Ainscough Crane Hire has further invested in its transport fleet with the purchase of four Volvo FM Globetrotter 420 8X2 trucks complete with Fassi 545 cranes.
The rollout of the vehicles and cranes will be completed over the next month, and will see the new additions replace older models at multiple Ainscough depots.
In line with Ainscough’s Make the Safe Choice culture of continuous safety improvement, the vehicles have been fitted with DVS 20/20 windows to compliment the vehicles standard safety features, which include a four-way camera system and being Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) accredited.
Each vehicle is also Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) compliant.
The cranes have a capacity to lift 2.5 tonnes at the max 16.3 metre reach. Their primary role will be for laying crane mats, and moving ballast and tackle.
The trucks have also been fitted out to ensure high specification comfort for drivers and feature a fridge, microwave and television as well as comfortable seating, fully automatic transmission and climate control.
The inclusion of the I-Shift gearbox in the trucks maximises vehicle performance by boosting fuel efficiency and increasing driver productivity through the use of a clutch-free system.
Two of the vehicles will be located at Ainscough depots in London with the others based in Ainscough’s Leyland depot, covering the North West and North East regions.
Marcus Gough, Head of Transport commented: “Our aim is to create a younger and more equipped transport fleet for all our team, and so we have undertaken an investment programme in our transport portfolio over the last 24 months. This is set to continue in line with our safety culture and our commitment to improving our employees’ working environment and the service we offer our customers.
“These new Volvo vehicles will give our team extra comfort when they are on a job and will enable us to maintain the highest levels of efficiency, service and safety across our depots.”
Ainscough Crane Hire operates the largest and most diverse range of mobile, crawler and mobile tower cranes available anywhere within the UK.
With well-maintained vehicles that can be employed either as single units on a one-off lift or as part of a multi-unit a contract project, Ainscough is able to deliver the most joined-up solutions available in the industry – along with the very highest standards of customer service, lift design and crane operation.
People around the world have recently been celebrating the historic events of July 1969, when man first stepped on the moon. For Dave Williams, contract lift manager at Ainscough Crane Hire’s Bristol depot, the month also marked a much more personal anniversary.
That month aged just 15, Dave began his career working for crane company Grayston White & Sparrow which was bought in 2000 by Ainscough Crane Hire.
“I was fifteen years old and began as a trainee crane driver,” says Dave. “We didn’t have telescopic cranes and all the jib sections had to be put together piece by piece – it was a lot different than the technology we have now. I began working on a lot of precast concrete buildings, and immediately knew this could be a career I could be very happy in.”
Dave said: “Ainscough Crane Hire’s Make the Safe Choice approach to safety is second to none, and there is always support for members for staff if they need it. It’s a wonderful place to work.”
Dave currently undertakes a large portion of his work on infrastructure projects overseen by organisations such as Network Rail, Highways England and National Grid.
“Even after all this time I still really enjoy the work I do,” continues Dave. “Being a contract lift manager gives you a lot of freedom to work in different places and environments. I’ve formed great relationships with a lot of our clients, and it makes you feel proud to work with your team to deliver a great service.
Dave’s 50th anniversary was recently marked by a celebration with his colleagues where he was presented with a long service award and gifts marking his service to both Ainscough and the wider crane industry.
Matt Jarman, Bristol depot manager, said: “It was a privilege for us to present Dave with his long service award to mark his 50 years of service. It is all credit to him that he has managed to sustain such a long career in a competitive and complex industry. This reflects in the dedication and experience that he brings to every job which is really appreciated by the regular customers that he has built relations with over the decades”.
“Dave is also popular within the team, relying on his experience and expertise when complex lifts need to be planned and advice is required on site. The amount of people that Dave has supported over the years are too numerous to mention. I’d like to offer congratulations from everyone at Ainscough for reaching this landmark – we are very proud to have him on our team.”
Ainscough Crane Hire was enlisted by leading infrastructure services, buildings and housing & developments group Kier in order to activate an emergency drawdown plan at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Range, Derbyshire.
