Johnson and Young Cranes (JYC) was recently contracted by John Holland to undertake an unusual lift of a heritage-listed hut that required detailed lift planning and sound collaboration between multiple stakeholders while providing JYC an opportunity to showcase its versatility.
On September 26 in Maidstone, Victoria, JYC partook in a new kind of heritage: lifting heritage.
As part of the Victorian Government’s $1.85 billion investment in 100 Victorian-built Next Generation Trams, John Holland was awarded a contract to build a new tram maintenance and stabling facility in Maidstone. An integral clause of the contract John Holland has with the Victorian Government surrounds the retainment of certain buildings around the new facility – one of which was the heritage listed hut lifted by JYC.
The Victorian-based crane hire company was contracted by John Holland to lift the heritage-listed hut enclosed by a unique steel lifting frame designed by John Holland and Robert Bird Group. The project required two lifts from JYC: first, picking up the hut and placing it on a platform trailer, and then lifting the hut to its new home after it had been transported 200m down the road.
Several complexities were involved in the project, with most pertaining to the fragile nature of the load. JYC needed to ensure that its rigging design was such that every lifting point had an equal share of the load. If there were even the slightest error, the result could have been catastrophic.
As a result, JYC designed a complex, 24-point rigging system to ensure that no deflection occurred to the lifting frame or building.
As mentioned above, the main challenge of this lift was accommodating fragile nature of the heritage-listed hut. Furthermore, JYC also needed to keep the rigging height at as short height as possible to maximise capacity and manage the clearance over the 10m high trees in its vicinity.
Factoring all of this in, JYC proposed an initial rigging design using a vast array of spreader bars with fewer lifting points, but the team’s preference was a 24-point lift utilising two longitudinally mounted lattice lifting beams. JYC then worked to develop an efficient and compact system to support the two 18m lifting beams that weighed over three tonnes each.
This design was to accommodate the requirements of the 36-tonne lifting frame in a manner that would mitigate any risk of deflection in the lifting frame and structure.
Already using the 300-tonne capacity lifting beams supplied by Melbourne-based rigging hire company MG Lifting, JYC engaged MG Lifting to also supply the necessary shackles and slings to facilitate lift. MG Lifting helped to simplify the rigging design and even made some modifications to the lugs on the lattice bars to accommodate JYC’s lifting design.
To complete the 54-tonne lift, JYC deployed one of its two Liebherr LTM1400 7.1 mobile cranes. The team configured the crane with 100 tonnes of counterweight for the first lift and using the full 140 tonnes of counterweight + TY for the second lift, while managing challenges such as the greater radius, the complex rigging design, presence of trees and electrical hazards surrounding the lifting area.
JYC’s 400-tonne Liebherr holds a unique point of difference over many cranes in the 400-tonne class because of its seven axles. Compared to other six-axle machines in its class, the Liebherr holds a unique power advantage thanks to the extra stability and, for this lift, JYC was able to get below 90 per cent of the crane’s maximum lifting capacity, equating to 65t capacity in reserve.
JYC also deployed a Franna (Mac25) – one of seven in its fleet – to help with the assembly of the rigging gear, placing bogmats and building of the cranes. On the rigging front, JYC deployed two of its 9m modular spreader beams to help lift the two aforementioned 300-tonne capacity lifting beams.
The logistical process of transporting the machinery to the site wasn’t a problem either. Thanks to the newly updated six-to-nine-axle road maps supplied by the Victorian Department of Transport & Planning, shifting the 400-tonne Liebherr mobile crane to the jobsite in Maidstone was achieved without any problems.
JYC utilised its existing permit library, the Victorian DTP’s maps and had assistance from the Maribyrnong City Council – so there weren’t any hitches with the road access side of things which made mobilising to and from site a very smooth process.
Ultimately, JYC had an unusually fragile load to lift because of its standing as a heritage listed building. JYC’s goal was to provide a lifting solution that met the needs of JHG and Robert Bird by meeting their requirements of lifting beam stiffness and a number of vertical lifting points while minimising rigging weight and height.
Having a powerful crane to single lift the awkward load from the street, over the trees into its final resting place was the icing on the cake according to ‘Team Orange’.
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