Cooper/Consolidated partnership celebrates 10th anniversary in style

Cooper/Consolidated, a strategic partnership between Cooper/T. Smith Corporation and CGB Enterprises, Inc., celebrated its 10th anniversary and the christening of new twin National Oilwell Varco (NOV) AmClydeTM model 28 floating cranes, the High Tide and Bob Frane, at a May 13th ceremony on the Mississippi River, just outside the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans.

The Bob Frane was named in honor of the late Robert E.‘Bob’ Frane, founder of Consolidated Grain & Barge Company. “Bob was an innovator and visionary in the grain and barge industry,” said Scott Leininger, vice president of CGB. “Bob’s leadership changed the way barge freight was purchased and sold. It allowed barges to be merchandised the same way commodities were being traded. The practice is utilized across the dry cargo business to this day.”

Peter Frane, Bob’s son, also spoke at the event: “I’d like to congratulate the people of both Cooper/T. Smith and CGB on the ten-year anniversary of their Cooper/Consolidated partnership,” he said. “What a fitting way to celebrate another partnership of two great companies than with the christening of two new cranes. I’m sure these cranes will be the pride of the fleet.”

Angus R. Cooper III, Group President of Operations at Cooper/T. Smith, said the High Tide was named to symbolize the highest point of technology after three generations of the AmClydeTM 28. “These cranes are stronger and faster than anything their size,” Cooper said. “They also remind us of the Alabama Sports programme: that winning is about teamwork and never being satisfied. Our strategic partnership with CGB is one reason we have been able to thrive for the last ten years.”

The cranes’ new features drive higher performance and enable greater efficiency for the companies’ customers, as well as increase safety, productivity and facilitate training for employees. Reduced noise and emissions are beneficial to workers, residents and the environment.

The new features include:

v rated for 100,000 lbs gross bucket work and 310,000 lbs
gross hook work; 

XQ2000 Caterpillar Gen-Set with a sound attenuated container, which reduces noise, and powers the crane’s AC variable frequency drives;


  • equipped with Wintech CP35000 electric drive winches;
  • no hydraulics of any kind, eliminating the necessity to transfer fluids and the potential for leaks, as well as reducing repair time and expense;
  • 150ft of boom, with LED lights running the length and a camera at tip for increased visibility and safety;
  • additional safety cameras in the machine house and electrical room to confirm when workers are on deck;
  • capability to connect to onboard systems via WiFi, allowing monitoring of the crane, as well as tracking real-time production statistics and maintenance from remote locations;
  • improved swing gearboxes shave 10–20 seconds off swing time per cycle;
  • overspeed feature keeps loads moving within safe parameters;
  • two-cable load sharing system decreases wear on the cables, as well as reducing breakage;
  • fully functional dual operating stations in the cab and machine house;
  • crane controls moved into a pair of joysticks, reducing employee fatigue factor and increasing ease of training; and
  • cab raised to give operators better vision over larger post-Panamax vessels.


American-fabricated and assembled, the new hydraulics-free cranes are the result of safety, efficiency and environmentally friendly features originally designed and tested in the recently fully refurbished Marilyn G, an AmClydeTM 28 tub-mounted stevedoring crane in the Cooper/Consolidated fleet originally built in 1982.

“We started the Marilyn G’s refurbishment in November of 2010,” explained Wendell T. Landry,Vice President of Operations & Maintenance at Cooper/T. Smith. “We picked her because she has a twin, so all the changes we made to her we could turn around and duplicate without having to start over from the beginning.”

With the proven success of the Marilyn G, the decision was made to build two new cranes. “We decided to copy her with some improvements,” said Landry. “We ordered both at the same time. The High Tide went into service in December 2012 and the Bob Frane just this month.”

With a third new crane in the works, and several in the pipeline for the refurbishment programme, Cooper/Consolidated is positioning their business for steady growth in the years to come.

“We’ve been operating AmClydeTM equipment for 30 years, and studying new equipment for our refurbishment programme the past eight years,” said Cooper. “Regardless of the expense, the reliability of AmClydeTM is second to none. That’s why we’ve decided to entrust another 30 years and beyond of our business to them.”

“We’ve been known for our consistency and reliability for many years and these cranes play a major role in supporting one of our greatest strengths, the seamless door to door logistics packages we provide our clients,” says Brent Mahana, Director of Sales & Marketing for CGB Enterprises, Inc. “They emphasize our commitment in continuing to be an industry leader in all facets of marine transportation and inland logistics.”


Cooper/Consolidated is a joint operating, sales and marketing partnership between Cooper/T.Smith Stevedoring and Consolidated Terminals and Logistics Co. (a division of CGB Enterprises). Specializing in a variety of transportation and handling services, Cooper/Consolidated employs a strong, diverse asset base that covers many of the industry sectors they serve—providing clients around the globe with diverse logistics solutions for one seamless journey, with a focus on the inland waterways and lower mississippi river regions. services include: stevedoring, barging, trucking, inland terminalling, vessel chartering, rail, project cargo, and marine logistics.