! Barnhart specializes in mainly three areas of industry: Refinery based, Nuclear DOE based and Hydro based. Locally, Barnhart is primarily used for projects out at the Hanford Reservation. Barnhart was recently instrumental in moving a 1,200 ton nuclear reactor at Hanford. Barnhart is also becoming more involved in the “wind renewable” industry in the Columbia Basin. They provide the cranes and transportation services for wind projects in the Northwest.
The most current and newsworthy project Barnhart is involved in is the Wanapum Dam. Repairs at the Dam will require very large cranes and the use of some very heavy equipment. However, the Dam was not designed to bear the weight of today’s mega-cranes and machinery. Barnhart engineers are working on specialized designs and solutions to move repairs forward.
My favorite Barnhart solution is what I like to call the “Lego” trailers. A fun name and idea for one of the most complex tools Barnhart has created. The Goldhofer Self Propelled Girder Transport System is a system of trailers that can be connected lengthwise and width wise to accommodate almost any load requirement. Each trailer axle is rated to hold 60,000 pounds. The system has been designed so that it can travel to jobsites as a complete trailer system requiring only a forklift for assembly, saving time and money.
With all of the specialized cranes and transportation solutions, I was curious if Barnhart had a crane “graveyard” were the equipment is stored once a project is completed. Mike assures me that while the project solutions are unique…the components are basically universal. Once a project is finished the equipment can be broke down into individual components and engineered into a new solution for the next project….like Legos.