DAVID JACOBI – 1960-2017

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of our much-loved and respected colleague David Jacobi.

David passed away peacefully at home after a very short illness. He leaves his wife and two grown up children.

David joined Ainscough in 2002 through a company acquisition having spent his entire career in the crane sector in a range of roles starting as a hire desk controller in the early 1980s in Wood Street East London.

David rose to lead Ainscough’s special projects team working on some of the most complex and challenging projects, not just for Ainscough, but in the sector.

Those of you who knew and worked with David will have known a man with exceptional knowledge and experience of working in the lifting industry. He was cranes through and through and possessed a rare blend of technical knowhow with a commercially astute outlook.

With a dry sense of humour and infectious passion for the job, David took great pride in each and every project he delivered. He would share his knowledge freely with peers and youngsters embarking on their careers alike communicating with both warmth and the gravitas derived from his years of experience.

Outside of work David was most comfortable on two wheels indulging his passion for motorbikes. He was a regular at track day meetings and had ridden for many years with a local club of which he was a senior member.

David will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

AINSCOUGH LIFT FIRST A14 RAIL BRIDGE BEAMS

Ainscough Crane Hire’s Cambridge Depot, working as part of the A14 Integrated Delivery Team for Cleveland Bridge, has lifted the first of a series of giant bridge beams over one of the country’s main railway lines as Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme successfully reaches another milestone.

Released by Highways England, the images show the steel girders being lifted over the East Coast Main Line railway last Sunday (19 Nov).

The photos, which were taken during the night, early on Sunday 19 November, show two pairs of twin steel girders weighing 100 tonnes each being lifted by a 500-tonne, CC2500-1 crawler crane with back up support from a Liebherr LTM1100-2 100-tonne mobile crane.

The work, which took place during a four-hour closure of the railway line between 2 and 6am, was completed with one hour to spare, after the railway’s overhead power lines were isolated and protected during the challenging manoeuver.

The steel beams will be joined by another three over the coming weeks and will form part of the bridge that will carry the new, 6-lane (three in each direction) A14 Huntingdon bypass over the East Coast Mainline once the 21-mile, £1.5bn A14 upgrade project is completed by the end of 2020.

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project director for Highways England, David Bray, said:

“The successful installation of the first two bridge beams over the East Coast mainline is the culmination of two years of planning and the fact that the team was able to do this in around three hours is a credit to the level of expertise at our disposal on this project.

“We’ve just marked our first year of construction and we’re a quarter of the way into our programme already. The improvements we are delivering between Cambridge and Huntingdon are vital for the local area and for the country’s economy. We set out to deliver world leading infrastructure improvements a year ago, this is exactly what we have been doing so far and we look forward to continuing to deliver our challenging programme in record time.”

Ainscough depot manager in Cambridge, Peter Wallis, added: “Rail possession work always has the additional pressure of the ticking clock as to when you must be finished. We are well aware that many people are relying on us to deliver on time and lifts like this is one of those times when we want people to hardly notice what we’ve done.”
Photographs courtesy of Highways England

AINSCOUGH LIFT WORLD’S LARGEST LIVER BIRD

Ainscough Crane Hire’s Wirral Depot has completed the lift of the world’s largest Liver bird at the site of Liverpool’s new major retail development – Liverpool Shopping Park – on Edge Lane, the city’s main arterial route linking the city centre with the M62.

The 11 metre tall bird has been constructed from steel sections made to look like Meccano components. The shopping Park was formerly home to a Hornby toys factory which manufactured millions of Meccano sets until it closed in 1979.

The lift was completed using a Liebherr LTM 1055 and which lifted the sculpture in one single section.

A joint commission by The Derwent Group, Liverpool City Council and Spin Master – global children’s entertainment company and makers of Meccano, the sculpture has been designed by internationally-renowned artist Emma Rodgers.

The new Liver Bird took more than a year to design and manufacture, used seven tonnes of steel and involved more than 1,000 hours of metalworking. The new Liver Bird is expected to be a popular landmark for the local community.

Paul McCabe depot manager of Ainscough’s Wirral Depot said: “More often than not, our work becomes invisible once construction projects are complete with steel work hidden from view for example. In this case, we’ve been involved in the centrepiece of the development which will stand there on display for many years to come.”

The Liver bird is the mythical symbol of the city of Liverpool with dozens of examples dotted around the city. Local folklore states that a pair of the birds are permanently resident in the city with one watching over returning sailors while the other watching those who remain on shore. Should the birds ever leave, the city will cease to exist.

