British construction shows no signs of slowing down as cranes dominate the skyline of most major cities. The shifting sands of the Brexit negotiations are on the minds of every major development company across the UK but new projects are springing up every day.
Twice a year, professional services group Deloitte commissions a crane survey in five major cities in the UK and Northern Ireland to analyse how the construction industry is faring and where their biggest investments lie.
Using the crane survey, we’ve identified some of the biggest, most exciting construction projects being undertaken in 2019 and what makes them so brilliant, taking a look at their size, how many cranes operate there and the big budgets they’re working to.
A Tricky little number here….
The task was to lift and install the prism shaped glass windows up to the wall for fixing.
The awkward shape meant we had to use 2 independently slung in-line vacuum attachments for this – which worked well.
Three Times A Crane ….
For this job a large steel beam was required to be fixed into the wall of a building, where the wall above needed supporting and the scaffolding and bracing had to remain in place.
The Nearest flat solid ground area was over 50 metres away preventing a conventional mobile crane from setting up and lifting the steel into position. Our spider cranes followed the garden path and up to the extension area, where they rigged up at equal distances to hoist the steel up and in to position.
Each crane had the lifting capacity to lift over a third of the total weight of the steel, and as they are remote controlled – the operator could operate 2 cranes together for a precise and controlled
lift.The job was a success, and the possibilities are endless…
Lifting equipment hire has never before presented so many options but, in our opinion, the spider crane (or ‘mini crane’, as some people call them) is head and shoulders above the competition. Here is why we think you should look no further than the all-mighty spider crane when shopping around for lifting equipment in the UK.
Glass lifting equipment?
Spider cranes make great glass lifting equipment. In fact, high lift glass lifting is one of its most common and popular functionalities.
In-line attachments of different sizes fit to the crane’s chain slings; adjusting its ability to lift. This can include pads for more heavier loads. For example, 4 pads can lift up to 350kg. Six pads lift up to 600kg. And for the really heavy stuff (such as steel beam lifting equipment), more specialist attachments do the lifting.
Here are a few reasons why spider cranes are great for lifting equipment hire:
They are compact.
Spider cranes make popular mobile lifting equipment because of their ability to fit into compact places. This fact alone makes them the perfect choice for lifting equipment hire. We usually think of cranes as behemoths towering over city skylines. But spider cranes can fit through doorways. They are also quick to get into action. A spider crane can sprawl and begin operations in about five minutes from moving into place.
They have powerful Legs.
The spider crane gets its name from the outriggers that it uses for stability and balance.
Spider cranes were not built this way to look different on purpose, though. Each outrigger leg is adjustable to meet the demands of the terrain the crane is working on. This is especially useful for lifting equipment — especially if the floor is uneven. They are also incredibly useful when working around awkward objects, such as scaffolding. Each outrigger leg is extendable and movable. This allows the spider crane to accommodate awkward objects in construction. Including heavy loads on the chain block.
So those funny-looking legs that make spider cranes memorable are actually very helpful.
They easily outcompete competitors.
In construction, a ‘boom’ is a type of aerial lift. There are two main types, known as ‘articulating boom lifts’ and ‘telescopic boom lifts’. The spider crane adds a third element to this type of lifting.
The spider crane has significant advantages over floor cranes and other lifting equipment for hire. Two popular competitors, the scissor lift and the boom lift, are restrictive in comparison. The spider crane has a 360-degree rotation boom that allows it to lift on its chain hoists in all directions.
Spider cranes also have more powered access. They can lift higher, heavier equipment, and reach harder places. It is also easier to access equipment.
In our opinion, spider cranes are the best option for lifting equipment hire. They pack a lot of muscle and punch for their size, but they are also built for efficiency. With some spider cranes able to lift nearly a tonne in weight, they need to be. Here are a few things that enable them to perform heavy lifting so well:
Good foundations: Powerful, spider ‘outrigger’ legs and counterweights
The spider crane’s powerful, sprawling, legs keep it sturdy and strong.
Most aerial lift booms, though mobile, have limitations with their foundations. They often need an engineered surface for stability. But spider cranes do not. They are more versatile.
The spider crane’s outrigger legs have hydraulic pans to help it level out. Steel or wooden ‘mats’ under these pans help distribute the load. When lifting equipment supplies, the loads on each of the crane’s legs fluctuates. The mats work to prevent any loading fluctuations from becoming a problem.
Outriggers, in tandem with counterweights, enable it to lift heavy loads without toppling.
Spider cranes have advanced, in-built computer software monitoring each part of it. This enables the crane operator to know if a load will limit the crane’s capacity and radii. The software takes into account wind speed, levelness, ground pressure and tip height. (To name a few; all followed in real time.) Warning lights and alarm sirens will come into action if there is any perceived danger.
