Ainscough Crane Hire Take Part In Rail Safety Week

With a long track-record of delivering rail-related projects, and the first crane hire company with the 5-star RISQS (Railway Industry Supplier Quality Scheme) rating, Ainscough Crane Hire has welcomed the focus Rail Safety Week is bringing to the sector.

An annual event, Rail Safety Week is an industry-led initiative focussed on highlighting rail safety for all rail users. Whether that be workers within the rail industry, or rail passengers, rail safety affects us all. Rail Safety Week aims to address, engage and promote rail safety bringing the subject to the forefront of people’s minds across a dedicated week of activity. Those activities are delivered under the banner of “Building Safety Together”.

Working in partnership with leading names in the rail industry, health and safety conferences, site briefs and school safety events will be held across the UK in order to promote the importance of rail safety to each and every one of us.

“Ainscough’s work in the rail sector has safety at its core, it’s about much more than wearing orange.” Explains Dave Berry, group QHSE manager. “Some of our most complex projects have been delivered for rail clients and the approach is one of preparation and ‘no surprises’.

Rail work is generally complex requiring a multitude of activities and contractors to work seamlessly together as Dave explains. He said: “Performing lifts on rail possessions is something of a different animal to delivering a lift on a general construction site. First of all, the timing tends to be out of standard hours with most work occurring at weekends or evenings. Keeping the tracks open for as long as possible is vitally important to minimise disruption to services. This also means that deadlines are critical.

“We will often work on a lift window of just a few hours. The level of preparation which goes into a rail lift is right up there with the most detailed lifts we perform.

“Weeks in advance we will have a team working out the detail of lifts in minute detail. Method statements and risk assessments are prepared well in advance so that everybody knows exactly what to expect when it comes to the day of the lift.”

Among Ainscough Crane Hire’s recent notable rail possession works are:

A service-critical railway station remodelling contract at Gravesend, Kent for Spencer Rail. The works were delivered as part of the Southern Train Lengthening Programme: a major Network Rail investment programme to increase capacity on busy commuter lines into London.

A nine-month project to accommodate new overhead power lines at the Farnworth Tunnel in Bolton for Murphy’s. Part of the electrification of the Manchester to Preston route, the £20.8 million project saw one of two existing single-track tunnels re-bored as a twin-track tunnel providing the necessary clearance for the power lines.

Ainscough Crane Hire Focus On Haulage Sector For National Lorry Week

Last week marked the UK’s first National Lorry Week, which has been created to highlight the importance of the road haulage industry to the UK economy.

Administered by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), National Lorry Week included a Parliamentary reception event and a search for the UK’s ‘HGV Hero’. According to the RHA, 85% of everything we buy, eat, wear and use is moved by a UK-registered lorry, which contributes £74.5bn to the UK economy.

National Lorry Week also acknowledges that recruitment is an issue, stating that ‘more drivers are desperately needed’ to work in the sector.

As the operator of the UK’s largest heavy haulage fleet, Ainscough Crane Hire has welcomed the focus on the sector and the benefits it brings.

Jimmy Dixon, transport manager at Ainscough explained: “We operate the largest heavy haulage fleet in the UK and National Lorry Week is a great opportunity to promote our role in the sector.

“We have invested heavily in our fleet, all of which are exclusively Scania R580LA tractor units. All of our tractor units are registered with the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) that helps to monitor efficiency and performance.

“These are the best vehicles on the market and, as the market-leading company in our sector, we need our fleet to reflect our company values.

“We have 37 heavy haulage units and are operated by a team of 45 drivers. In the same way as the sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy, the haulage team are critical to our success. We simply could not deliver for our customers without the expertise that our haulage team bring.”

Photo from left to right, ballast drivers Richard Best, Peter Brooks and Eddie Pennock.

Ainscough Crane Hire Open Doors For Scotland Customer Open Day

The Falkirk Depot has become the latest Ainscough branch to open its doors and stage for the Scotland Customer Open Day.

Customers from Sir Robert McAlpine, Robertson Construction, Technip, Carillion, FCBC, Babcock Rosyth and Graham Construction were among the guests at the event which took place on Friday September 16th.

The company’s customers that are predominantly based in Scotland and the north east of England were given access to the depot and toured the facilities including the on-site workshop which manages vehicle maintenance, and were given an update of the latest safety standards and lift legislation. They also had the opportunity to view demonstrations of the latest mobile crane technology and presentations on the use of CAD and BIM by Ainscough’s lift planners.

Furthermore, visitors also got hands on experience of operating a crane with the ever-popular target practice challenge using a Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 from the Ainscough fleet.

Scott Grant, operations director for Ainscough in Scotland said: “The day was a great success with around 80 visitors from our key customers in attendance. The opportunity to have them in our depot and to pull back the curtain on our operations, is a great way of explaining the complexity of our world to our contacts.

“The balance between serious and fun activities is just right and we know the customers enjoyed it enormously.”

Amanda Wilson, hire controller at the Falkirk Depot added: “The open day concept is the ideal platform for us to demonstrate the breadth of our capabilities in a way which is engaging and enduring. It was a great day and one the customers found really useful.”

Graeme McCall, BIM Manager at Carillion Powerlines said: “Thanks again for a great day on Friday, very informative and thoroughly enjoyable.”

Ainscough Crane Hire Show Ingenuity & Technical Excellence

The ingenuity and technical excellence of the UK’s market leading national lifting solutions company, Ainscough Crane Hire, has come to the fore at the development of the new 320,000tpa EfW (Energy from Waste) plant at Allerton Waste Recovery Park in North Yorkshire.

