Home > Case Study: Manitowoc cranes speed up bridge builds for Universal Cranes in Australia

Case Study: Manitowoc cranes speed up bridge builds for Universal Cranes in Australia

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article image Grove GMK7450 all terrain crane was used to build the 64m long Bruce Highway Bridge near Calliope in central Queensland

Manitowoc cranes were employed by Australian crane rental giant Universal Cranes during the building of two bridges. Universal Cranes used Manitowoc’s largest all-terrain crane, a GMK7450 for the first job and selected two Manitowoc crawler cranes for the second.

The two projects were speedily executed thanks to the cranes’ quick set-up and precise load control, as well as Universal Cranes’ specially-designed lattice spreader.

Nick Morris, engineering and sales manager at Universal Cranes, explains that Manitowoc Cranes Australia designs all its cranes to be quick and easy to set up, and their smooth movement makes them ideal for lifting almost any load. Universal Cranes’ unique spreader additionally allows them to be very efficient on almost any job site, keeping time and cost to a minimum for customers.

Bruce Highway Bridge

Universal Cranes used its Grove GMK7450 all terrain crane to build the 64m long Bruce Highway Bridge near Calliope in central Queensland. The Bruce Highway Bridge is part of the AUD 150 million Calliope Crossroads project, which will upgrade a large portion of the region’s road transport network.

The 450t capacity crane installed 22 precast concrete beams, measuring 33m long and weighing 74t within a two-week period. Transported to the job site from its base in Brisbane 450km away, the GMK7450 crane unloaded each of the 22 beams from Universal Cranes’ own Heavy Haulage Transport Fleet and installed them.

The GMK7450’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.

Robinson Road overpass

The Robinson Road overpass is part of an AUD 199 million open level crossing replacement project, being run by main contractors BMD Constructions and SMEC Australia.

Universal relied on two Manitowoc crawler cranes, a 400t capacity 16000 and a 100t capacity 12000, to build the Robinson Road overpass in central Brisbane.

The Manitowoc 16000 erected 18 precast concrete beams, measuring 34m long and weighing 58t in 24 hours, minimising 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 5 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.

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