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News Release

Grove cranes rebuild Tasmanian bridge in three days

10/25/2013 Tasmania, Australia

Two all-terrain cranes from Grove have dismantled and then built a 92 m bridge in Tasmania in just three days. The GMK5220 and GMK5100, which are two of the biggest cranes in the Australian state, worked in windy coastal conditions to remove old sections of a railway bridge and placed new 30 t concrete spans. The work was completed ahead of schedule.

A key reason for the project’s speedy success is the Grove cranes’ ease of use and quick set up, as Dan Pfeiffer, general manager at crane owner Pfeiffer Cranes, explains.

“The thing we love about the cranes is how easy they are to operate, they’re amazingly user friendly,” he says. “The GMK5220, in particular, is a big crane but it still offers great mobility thanks to all-wheel steering. And the Megatrak suspension system means off-road sites are no problem. The lifting charts of both cranes are invaluable and having a top notch Manitowoc Crane Care service technician in Tasmania is an added bonus.”

The bridge rebuild took place around the clock on the Don River in Devonport. The five span bridge, which dates back to 1886, carries Tasmania’s north western main line train network so work had to be completed as quickly as possible to limit the impact of a shut down.

The GMK5220 and GMK5100, which offer 220 t and 100 t capacities respectively, were selected for the job as they could perform lifts at much longer radii, reducing the number of set ups and moves, thus saving time on the job site.

Working at a 20 m radius, the 220 t capacity GMK5220 began by removing the railway panels, ballast and deck boards before lifting each of the five old spans onto trucks. It then installed the new 19 m long spans, before replacing the old deck and new rail panels.

Before work got underway, the main contractor, VEC Civil Engineering, built temporary falsework alongside the existing bridge to carry the GMK5220. The crane was carefully positioned on the falsework to evenly displace its weight and performed all lifts from just two positions. It was set up with its full 77 t counterweight.

The 100 t capacity GMK5100 was used in the hardstand area to load and unload trucks. The crane, fitted with its full 31 t counterweight, lifted 30 t loads at an 11 m radius.

During the work, Manitowoc Crane Care’s dedicated service technician based in Tasmania was on hand to help with any challenges at the job site. In addition, Manitowoc Crane Care offers a contact center that provides remote support 24/7 and this gave the contractor full confidence that any holdups in work could quickly be resolved. 

Pfeiffer Cranes purchased its GMK5220 in 2010 and the crane has been in almost constant use since then. Both it and the GMK5100 have worked on other infrastructure projects including the Brighton Bypass, and a host of general lifting jobs at hospitals, mines and industrial plants.

The GMK5220 is a five-axle, all-terrain crane with a 68 m main boom, which can be extended to 108 m with a jib. The GMK5100 also runs on five-axles and offers a 51 m boom, which extends to 88 m with a jib.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 117-year tradition of providing high-quality products and support services that are tailored to customers’ needs. Its 2019 net sales were approximately $1.83 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Manitowoc designs, manufactures, markets and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, boom trucks and industrial cranes under the Grove, Potain, Manitowoc, National Crane, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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