Home>News>SM15-01 Steel Section Manipulators for Electrification Masts

27th August 2015

First trial of SM15-01 Steel Section Manipulator

sleeper manipulatorOur all-new SM15-01 Steel Section Manipulator solves the problem of handling and erecting OLE masts and similar steelwork up to 3 tonnes per section.

The device incorporates a rotator and a tilt function to enable high precision positioning of the base plates from the cab of the RRV excavator.

Once the mast is vertical the tilt function allows the operator to twist the mast to aligne the slots in the foot plate with the bolts in prepared bases.

A unique two-way gripping system fitted with soft urethane pads at all the contact points allows the grab unit to cope with I-Beam, Box Section and Fabricated Masts from 200mm to 650mm.

Soft pads protect surface coatings

The grab section is equipped with specially developed soft urethane bonded pads which offer the best combination of grip with superior protection for galvanised and painted steelwork even though the grab provides some four tonnes of grip force in both directions.

Interchangeable Adapter Heads

Our interchangeable adapter head feature allows the device to be reconfigured to work with different road-rail machines without the major cost which this usually entails.

How does it work?

ready to goThe SM15-01 Steel Section Manipulator combines a scissor grab with hydraulically telescoping legs automatically controlled via a sequencing valve.

Firstly the grab legs are lowered over the mast so that the hook feet can close below the steel section. It doesn't matter which way round the steel is lying.

The operator closes the grab legs onto the sides of the steel where they lightly grip the section.


As the legs grab the section they compress the urethane pads to give an initial grip of around 1/4 tonne per pad.

The legs then retract to lift the steel up to another large urethane pad on the bottom of the grab body.

When the steel reaches this pad the grip force on the legs increases to 1 tonne per pad.

The steel section is now tightly held to the grab and the operator can stand it up and put it in place.

High Safety through the use of a Pendulum Valve

grippedAs the load is tilted upwards a unique pendulum safety valve actuates to prevent the operator releasing the grip of the grab.

This safety valve can only be released form outside the cab so that both the operator and his machine controller must work together to release the manipulator once the mast is secured to its base.

For more details please contact our technical office at technical@thomsondesignuk.com



Copyright: Thomson Engineering Design Ltd 2015 all rights reserved.