Following several days of heavy rain in the Derbyshire town, the reservoir was at risk of collapsing with local residents evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure.
Ainscough’s Manchester depot received a call on Friday 2nd August to support Kier’s efforts to repair the reservoir on behalf of the Canal & Rivers Trust.
Ainscough’s three man team – crane operator Dave Smith, crane supervisor John Finnegan and slinger Ian O’Donnell – had to be at the reservoir within the hour, and duly arrived in time to complete the required work.
A 55t crane was used to lift three 12-inch submersible pumps and associated pipes over the reservoir bypass channel from Reservoir Road and to place five generators on Reservoir Road.
Kier, along with other members of its supply chain, assisted in securing the dam by removing three weirs, providing 700 tonnes of stone for the RAF to drop using a chinook helicopter and 400 tonnes of grouting. Numerous roads and access points were also installed, including a new road which ran from one side of the reservoir and enabled the water pumps to be installed and maintained.
The work all parties undertook caused water levels to be reduced by 10.7m, resulting in the situation being declared safe and residents being allowed back home.
Gary Rathburn, Ainscough Crane Hire’s Manchester depot manager, said: “We received a call to get to Toddbrook Reservoir within the hour, and we were soon ready on site and working with the Kier team to set up the pipe system and help the local residents get back into their homes.
“We’re thankful we were able to lift the pumps into place as quickly as we were and assist Kier in reducing the water levels before the situation got any worse. This was a perfect illustration of how at Ainscough we can mobilise our fleet quickly during emergencies to support the needs of clients and communities throughout the country.”
The emergency scheme was led by Eddie Quinn, director at Kier Regional Civils, who said: “The situation at Whaley Bridge was tense and at times dangerous. I’m very proud of our supply chain, including Ainscough Crane Hire, for quickly coming together to help the Canal & River Trust and residents in the area. Working together we quickly got the first water pumps into service were able to pump water out of the reservoir quickly.”
Ainscough Crane Hire, the UK’s leading lifting solutions company, has reaffirmed its commitment to Make the Safe Choice through the introduction of ‘stand down’ events in order to further raise awareness amongst its workforce of the key ways site safety is secured.
Safety stand downs are onsite events that see employees take time off from their usual work in order to discuss common issues of safety, potential recurring hazards and the overall company safety culture.
The first stand down was held at Ainscough’s Leyland depot, with the second taking place in Ossett, with further sessions planned for Operators and drivers.
The main purpose of these initial two sessions was to review all safety learnings from the past 18 months within Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes and transport division. Both sessions provided a valuable opportunity for team members who work in different parts of the country to take part in a forum for discussion in which they were invited to ask questions, discuss challenges and share insights into how best to maintain superior safety standards while delivering often complex lifting operations.
Ainscough has introduced stand downs to reinforce its guiding principle of Make the Safe Choice and to draw increased attention to:
• Ainscough’s Life-Saving Rules: nine directions specially design by Ainscough for its staff to follow in order to work towards maximum safety on site
• The importance of toolbox talks, focussing on a particularly important health and safety aspect of the job
• Common hazards on construction and infrastructure sites, and what lessons can be learned from safety incidents throughout the industry
• Best practice in maintenance regimes, fall protection and PPE
The stand downs also enabled team members to be updated on forthcoming projects.
Additionally, the events provided an opportunity to celebrate those employees whose approach to safety already goes above and beyond. In Ossett, Andy Clark, Planning and Technical Support Manager, was honoured with a Values Champions award for his commitment to ensuring the highest standards of safety on every project he works on.
Andrew Spink, Operations Director Heavy Cranes said: “I would like to thank each member of our team who took part in the stand downs in Leyland and Ossett. The insights shared at these two events demonstrated that every member of our team is fully committed to continually improving our safety offering, always making the safe choice and working to our life-saving rules in order to support the onsite wellbeing of each other, fellow workers and members of the public.
“It was particularly rewarding to see our team’s commitment to our life-saving rules. These are simple but effective rules which one day might just make the difference between someone getting home from work or not. The first two stand downs were both hugely productive, and we look forward to hosting more in the months ahead.”
