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Bromma 53ft special spreaders

Bromma has supplied more information on the spreaders capable of handling 53ft containers that it delivered to Crowley Maritime in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Jaxport, Florida in 2017-18

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Bromma 53ft special spreaders

The six spreaders were delivered in 2017-18 to two ports: three went to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for service on two new Liebherr STS cranes, and three went to Jaxport, Florida, for two existing ZPMC STS cranes.


This was a kind of "triple first." Apart from being a new type of spreader for Bromma (designated SSX53L), the Liebherr cranes in San Juan had the distinction of being the first that STS cranes that Liebherr had ever shipped fully-erect from Ireland. And the originator of the new handling business was Crowley Maritime, which had upgraded its Jaxport-San Juan service with the introduction of two new LNG-powered con-ros, replacing the previous triple decker barge and tug service.


Crowley’s versatile container fleet contains 20ft, 40ft HC and 45ft HC ISO containers and 48ft and 53ft 102-in wide domestic containers. The 48ft and 53ft containers have corner castings in the end positions as well as fittings at 40ft centres.


As all Crowley’s containers in the trade have fittings at ISO centres, these SSX53Ls are not required to have dual ISO-WTP (wide twistlock position) functionality. As it happens, Bromma has started producing dual purpose ISO-WTP spreaders for the North American market. So far one unit has been supplied via an OEM order to a rail yard in Georgia and another five are on order, again through an OEM, for Norfolk Southern Railways.


Overall length of the SSX53L spreader when the telescoping beams are not extended is 11.794mm. SWL with an evenly distributed load is 51 LT and tare weight is 12.5 LT. Telescoping time from 40ft to 53ft is 42 secs. Twistlock rotation for locking or unlocking is 1 sec and flipper operation up or down takes 5-7 secs.


Bromma explains that the spreader does not have the ability of pick 20ft containers. The minimum position when telescoping inwards is 38ft, in order to make the spreader as small as possible if it used inside a ship cell to avoid snagging, but no loads are picked at 38ft centres. The frame (mid part of the spreader) is longer than a 20ft. The telescopic beams share the same slot in the frame and are not able to travel side by side as in a conventional spreader.


The spreader telescopes to the required position (40ft, 45ft, 48ft, 53ft) and uses flippers in the end beam in the gantry direction to guide the container to the spreader.

SSX53L in operation at Crowley Maritime's Jaxport facility
SSX53L in operation at Crowley Maritime's Jaxport facility

The spreader has five flippers at each end beam. The end flipper is positioned near the centre of the end beam and guides the spreader in gantry direction to the container. There are two pairs of flippers on the sides of the end beams, at 90deg to the flipper in the centre of the end beam.


One pair is used for ISO containers while the other pair is used for the 102-in wide containers, in the transversal direction. This means three flippers are used per end beam, depending on what containers they are picking.


All pictures and videos are from the Jaxport, Florida terminal. This first video below shows a the spreader landing on a 40ft standard width container, using the outer sets of flippers.


This second video shows the same spreader handling a a 45ft, 102-in wide container. In this example, one of outer pair of flippers on each end beam is used to position the spreader.

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