Spider cranes often come with dedicated, trained (including in first aid), and professional hire personnel. It is there job to oversee operations. A spider ‘team’ will:
- Make sure the crane’s foundations and material handling is secure
- Calculate the weights and balances on the lifting chains before operating
- Ensure height safety equipment
- Enable clear and smooth communication
They will also carry the necessary industry-recognised qualifications, including:
- A Safety Pass Alliance (SPA)
- The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)
The spider team are there to enforce mobile lifting equipment hire industry regulations and health and safety. They are also there to make sure everything runs as efficiently as possible. It is not always necessary to hire spider crane personnel along with the mobile lifting equipment. But those overseeing should have the legal qualifications necessary for portable lifting equipment.
If you are looking for lifting equipment hire services, look no further than Lift Ltd. Our cranes and team-members have worked on projects all over England and the UK.
Got questions about material lift, or about our material handling equipment hire? Then contact us today.
Got questions about spider cranes and mini cranes? You have come to the right place.
Cranes are fantastic machines for lifting and transporting heavy objects and it is not unusual to see them towering over buildings, especially in the inner cities, where there is usually a lot of construction going on. Mini cranes are — as the name suggests — built to do the same job, only in places where the larger cranes cannot operate.
Available for hire…… The all new to the UK
Our Glassworker GW625 is now available for hire, with an impressive 625kg Capacity
The Glassworker will travel through the narrowest of gaps, lift up to 3m high with fully rotating and swivelling motions.
As built-up urban environments across the world continue to grow, so do the demands on construction workers to find ways of working in areas where space is at a premium.
Mini-cranes like spider cranes are fast becoming a natural solution to these increasingly complex construction challenges. Spider cranes are loved across the world as they are an ingenious way to heavy lift in areas too small to gain access with a larger crane.
More versatile than your average sized crane, mini-cranes are capable of tackling the most demanding of construction projects in environments such as slopes, stairs and tight, confined spaces.
From 1 ton spider cranes that will fit through standard sized doorways to 6 ton spider cranes that will reach up to 22 metres high and can still be positioned or tracked through the tightest of spaces, there’s a spider crane that can always meet the toughest of demands.
Here are the 7 most common uses for the versatile, powerful spider crane.
- Confined and restricted spaces
This is where the spider crane really comes into its own. The spider crane can easily fold up and be tracked down tight corridors to reach an area with restricted access. In fact it’s known to frequently completed tough briefs in everywhere from art galleries to universities, museums, listed buildings and office blocks.
Need to lift sold steel in an area with limited headroom? It’s not a problem for a spider crane. A spider crane is the perfect tool if you require heavy lifting in between floors in a building, lifting anything from air conditioning units or wooden beams on to upper floors or dropping down lower levels.
The LIFT-094 is the smallest and most compact spider crane in our range and highly effective in confined space. Only 595mm wide and 1000kg in weight, it is the world’s smallest and lightest compact crane, ideal for manoeuvring into the tightest of working areas and capable of lifting almost a tonne with its 5.49m long boom and hook height of 5.6m.
- Rooftop operations
When you need heavy lifting work done on a rooftop that can only sustain a certain amount of weight, then the spider crane comes in particularly useful. The TC 30 trailer mini crane is a good match for any roof top operation. It’s light weight and compact size paired with its 30 metre reach and 360 rotation, makes it the ideal choice for any rooftop job.
There have been instances in the past when spider cranes have lifted other dismantled spider cranes onto high rooftops to avoid road closures and minimise disruption – now that’s impressive!
- Plant maintenance
A spider crane is ideal for production plant work. Not only will it deal well in the cramped conditions, it will also move and lift at seemingly impossible angles to get the job done. At 0.6m wide, the LIFT-095 is specifically designed for interior access and manoeuvres freely in tight spots. And if you add a searcher hook attachment, you can easily use the crane to access those hard to reach areas.
- Glass installation
Installing large sheets of glass is a delicate operation so when precision and finesse is needed, a spider crane is the only thing that will do. A spider crane will go beyond simply installing glass on a shop front. The special glass lifting vacuum attachment and lengthy boom reach means it can reach around the edges of buildings where access can be restricted. Lifting and installing glass in a canopy area with limited headroom is also something that a spider crane does very well that a larger crane can’t touch.
Spider cranes have been known to conquer the toughest exterior and interior office glazing jobs. One job in particular featuring a spider crane involved installing glazing in a gap of just 4 metres, separating office buildings from a nearby Metro line.
- Stone work
A spider crane can meet a range of projects involving stone, from domestic to commercial. Capable of lifting and repairing the largest of stones and concrete, a spider crane can be used on difficult landscape projects to lifting stone in a cemetery to repair headstones and monuments. Spider cranes are also just as effective when a lighter touch is required. By adding a fly jib attachment spider crane can skilfully and carefully lift precious stonework on listed buildings to high profile statues.
- Steel work
Spider cranes are the best choice for working with steel whenever the ground below is unable to withstand the weight of a larger crane. For installing steel staircases indoors then the spider crane is the perfect answer. With a 6 tonne capacity at 3m and a hook height of 19.5m, the LIFT-706 is powerful yet light enough to meet the demands of any steel job, and at just 1600mm wide is still narrow enough to gain access through a standard double doorway.
- Shopping mall installations
Thanks to their lifting strength and compact size, spider cranes are often used for working inside shopping malls and retail stores. Whether it’s an installation or a refurb with glass or with cladding, spider cranes are great for the job as they easily fit through single doors to lift heavy displays..