Ainscough Crane Hire’s Bristol depot has worked with Briton Fabricators to lift a new bridge into place over the M49 at Avonmouth.
The lift formed part of a £49m Highways England project to construct a new elevated junction for the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area. Ainscough was hired by Briton Fabricators on behalf of main contractor Galliford Try.
The M49 was due to be closed for the whole weekend, from 8pm on Friday, 21 June to 6am on Monday, 24 June, to enable the delivery of this key part of the project, which involved lifting bridge beams, decking and other infrastructure into place immediately next to the existing bridge at Farm Lane.
But once the 500t crane had manoeuvred the three bridge beams into place, two 55t cranes set about installing the decking, and work was completed ahead of schedule and the M49 reopened to traffic around mid-morning on Sunday, 23 June.
Located to the south of the Western Approach Distribution Park and west of the village of Easter Compton, the two bridges will be linked into a single roundabout spanning the motorway with new access and exit slip roads connecting fully with both northbound and southbound traffic.
Derek Gow, sales and marketing director at Ainscough Crane Hire said: “Our team was very proud to work on this major project on the M49. This was a complex operation that had to be delivered in a tight timeframe, and that we managed to minimise disruption by completing the job a day early is testament to the high level of planning and collaboration by everyone involved in the scheme. I’d like to thank motorists for their patience while we delivered the work, and we look forward to seeing the scheme’s positive impact be felt across the South West in the years ahead.”
Nick Aldworth, Highways England’s southwest regional delivery director, said: “It’s pleasing to reach this stage of the project, and I’m delighted that we were able to complete such a complex operation ahead of schedule. In terms of partnership working, our project team worked hard to make the operation a success and that ultimately minimised the disruption for motorists using the M49.”
Nick Culshaw, operations director, Galliford Try, said: “This fantastic success is testament to the collaborative working between Highways England, Galliford Try and the many stakeholders involved in this project. The detailed planning and engagement led to the bridge being installed safely and nine hours ahead of programme, enabling the early re-opening of the M49 to the travelling public.”
Construction of the new M49 junction is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
The £49 million scheme will not only promote economic growth in this area of Bristol, but also reduce the numbers of HGVs and other vehicles on the local road network.
Fawcett, a 22 year old employee of Ainscough Crane Hire has been hailed an “inspiration” by a client as result of his role as a crane operator.
William, originally from Farnborough, lives in Harfield. Towards the end of 2016 while looking for work, an acquaintance who worked at Ainscough suggested he should phone the company to discuss any openings.
After having researched the company online, William phoned up his nearest depot and shortly after had a successful interview with Colin Day, the West London depot manager. William officially joined Ainscough on 2nd February 2017, and has since enjoyed a range of different responsibilities within the company.
Beginning by delivering diesel, William soon earned both his slinging ticket and his crane ticket. He currently operates a 55t crane, and is working on projects throughout London and the South East.
“The past two years at Ainscough have been brilliant,” said William. “It’s been a really rewarding experience to learn a trade and rise through the ranks. Everyone at Ainscough is very supportive and have helped with my training. It’s really rewarding to work as part of a team to help deliver a successful project.
“One of the great things about operating a crane is the variety of lifts you carry out. We do a lot of work on construction sites, but probably my favourite job so far was taking down an art installation at the Tate Modern. As it took place inside a gallery it presented some challenges, but it was great to work on a lift in such impressive surroundings.”
A recent job involved lifting modular welfare facilities at for Balfour Beatty’s Magna Carta Cooper’s Hill retirement village project onto a series of lorries, during which William drew exceptional praise from the client.
John Whitham, operations manager, Balfour Beatty said: “William is an inspiration to all young people hoping to develop a career in industry. He told me the story of how Ainscough gave him a chance and trained him as a crane operator. The excellent manner in which he undertook his duties is testament to the high standard of that training. I’m in no doubt that William will continue to do well in his career – he is a credit to both himself and his employer and Ainscough should be very proud to have him.”
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