Lifting the game

  • Giant tower crane erected on site at Edinburgh St James project
  • Huge lifting capacity provides greater opportunities to realise the benefits of DfMA 70:60:30
  • Record-breaking cranes have the largest lifting capacity for a crane of their type in Europe.

The biggest luffing jib tower crane in the UK – and one of the biggest in Europe – is gracing the Edinburgh skyline. It was erected just before Christmas to provide a highly efficient work horse in the construction of the £1bn Edinburgh St James shopping centre, which is being built by Laing O’Rourke.

At the site in Edinburgh, where Laing O’Rourke has been working for just over a year on the demolition works before moving in to the construction phase, the Terex CTL 1600-66 will be one of 8 tower cranes on the site. It has a lifting capacity of 66 tonnes, around four to five times larger than the average tower crane and a 75m jib length. The crane will be used in conjunction with the 7 other cranes on site as part of a carefully coordinated lifting strategy.

The crane’s huge capacity and lifting radius will mean it can lift and install the largest of loads that will be used on the project. Not only that, it will be used to erect and dismantle 4 other tower cranes on the project. Finally, it will feed the other cranes on site, lifting large DfMA components arriving on ‘flat racks’ from the company’s state of the art manufacturing facilities in Worksop and Oldbury, and transporting them to other areas of the site where the project’s other tower cranes will complete the installation; making the CTL 1600-66 a key component of the project’s entire logistics strategy.

The CTL 1600-66 crane is one of two such models in the fleet of Laing O’Rourke’s Select Plant Hire and is a key asset in the Group’s ambition to modernise the construction industry with its innovative approach to Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA).

The government says it will favour offsite manufacturing on all publicly funded construction projects from 2019 and will use its purchasing power to drive modern methods of construction across capital projects.

DfMA 70:60:30 places a greater emphasis on lifting and hook time on site and it is important that DfMA components are designed with a crane’s lifting capacity in mind. Vice versa, Select’s lifting specialists are working with crane manufacturers, Terex to ensure their new products are aligned to the demands that offsite construction puts on lifting operations.

“As well as having high-quality equipment, Select’s reputation is based on having unparalleled engineering expertise and the most skilled operations teams.  This expertise is constantly being enhanced by people development initiatives such as our Lifting Technician apprenticeship for crane drivers and our lifting engineer graduate scheme” explains Mark Herlihy, business leader, Select Lifting Solutions.

“As a lifting team, it’s incredibly exciting to be at the forefront of innovation, introducing new cranes such as the CTL 1600-66 and putting them to use of some of the most exciting projects currently under construction in the UK.

“The CTL 1600-66 is the latest manifestation of that approach and it really is enabling our team at Edinburgh St James to deliver a high quality solution, safely and efficiently for our client.”

Prior to the Edinburgh project the crane was used in the construction of the South Stand expansion at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium and in May 2018, Select’s other CTL 1600-66 crane will be erected on the Battersea Power station site, where it is one of 17 cranes being hired by the project’s main construction contractor.

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