Spider cranes have been used in a number of the UK’s major shopping centres for glazing and construction work, such as Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, The Bullring in Birmingham, Trinity in Leeds and the Westfield shopping centres in Stratford London and Bradford.
Here at Lift ltd we offer a solution to all lift situations, with specialist lifting attachments and equipment to cater for the most complicated of construction projects. We offer bespoke rates for each contract to suit you, whether it’s a short 1 day job or for longer. For general enquiries, or to get a free no obligation quote, call our 24 hour helpline on 0788 525 0969.
HELPING SANTA 2016….
Working with Santa this year to stand Christmas Trees all over the land……….
It started with a phone call from Santa:
Imagine the surprise when Santa called the lift office with a genuine enquiry. “Ho Ho Ho, Can you help my elves to put up some Trees in time for Christmas please….” In typical LIFT MINICRANES fashion, we set to work on a plan to get a small spider crane into a building, and position in order to lift the 30ft Tree in stages so that it could be dressed as it stood up right.
We hope to be lifting a tree up in a town, or building near you before Christmas….
Birmingham Centre has a growing construction element within the central area recently. With our Central depot in the Midlands we are able to send machines often on a sameday service to our customers.
We cover Birmingham quite frequently and it is no surprise that when walking through the centre, if you look up on the rooftop of the major construction site’s- you are able to see our unique yellow spider crane booms in the sky.
MAEDA MC405 working on the roof in Birmingham to assemble Steel
This particular job was to assemble Steel Work for a series of additional floors going up on top of a structure,with no alternative solution other than a complete road closure to position a huge mobile crane at ground level.
We hire our spider cranes in Birmingham and anywhere in the UK to work on various applications – particularly when required to work on rooftops or in tight areas…
Whilst the UK construction industry has borne witness to some difficult times over the past seven years, this doesn’t mean that investment in construction and capital projects hasn’t continued internationally. Emerging economies such as China, India and the United Arab Emirates place construction projects at the heart of their plans to bring more investment and trade to their biggest urban centres.
Indeed, even in Britain, the current government is aware of the value of new infrastructure projects and their importance to future economic prosperity; consider the debates over new high speed rail links and Crossrail/The Elizabeth line.
To give you an idea of just how much money and logistical planning is going into construction projects the world over, we’ve given you a break down of just seven of the most heavily anticipated. From our own Crossrail in London, to the new Kingdom Tower with its ambitions to become the tallest building in the world, all eyes are on the completion of these projects.
Choosing the right crane for your construction project
Here at Lift, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer mini and spider cranes that can be readily adapted to serve the needs of any construction project.
Our track record illustrates an ability to deliver mini-cranes for most types of construction work.
But how do you go about deciding what type of crane is right for your project? What process should you follow to ensure that your project is delivered to budget, and that you are not wasting money and time with equipment that is ill-suited to the job in hand. Broadly speaking, there are three main ranking factors that should affect your ability to choose the right crane for your project.
Equipment and cost
This is obvious, but the cost of hiring a crane will be the first and most important consideration; what will be the rental and installation expenses be and have you accounted for unseen costs along the way? Other considerations that will ultimately fall under the category of ‘cost’ include, but are not limited to, rental, transportation and installation costs, the difficulties associated with assembly and dis-assembly, maintenance and depreciation (e.g. what is the life-cycle of the equipment you are using). Some of these considerations will overlap with the second factor in our list…
Location and site
Cranes are often used at high altitude so location and regional considerations will be paramount in the process of hiring. Even small things such as daily wind conditions and adverse weather can have an effect on whatever type of crane you may end up using. Location factors will also include spatial constraints – how will the crane fit into the area in question? Spatial factors can significantly complicate the selection of a crane.
Environmental impact is an increasingly major consideration for all construction projects, especially in an age where health and safety is becoming more of a consideration. Energy (the amount of power the crane will be using), health considerations (noise and the risk of dust pollution), as well as the dangers posed by CO2 emissions. Construction projects will also pose unavoidable disruptions and delays in the local area. Projects that are making use of high altitude cranes in already populated areas will also have to think about issues of privacy and personal space.
The rise and rise of the mini-cranes in large-scale projects
Mini-cranes are becoming an increasingly popular option for project and construction managers alike, since they offer a flexibility that the larger models don’t. For example, mini-cranes are becoming more vital for glazing companies and contractors, as glass installation is now that much more of a difficult and precise operation. For example, the construction of the Shard was an operation that relied on the precision work of mini-cranes.
Mini-cranes have one benefit in a construction industry where time is money – their flexibility. Smaller cranes lift some of the logistical burdens that may afflict construction projects. For example, load bearing on a construction site can be a problem, especially when cranes are needed to get into hard to reach places. Mini-cranes can, usefully, be operated both inside and outside buildings and are easily portable.
Logistically, the selection of a crane for large-scale projects is often a time-consuming and complicated exercise. Mini-cranes are offering newer, more flexible solutions to some of the more bespoke and precision construction jobs.