Hird Group has completed a challenging two-stage tandem lift to install two recycling machines, each one 15 metres long and weighing 32 tonnes.
Working for Stadler UK Ltd, Hird has used large city cranes to install the trommels – plastic sorting machines – at a waste disposal site on the Isle of Wight.
It was the fourth lifting project completed safely and professionally by Hird to install trommels at waste sites across the UK.
One metre of space to work with
Carl Norfolk, Hird Director and the Appointed Person for the lift, said: “This installation project was particularly challenging because of the confined space, especially in terms of headroom, in the building.
“Each trommel was four metres high and needed to sit on a steel frame that was six metres high. The roof height was 11 metres high, which left just one metre of space to work with.”
Also, both Hird and Stadler UK only found on the first planned lift date that the way the steel frame had been erected meant there would have to be two discreet lifts.
Two 45-tonne city cranes – compact mobile cranes ideal for working in confined spaces – were used to lift the trommels from the transport vehicles, lower them on to skates, and take them into the newly-constructed waste sorting building.
Extra reach of 70t city crane critical
Because of the way the support frame had been constructed, one of the 45-tonne city cranes did not have the reach needed to lift one of the trommels into position.
Therefore, only one trommel could be installed during the lift. Another tandem lift was organised, with 70-tonne and 50-tonne city cranes, to lift the second trommel and lower it into position.
The additional reach proved by the 70-tonne city crane was critical. It was used it to hold one end the trommel while the 50-tonne crane was slewed through 45 degrees to bring the equipment over its support frame.
The end of the trommel was lowered on to the frame. A tirfor winch was attached and it was pulled into its final position, several centimetres at a time over a distance of about five metres, while the 70-tonne city crane holding the other end was jibbed out to keep the trommel in line.
Lateral thinking and lifting precision
Once the trommel was in its final position, the operator of the 70-tonne crane could lower his end, allowing the machine to be attached to its support frame. The final lift was completed in nine hours.
Carl Norfolk said: “Lifting equipment into new buildings can present challenges like this. It was a tricky lift that required careful thought, some lateral thinking, and precision lifting on the day.”