Our engineers and production people love a challenge. So when Westrec called and asked if we would build two Marina Bulls for their new Haulover Marina Center in Miami Beach, they jumped at the opportunity.
Of course, we build a lot of Marina Bulls—each one customized for the owners and the Marina; size, weight, profile, lift height—you name it, we can do it.
But this was different. Westrec, one of the world’s largest owner-operators of marinas, wanted a Marina Bull that could lift and transport 50’ boats that displace 20 tons, and raise 10,000 lb boats to 75′ and place them in their 5-level racks. It also needed high-definition cameras and wireless remote controls. The two lifts would be centerpieces of a 508-rack, Category 5 hurricane-ready dry storage facility. Building such a machine would make it the largest Marina Lift in the world, surpassing the previous world record Wiggins Marina Bull built in 2013.
We made it happen.
Design and Construction
Our expert engineering department went to work with their magic. Such a large lift had special requirements and needs, new ways of thinking about lift and traction, visibility, stability, and more.
With their usual skill and innovative approaches, it was not long before they had the designs and specs out to our purchasing and manufacturing people. That famous Wiggins’ pride was felt by all a the frame of the first machine began to take shape.
At the same time, our hydraulics department began manufacturing the massive hydraulic cylinders, and the huge mast was built.
Vendor parts began to arrive. The 6’ tires. The monstrous drive axle. Soon, the frame and body was assembled, and first stage painting began.
Wiring, electronics, hydraulics, tanks, and other systems were installed, snaked, welded, and tested. The true size of the monster began to show. Our state-of-the-art IQAN™ and Stabilift™ information system was installed.
The excitement around the Wiggins facility grew. Each day, everyone watched the first machine, now named Colossus, take shape with the installation of the engine, operator console, tires, and more.
With the body finished, it was time to attach the 50-foot mast. A high-reach crane lifted the record-setting mast into place, and our guys swarmed over Colossus, connecting and checking and testing. The machine towered over the Oxnard plain, and could be seen for miles. All who passed by stopped and stared.
Completion and Inspection
Representatives from Westrec and Haulover Marina Center were our guests to inspect and commission Colossus. They gathered the employees for a picture and spoke to them about the excellent work they had done—stressing that they were more than engineers and construction employees—they were artisans! Thank you to Bill Anderson and John Louis for your kind words. Our job is not done when we finish a machine; it is done when the customer is pleased and impressed.
For comparison, the guys lifted one of our test boats with Colossus, lifted a second boat with a regular Marina Bull, and a jetski with one of our US Navy LCS trucks. Parking them under each other, you can see how Colossus is…well, colossal.
On Its Way
Once all testing was completed and Colossus was commissioned, we disassembled the 220,000-pound machine and sent it on its way to Florida (on four multi-axle trucks, including one with 11!). It arrived in North Miami Beach in a few days, was set up, and is ready for the Marine Center to open. Meanwhile, its brother truck, Atlas, is nearing completion.
Wiggins Lift Company and Westrec proudly present Colossus, the largest marina forklift in the world: