Genie Telescopic Track-Mounted Boom Adapted for Polar Research in Greenland

When CH2M Hill Polar Services needed an access solution to assist in construction and maintenance tasks at Summit Station, a polar research platform in Greenland, it needed a track-mounted boomlift adapted to extreme polar conditions as well as delivery to a particularly hard-to-reach location. Genie’s authorized distributor in Denmark, Jøma

Lift Teknik A/S developed a specially prepared 51-foot (15.72 meter) Genie S-45 TraX  telescopic track-mounted boomlift.

Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and managed in cooperation with the government of Greenland since 1988, Summit Station is a scientific platform dedicated to research related to the polar ice core. Operating year-round, the site is located at 72 °36’ North, 38° 25′ West latitude at an altitude of 3,231 m (10,600 feet). With a mean annual air temperature of minus 31° C, that reaches extremes of minus 55 °C, as the name implies, Summit Station is based at the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet.

Offering a working height of 51 feet, a horizontal reach of 36 feet, 8 inches (11.18m), and a lift capacity of 500 pounds (227 kg), unlike traditional skid-steer designs that have a full-length track on each side, the Genie S-45 TraX boomlift features an exclusive four-point track system, and patented active oscillating system. With four independent triangular tracks at each corner of the unit and a 30-degree steer angle that offers the drive and steer capabilities of a traditional front-wheel steer machine, each triangular-shaped track swivels 22 degrees up and down to maintain ground contact.

The Genie S-45 TraX boom adapts to rough or sensitive terrain and sharp changes in slope, including the break-over angle on many transport trailers. As a result, it offers improved terrainability and maximum power and torque while reducing damage in almost any conditions ranging from soft mud, sand and snow to harder uneven gravel, rock, concrete or asphalt-based surfaces.

As part of the machine’s preparation for Summit Station’s polar extremes, the unit was equipped with the Genie Cold Weather Kit that features full synthetic engine oil, an 110V battery blanket, oil pan heater, freeze plug heater and -40-degree C hydraulic hose rating. Jøma Lift also recommended the replacement of the standard hydraulic oil with specialized Arctic oil better suited to freezing temperatures.

Also because of the altitude the choice of engine was important. “Combustion engines rely on the right combination of air and fuel to generate horse power,” said Jorgen Martinsen, Jøma Lift Teknik CEO. “At over 3,000 meter (9,842 feet) above sea level, the proportion of oxygen in the air is reduced, which can lead to a power loss of up to 30 percent. To make sure that the machine would operate efficiently in these extreme conditions, improvements to the horsepower output of the machine’s Deutz engine were undertaken.”

“Tracks are king on an ice cap, without them the ice could not support the weight of the machine and we could not navigate the hills and bumps,” said Jay Burnside, construction and technical service manager, CH2M CPS. “In addition to fitting on the aircraft that brought it to our site without any modifications, the reach of the Genie S-45 TraX boom is perfect for us.”

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