Cranes & Lifting, News, Queensland

Frann-Tastic Lift

Queensland Crane Hire and Rigging completes an environmentally sensitive lift with three Franna MAC 25 Superlifts. The environmentally sensitive lift meant there was to be no chance of oil or spillage or contaminants entering the creek and contaminating the system.

In mid 2020, Queensland Crane Hire and Rigging (QCHR) was approached about a lift by its customer, Landmark Products, designers and manufactures of outdoor structures such as bridges. They called Tim Vermey, Business Support at QCHR and said their crane supplier to the north of Brisbane had quoted but were unable to complete a particular project and would QCHR be interested in having a look.

“Landmark Products regularly use our services for lifts south of Brisbane, and around the Gold Coast regions, but we don’t normally conduct work for them north of Brisbane,” said Vermey.

The job involved the lifting and placement of a 11,500kg bridge across a creek. The whole project was environmentally sensitive, said Vermey.

“Landmark Products’ client lives in a remote, rural environment surrounded by pristine rain forest. A waterfall feeds the creek which runs down and into other waterways and marsh areas down-stream, and these are inhabited by native fauna and flora. Their client didn’t want any chance of oil or spillage or contaminants entering the creek and contaminating this system,” said Vermey.

“We agreed to have a look at the project and during our first trip we realised we wouldn’t be able to get big cranes to site due to the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) restrictions. The local roads feature small timber bridges and dirt roads leading to the site.

“When we sat down to work out how we could achieve the job, we knew we needed to keep the on-road weights as light as possible to be able to safely cross the bridges and access the dirt roads and minimise the ground pressure on the creek banks,” he said.

Queensland Crane Hire and Rigging is based in Ipswich with depots in Yatala and also Goondiwindi in Queensland and is owned by the Marshall brothers from Goondiwindi.

Queensland Crane Hire was formerly TP Turner which started the crane hire component of the business 1957. “We were a family run company then and we are still a family run company today,” said Vermey.

QLCH’s fleet ranges from a 2.8t capacity mini crane up to a 200t all terrain and everything in between says Vermey.

“We have 20 cranes in the fleet, and we mainly run Terex machines. Obviously the Frannas are a Terex brand and the majority of our slew cranes are Demags. We run seven Frannas in the fleet with capacities ranging from 15t to 25t capacity MAC 25-3 Superlifts,” he said.

“After the first look at the site, we knew the-only way we could safely navigate the roadways and wooden bridges was with smaller cranes. Looking at the weight of the bridge and complexities of the site, we determined our Franna MAC 25-3 Superlifts coupled with our Demag AC 40-2, 40t capacity all terrain, would manage the lift,” said Vermey.

“We put together a draft lift study which involved the deployment of three Franna MAC 25 Superlifts and the 40t Demag all terrain. We then went to site a second time to double check some of the measurements of the creek and examine the bank stability. During this inspection it was clear we would be able to set the 40tonner far enough back from the bank to be able to achieve our safety margins. We then finalised the lift draft in KranExpert and we went from there,” he said.

The bridge was pre-delivered in multiple parts on small crane trucks and assembled on site. As a result of the detailed planning by Queensland Crane Hire and Rigging, the job was completed within four hours says Vermey.

“When we arrived on site, we conducted a tool-box with the client and also with our riggers and crane operators. During the tool-box we explained what had to happen and how it was going to happen, and we went about doing the job. We set up the Frannas and added the Superlift counterweights. As we hadn’t been to site for two weeks, we also conducted final checks of the creek making sure nothing had been flushed out, or that the creek hadn’t flooded and saturated or weakened the creek banks in anyway,” he said.

It was a two-stage lift, explains Vermey, with two MAC25s positioned on one side of the creek with the third MAC 25 and the AC40 all terrain on the other.

“During the first stage, we had to orientate the bridge correctly with a Superlift Franna at each end and we walked the bridge so it aligned with the headstock that it needed to land on. The second part of the lift again involved the two Superlift Frannas but this time side by side and with a Maxilift 50t telescopic 6m spreader bar. This was designed to keep the Frannas at a distance from the bridge, providing adequate clearance as we walked the bridge forward towards the headstocks, effectively steering it out and over the small creek.

“Once we had reached that position, we had a long sling hanging between the third 25t Franna Superlift and the AC 40/2 40t all terrain on the other bank. This was in a basket configuration which they simply raised up under the edge of the bridge allowing the two MAC 25s on the other bank to put the load down and disconnect. One of these Frannas then returned to lift the other end of the bridge and, with the 25t Superlift and the 40t all terrain, the bridge was manoeuvred across and onto the headstocks. The whole process only took three and a half hours,” said Vermey.

The MAC 25 has a lifting capacity of 25t and offers maximum safety, excellent roadability, intuitive operation and unmatched versatility. Over the years it’s design has been tried, tested and proven in a range of difficult lifting applications and is still a customer favourite today.

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