Australian crane rental giant Universal Cranes has built two bridges using Manitowoc cranes from its fleet.
The company used Manitowocâ€™s largest all-terrain crane, a GMK7450 for the first job and selected two ManitowocÂ crawler cranesÂ â€“ a 16000 and a 12000 – for the second.
Key to the speed of the two projects was the cranesâ€™ quick set-up and precise load control, as well as Universal Cranesâ€™s specially-designed lattice spreader, as Nick Morris, engineering and sales manager at Universal Cranes, explains:Â â€œManitowoc designs all its cranes to be quick and easy to set up, and their smooth movement makes them ideal for picking almost any load. Add to that our unique spreader and we can be very efficient on almost any job site, keeping time and cost to a minimum for our customers.â€
Universal Cranes used its Grove GMK7450 to build the 64 m long Bruce Highway Bridge near Calliope in central Queensland. The 450t capacity crane installed 22 precast concrete beams, measuring 33m long and weighing 74t, across a two-week period.
The GMK7450 was transported to the job site from its base in Brisbane, 450km away. The crane unloaded each of the 22 beams from Universal Cranes own Heavy Haulage Transport Fleet and then installed them.
The GMK7450â€™s Mega Wing Lift capacity enhancing attachment meant the crane could be rigged in less than four hours. The crane could also be repositioned in less than two hours, partly due to its superior carrier, which allows it to be moved while partially rigged.
The Bruce Highway Bridge is part of the AUD150mn ($135mn) Calliope Crossroads project, which will see main contractor Golding Contractors upgrade a large portion of the regionâ€™s road transport network.
On its other bridge project, Universal relied on two Manitowoc crawler cranes, a 400t capacity 16000 and a 100t capacity 12000, to build the Robinson Road over-pass in central Brisbane.
The Manitowoc 16000 erected 18 precast concrete beams, measuring 34m long and weighing 58t, in 24 hours, minimizing outage on the rail line. The 12000 was used to rig the 16000 once on site, and provided general support.
Universal Cranes used specially-designed rigging systems on each project. For the GMK7450 a purpose-built lattice spreader was used to lift the large loads with sling angles as low as five degrees against the beam inserts, reducing stress on each insert while perfectly balancing the load. The unique set up also reduced rigging time as the crew could quickly and easily sling the beam.
A lightweight spacer beam system was used with the Manitowoc 16000 crawler crane, which enabled the crew from Universal Cranes to perform rigging separation quickly.
The Robinson Road overpass is part of an AUD199mn ($180mn) open level crossing replacement project, being run by main contractors BMD Constructions and SMEC Australia.
Founded in 1993, Universal Cranes is one of the largest privately owned crane hire companies in Australia. Its fleet includes mobile, crawler and tower cranes with capacities from 7t to 600t. The company operates six branches located across the country.