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Gearbox Reinstallation

Sunday, December 6, 2015

As you may recall from one of our earlier posts this summer, our Lift Maintenance Department enlisted the services of Cone Drive, a gearing technology and solutions company out of Michigan, to conduct borescope inspections of every lift gearbox. Although not widely used in the ski industry, this type of application allows us to learn more about what is going on inside the gearbox of a lift than any other diagnostic technique, including harmonic vibration testing or oil analysis, and to catch any amount of wear and tear far earlier than we could have otherwise.

This summer's round of inspections revealed some wear on internal components in the Whiffletree gear box that would have otherwise been undetectable. As a result, the gearbox was extracted and shipped to Cone Drive's Michigan location to be rebuilt. 

Whiffletree's rebuilt gearbox arrived earlier in the month, and has been hoisted into position in the bottom terminal of the lift. For precision, the motor was laser aligned to the gearbox on Friday, as the reinstallation process began. 

The gearbox from the Timberline lift, which was taken out of operation prior to the end of last season, was extracted and shipped to Artec Machine Systems, an industrial equipment supplier out of Connecticut that specializes in gearbox engineering, to be rebuilt from the ground up.

The gearbox arrived late last week, and was hoisted into position in the Timberline drive terminal, via Boom Truck operated by Nickerson Crane Services on Saturday (picture above).

Experts from Artec will be onsite early next week to help facilitate the gearbox reinstallation at Timberline. 

Elsewhere on the mountain, great strides towards completion were made at King Pine last week; after restringing the haul rope to the new bullwheel at King Pine, the crew was able to run the lift for the very first time, via the diesel auxiliary motor. Though slow and incremental, the rotation allowed Brian Lemay to perform the annual haul rope inspection. 

In the coming weeks, our electricians will work to finish wiring the terminal and stringing communication lines, while the lift mechanics perform the routine linework, complete with sheave assembly and chair grip inspections.