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News Release

Manitowoc cranes speed up bridge builds for Universal Cranes in Australia

2/13/2014 Australia

Australian crane rental giant Universal Cranes has built two bridges using Manitowoc cranes from its fleet. The company used Manitowoc’s largest all-terrain crane, a GMK7450 for the first job and selected two Manitowoc crawler cranes – a 16000 and a 12000 - for the second.

Key to the speed of the two projects was the cranes’ quick set-up and precise load control, as well as Universal Cranes’s specially-designed lattice spreader, as Nick Morris, engineering and sales manager at Universal Cranes, explains:

“Manitowoc designs all its cranes to be quick and easy to set up, and their smooth movement makes them ideal for picking almost any load,” he says. “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.”

Universal Cranes used its Grove GMK7450 to build the 64 m long Bruce Highway Bridge near Calliope in central Queensland. The 450 t capacity crane installed 22 precast concrete beams, measuring 33 m long and weighing 74 t, across a two-week period.

The GMK7450 was transported to the job site from its base in Brisbane, 450 km away. The crane unloaded each of the 22 beams from Universal Cranes own Heavy Haulage Transport Fleet and then 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.

The Bruce Highway Bridge is part of the AUD 150 million Calliope Crossroads project, which will see main contractor Golding Contractors upgrade a large portion of the region’s road transport network.

On its other bridge project, Universal relied on two Manitowoc crawler cranes, a 400 t capacity 16000 and a 100 t capacity 12000, to build the Robinson Road over-pass in central Brisbane.

The Manitowoc 16000 erected 18 precast concrete beams, measuring 34 m long and weighing 58 t, 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 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.

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.

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 7 t to 600 t. The company operates six branches located across the country.
About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
Founded in 1902, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 20 countries. In the United States, the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain and Shuttlelift brands are sold and serviced by Grove US, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. In 2018, Manitowoc’s net sales totaled $1.8 billion, with over half generated outside the United States.
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