SuperQuad Electrical Motor Rebuild
With the summer season now in full swing, we took some time to check-in with our Lift Maintenance Department to find out what's been going on behind the scenes to get the SuperQuad ready for Scenic Chairlift rides - which begin this weekend. In addition to routine seasonal maintenance initiatives such as diagnostic inspections, line work and repairs, the team has been hard at work installing a newly-rebuilt motor to power the lift.
As we've talked about frequently, all our lifts here at Sugarloaf undergo daily, weekly, monthly and yearly inspections. Earlier this spring, during one such routine inspection, our lift mechanics detected an out-of-the-ordinary sound coming from the electrical motor powering the SuperQuad. Upon further investigation of the sound, they determined the cause was the early signs of excessive wear to the drive shaft bearings.
A bearing is a relatively small component found in most machines, from inline roller-skates to wind turbines. A bearing's primary function is to alleviate friction between rotating parts, allowing them to spin smoothly and quietly.
The ball bearings on the electrical motor in the SuperQuad Lift are located at either end of the drive shaft. Without the bearings, the friction between the drive shaft and the pulley (which turns the lift) would cause rapid and excessive wear and tear, resulting in the much more frequent need for replacements.
After detecting the noise, our lift mechanics contacted AC Electric, a third party company who verified the diagnosis and recommended a complete rebuild.
In our experience, the life expectancy on this particular bearing is roughly 6 years, and the last rebuild took place in 2013.
So earlier this month, the 950 horsepower electric motor was extracted from the SuperQuad's motor room via crane (photos below), and taken to AC Electric in Auburn where the rebuild took place. The motor returned and was installed earlier this week, and the state tramway inspector was here Wednesday to sign-off on the work and certify the lift to run.
Beginning this Saturday, the lift will run every weekend from now until Homecoming (October 14). Lift tickets are just $14 for ages 7 and older, or free with a 2018/19 or 2019/20 season pass. Simply stop by the Outpost Adventure Center to pick up your ticket.