Thousands of tourists can take steps to enjoy one of the Lake District’s most popular – and most mysterious – attractions thanks to the skills of the Hird contract lifting team.
Hird has assisted architectural and sculptural metalworkers CB Arts to install a new ladder on the Bowder Stone, a giant rock that sits in the narrowest part of Borrowdale, in Cumbria.
Its lifting team used a Maeda MC405 tracked spider crane to lift the 1800kg steel ladder into place. It now allows visitors to climb to the top of the stone, something tourists have been doing for 200 years.
Mini crane tracking
The Maeda mini crane was tracked a quarter of a mile along a path to the stone so it could be used to lift the 8.4-metre-long ladder into position.
Hird proved a mini crane operator and a slinger for the lift. Hird Central General Manager Mick Bradshaw, who was the appointed person, said: “The Maeda spider crane was ideal for the lift.
“As a tracked mini crane it could handle the rough terrain up path to the stone. It was also compact enough to be tracked around obstacles and set up for the lift.”
The diesel-powered mini crane has a maximum safe load of 3.83 tonnes, a maximum working height of 16.8m, which increases to 20.7m with an optional jib yet is just 1380mm wide
Lifting for artwork installation
Along with other machines in Hird’s Maeda mini crane fleet, the MC405 is often used for lifts associated with artwork, as well as structural elements that include stairs and escalators.
CB Arts is run by Chris Brammall, one of the most successful sculptors in metal in the UK. The new Bowder Stone ladder is designed to reflect the geology of the stone and look as light as possible.
It even allows rock climbers to climb hand-over-hand up the underside of the ladder in preparation for climbing up the rock itself, which is a designated geological site of special interest.
The Bowder Stone has been a tourist attraction since the early 1800s. Geologists cannot agree whether it is an erratic – a rock left behind by a retreating glacier – or whether it fell off Bowder Crag above the valley.
For more information about how Hird crane and lifting expertise can assist with art and sculpture installation, call today.
Hird also has a powered access hire service and a glass lifting hire service. The company can provide a range of training, including IPAF training, mini crane operator training and vacuum lifter operator training.
Northern 01482 227333
Central 01302 341659
Southern 0203 174 0658