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The power of nine

The power of nine

At the end of May, five crane hire companies came together to lift a 6000m2 shed in Victoria and what a sight it was to behold. Jacqueline Ong reports. 

Together, Mildura Cranes and Access, Saunders Wrecking and Crane Hire, Sunraysia Crane and Rigging, A&G Engineering, and Inland Cranes, offered nine cranes for the job – a two-stage process that was completed all in the one day. 

The cranes included four GT600s, a 50t Tadano, two ATF40s, a Zoomlion, and a Tadano T200. Together, they lifted into place an Entegra-built shed that comprised 60t of steelwork.

Mildura Cranes and Access director, Peter Saunders, told Cranes and Lifting the lift went smoothly, despite rainfall the day before which made the shed a little “sticky”. 

“We hope for good weather, but we do a lot of these shed [lifts] and all the companies that we work with come together to plan that out, and have a good toolbox talk so that everyone knows the drill well,” Saunders said. 

When it comes to lifting big sheds, Mildura Cranes and Access can be considered a seasoned pro. Mildura is home to the state’s many grape growers who are typically the ones requiring these structures. Because the crane hirer has done many a shed lift, it is able to advise all parties right from the get go. 

“We work with the shed suppliers on the design of their shed and try to build as much as we can on the ground in order to eliminate any height work such as going up onto the sheds to put handrails and lift all of the iron as well as the insulation later. We try to build as much of the shed on the ground before it’s raised and that’s the main thing – doing this adds to the safety aspect and time saved in being in the air later with the riggers and the roof tops,” Saunders said.  

Safety was a key factor in the lift and the main reason why nine cranes, positioned around the shed, were used. 

“The reason we used nine cranes was to comply with Australian standards where during the use of more than four cranes in a multiple crane lift, you’ve got to show a 50% safety margin for everybody,” Saunders said. Another part of the equation that led to a successful lift was the use of a proven swinging column system on the base of the cranes.

“In the top chord of the truss, you put one bolt in and as you’re slowing raising the shed, the columns swing around into a vertical position,” Saunders explained.

“Then, you put it over the top of the footing bolts that are in the ground and go up in the scissor and the boom lifts where you’ll bolt the rest of the bolts on the top and bottom of the trucks. Once that’s done, you put all the wall bracing in to make it safe before the cranes are released. We’ve using this system for 12 to 14 years.” 

Footage of the cranes standing tall and proud can be found here: (Credit: Milne Graphics). 

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