The Bird’s unveiling comes as Liverpool Shopping Park’s first retailers open their doors and marks the start of a six-month period of ongoing store openings at the £100m development. Stores at the park will include H&M, Outfit, JD Sports, Smyths Toys, Boots and many more. Work is already underway on phase two, which will include Hollywood Bowl, a multi-screen cinema and a whole host of food and beverage operators, ready for an autumn 2018 opening. The park is expected to be the UK’s largest shopping park once complete at 727,000 sq ft and will create 3000 jobs.

You can view the time lapse video here

AINSCOUGH ASSISTS HISTORIC BARGE CONSERVATION EFFORT

Ainscough Crane Hire’s Wirral depot has played a central role in delivering the UK’s largest ever movement of historic canal vessels at the Canal & River Trust’s National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port, South Wirral.

Using a Terex AC350/6 the team lifted a number of historic narrow boats and barges, ranging in size from 33 to 72 feet in length, from the canal basin ready for storage and conservation. The boats date from the late 1800s to the 1950s, with the majority on the National Historic Ships Register, making this the UK’s largest ever movement of historic vessels. These boats are now old and fragile and have reached the end of their lives as operational and outdoor exhibits. The re-floating and move to a dry store starts a major conservation programme by the Canal & River Trust, the charity that runs the National Waterways Museum.

The work also included the moving of Mossdale the only remaining all-timber Mersey flat – a type of double-ended barge. Measuring almost 72ft by 14ft she sits in a giant metal cradle which was manoeuvred into the Boat Yard at the Museum so that she can be seen by visitors.

Other giants of the waterways, Scorpio and Speedwell, were pumped out, carefully lifted onto a lorry and taken to the museum’s new dry store ready for assessment and conservation plans to be decided.

Paul McCabe, Ainscough’s Depot Manager at Wirral said: “This was a delicate and careful operation which required patience and professionalism from our team. There is always pressure to deliver on lifts but with museum pieces, the pressure is greater.

“People are always interested in our work and a good crowd, including national and local media, gathered to witness the barges being lifted. It is always good feeling when we’ve delivered for our customers and in this case, our work plays a small part in the future generations’ understanding of our maritime history.”

The boats date back to the days of freight carrying on the nation’s waterways and include former horse drawn barges, narrowboats and an icebreaker. From Phoebe, a 1900s ‘white van’ of the waterways and rare example of a once common working boat to Aleida heroine of the Fenland Floods; and the massive chalk carrying barge to the iron plated ice breaker Marbury each boat is an important part of the country’s waterway heritage.

YOU ASKED TO SEE INSIDE…

Earlier this week we published an article about our new welfare vehicle fleet.

It certainly seems it caught your imagination as we’ve received a few messages asking to see pictures of the internal kit out.

Always happy to oblige, have a look at the gallery below.

The key part of the design of the vehicles has been the input from our operator team – the people who’ll use them on a daily basis. They know more about what they want and need out of their welfare vehicles more than anybody else in the business and they have led on the design.

The vehicles feature:
• Flat screen TVs,
• Kitchenette area with halogen hobs and running water
• Comfortable bed bunks
• Lots of storage
• Showers
• Toilets
• Integrated window blinds
• 240v power sockets powered remotely or by hook up

Like all of our vehicles, our staff take great pride in them especially as they have designed them to their own specification.

AINSCOUGH INVESTS IN WELFARE VEHICLE FLEET

Ainscough Crane Hire has announced a new investment in its operator welfare vehicle fleet having taken delivery of six new state of the art welfare vans. The vehicles host an array of features and creature comforts geared towards ensuring workers’ comfort and wellbeing while working away from home.

Five escort welfare vehicles will be available to the Heavy Cranes division, with one also assigned to the Cardiff depot. The Heavy Cranes operators assisted with the design of both the interior and exterior operator requirements, as the vans will be used by operating teams who often deliver projects for Ainscough’s Wind Energy Division which can be in remote locations.

The current Peugeot Boxer vehicles were selected because they are 300mm longer than the previous van, meaning the bed position can now run lengthways and ensure a more comfortable sleep for the drivers.

The vans can house two people and offer a seating area which then transforms into two extra-long beds, a kitchen space and a wet room style bathroom, complete with hot and cold running water. They each have two televisions and offer a clean and modern décor, as well as a curtain to create privacy if desired.

Furthermore there are two solar panels, a smart charger with upgraded alternator charging system, 2500w inverter improved charging capacity and latest high spec Lithium Gel batteries, therefore improving the demands put on the batteries charge and discharge.

Jimmy Dixon, Transport Manager at Ainscough, said: “The welfare of our teams operating in remote locations is of critical importance to the company. Well rested operators provide better, more efficient and safer service to our customers and the welfare vehicle fleet is a key part of ensuring we can maintain the best levels of service no matter where our expertise is required.”

DAVID JACOBI – 1960-2017 - Ainscough Heavy Cranes Division