After 70 years of service, a power transformer failed in Big Timber, Montana. The behemoth 13-foot-tall unit weighed 70,000 pounds, and it needed to be removed and replaced as soon as possible. However, that was easier said than done. According to a representative from NorthWestern Energy, the transformer removal would be the power company’s most difficult in the state. The challenge was due to a confined space with low overhead clearance. In the past, transformers had been removed from the yard with a series of chain falls on greased wooden skids.  


Chaznline was contracted to complete the removal, and the construction company called upon the heavy lifting experts at Engineered Rigging. Working collaboratively, the team assessed the job parameters, developed a lifting plan, and identified the heavy lifting equipment to execute the safe and efficient removal of the transformer.  

The Lift Plan 

The location of the transformer made it difficult to place a trailer nearby. As a result, the project required a multi-part process. First, Chaznline used a SFP421SJ split flow pump to operate two hydraulic jack cylinders (Enerpac’s LPL602 and RACL1006) which lifted the transformer from the pad onto the Enerpac LH400 skidding system. The crew transported the transformer 20 feet using the skidding system. Next, they used the hydraulic cylinders to jack the 70,000-pound transformer up 20 inches.  

The fourth step entailed moving the LH400 skidding system into a position 90 degrees from the first skidding operation so the transformer could be skidded 15 additional feet directly onto the trailer. Once the transformer was secured on the trailer, the project was complete. 


Win-Win Solution 

Recognizing that safety is paramount in any construction project, Engineered Rigging’s plan mitigated the risks associated with a heavy lift by ensuring the load was always controlled. In addition, our approach was more efficient than the method utilized in the past. The transformer removal was completed in less than one day, whereas past removals required two to three days. The reduction in completion time reduced disruption in the transformer yard and further enhanced project safety by minimizing the crew’s time on the construction site. Engineered Rigging’s Director of Business Development, John Kuka, trained Chaznline’s crew on the equipment and provided on-site technical support. 

Featured Heavy Lifting Equipment 

Engineered Rigging rented numerous types of equipment to Chaznline for the project:  

  • Enerpac LH400 low-height skidding system 
  • Enerpac’s LPL602 and RACL1006 hydraulic jacks 
  • SFP421SJ split flow pump 
  • Rigging accessories  

Equipment Rentals & Engineering Resources Imperative to Infrastructure Investment

On November 15, President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law. The immense investment in the country’s roads, bridges, trains, broadband network and water supply will have a significant impact on the construction industry. Heavy lifting equipment rentalsdesign-build services and engineering solutions will be in even greater demand in the coming years. Engineered Rigging would like to partner with you on your projects. Visit to explore our heavy lifting expertise and equipment sales and rentals, and contact us to schedule a consult.