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Skyjack telescopic boom used to repair historic windmill

Linamar Corporation’s (TSX:LNR) Skyjack division helped to repair a 19th century windmill using an SJ 66T telescopic boom lift at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, UK. The Skyjack spent a week on site, working on uneven terrain and carefully maneuvering around historic buildings, to repair the 200-year-old, fully operational windmill.

Supplied by local platform rental company GT Access, the SJ 66T, which offers a 22.12 m (72.6 ft) working height and 17.37 m (57 ft) of horizontal reach, was chosen for the job as it offers the perfect combination of height, outreach and off-road capability.

Simon Carter, museum director at Avoncroft Museum, explains that to reach the windmill’s broken sails, the team had to navigate over a large field and work around a number of other historic buildings.

“The windmill is located at the far end of the museum, and we needed a machine that could cross uneven ground to reach it,” he says. “The SJ 66T was ideal because its four-wheel-drive system allowed us to move easily over the rough terrain. Repairing the windmill was a very delicate task, but the machine has the control and maneuverability we needed to complete the project to the high standards we were expecting.”

Two hundred years ago, workers would have climbed the windmill’s sails to repair them, using basic, wooden ladders. Today, the Skyjack boom lift provided the precise handling and tight turning radius needed to fix the broken sail with ease.

Skyjack machines make up close to 40% of GT Access’s fleet, and Tom Long, manager of the company’s local Bromsgrove depot, explains that the SJ 66T was chosen because it was perfectly matched to the needs of the Avoncroft project.

“The SJ 66T is certainly one of our most popular machines, and was chosen to give the team the flexibility and maneuverability they needed,” he says. “We look forward to helping Avoncroft on future projects using machines from our Skyjack fleet.”

The traditional post-mill at Avoncroft needed repair after pieces of wood from the windmill’s sails became loose, requiring repacking to reduce wobble. The work was done as a preventative measure to reduce further wear and tear, and to preserve the historic building.

Avoncroft is England’s first open-air museum and has been welcoming members of the public for more than 50 years. It is home to more than 30 historic buildings and structures that have been restored and re-built.

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