Ainscough have a 37-month contract with Vinci, the main construction partner of Amey, the company which will operate the facility for 25 years on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council.

Their solution, to use a mobile tower crane from the Ainscough fleet, was a simple decision – but made all the more challenging by the fact that the crane’s base needed to be positioned at the bottom of a 28.5 metre deep concrete waste bunker.

On-site logistics meant that there wasn’t any other suitable lifting pad available.

With a Terex CC 2800-1, 600t crawler crane already in use on-site lifting items such as the plant’s 160 tonne boiler, it was decided to use this crawler crane to lift and lower the mobile tower crane into the base of the bunker. Once inside it would unfold into its operating position and carry out the necessary lifts to complete the construction before being lifted out again.

After numerous CAD drawings, method statements and the centre of gravity calculations had all been completed, the Heavy Crane Division’s crawler crane undertook the painstaking task of lowering of the Liebherr MK110 mobile tower crane down into the bunker. .

With limited rigging space and just 1.5 metres of clearance at either side, the planning paid off and the crane spent around ten weeks in the bunker before being removed.

Igor Scalas, Project Engineer for Heavy Cranes who planned the lifts said: “The task of lowering a self-erecting mobile tower crane into the bunker was very challenging. The parameters of the lift were extremely restricted meaning the planning required had to be both detailed and comprehensive.

“Watching the tower crane first rise and then disappear over the edge of the bunker was quite a sight. From start to finish the lift took around five hours and passed off exactly as we had planned.

“The skill of the operators was exceptional but it was very much a team effort with input from a range of people in the business. The client was very pleased with the solution we provided and has given us very good feedback on our work to date.”

Construction is expected to be completed in 2017 with the new facility becoming fully operational in early 2018. As well as reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by 90%, it will also generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 40,000 homes.

The project began at the end of October 2014 and is scheduled to finish at the end of November 2017. Ainscough Crane Hire was contracted for the entire 37 month period.

Ainscough Crane Hire Employ New CEO

U.K. based Ainscough Crane Hire has appointed Janet Entwistle as CEO following the decision of Robin Richardson to step down.

Janet comes with a wealth of experience. She has a track record of growing and developing businesses, most recently as CEO of property services group, Knight Square Holdings and prior to that as Managing Director of BT Fleet, a specialist fleet management business.

Janet says: “I am delighted to be joining Ainscough and look forward to working with the team to continue to grow and strengthen the business. In my first few weeks I will be meeting employees, customers and key partners to understand how the business works and what we can do to make Ainscough even better.”

Robin will support Janet and the Board over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. The Board of Ainscough would like to thank Robin for his energy and commitment over the past 3 years.

Ainscough Crane Hire Complete Bristol Metrobus Nerve Centre Assembly

Ainscough Crane Hire’s Bristol Depot recently completed the assembly of site offices and welfare accommodation for equipment rental specialist, A-Plant, at the site of Bristol’s emerging guided busway.

Situated on Ashton Vale Road close to Bristol City Football Club’s Ashton Gate stadium, the site office is the nerve-centre for operations creating the two mile long guided bus way. The bus way forms part of the MetroBus route from Ashton Vale to Temple Meads rail station and goes on to the city centre.

Using a 55-tonne Liebherr LTM 1055-3.2, the team assembled the ‘three-on-three’ full eco specification welfare cabins in an efficient manner, in line with the customer’s specification.

A-Plant’s Guy Hornsey explained his experience of working with Ainscough, saying: “From my first initial call to Ainscough’s Bristol Depot right through to completion of the lifting operations, I found that the entire team performed well above expectations. The appointed person carried out his visit the very next morning after I contacted the hire desk and the quote was with us the next day. The method statement and lift plan were submitted as soon as we placed the order.

“On the day of the operation, the whole site team got stuck in to assist in getting the job done professionally, safely and with a minimum of fuss.

“I have no hesitation in using Ainscough Crane Hire on my future projects – well done and thank you to all the team involved.”

Ainscough’s Bristol Depot manager, Matt Jarman added: “It is very pleasing to receive positive feedback from customers like this and we are delighted to have helped A-Plant deliver for this customer.

“We always act safely and our operations are customer-centred.

“The MetroBus project is a vital one for the city and a significant one for us to be involved with.”

Ainscough’s Bristol Depot is located close to the port of Avonmouth from where it serves the Bristol region and beyond.

Ainscough Crane Hire Lift Bridge In Lancashire

Leading lifting solutions company, Ainscough Crane Hire, has lifted a ‘Skew’ bridge on Blackpool Road in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, and taken it on its final recycling journey. A Skew bridge takes its name from the slanted angle at which it crosses its obstacle.

The ‘cradle-to-grave’ operation was delivered on behalf of Lancashire County Council as part of the Ansdell Bridge widening scheme which involved the removal of the bridge in two sections and it’s transportation to a recycling centre in preparation for its replacement.

The bridge carries the B5621 (Blackpool Road) over the Blackpool to Preston rail line in-between Lytham and Ansdell & Fairhaven stations on the West Lancashire coast. A railway possession was put in place to ensure the team were able to work safely to remove the bridge.

Working under strict time restrictions, Ainscough used a Liebherr LTM 1300-6.2 to lift the bridge sections onto a waiting trailer and a LTM 1095-5.1 to remove the sections once they had been delivered by road to the recycling centre in Wigan.

The crane required full ballast and went through a six hour rigging and de-rigging process which was difficult to plan owing to the site’s constraints.

Overseen by Ainscough’s team which included contract manager Ross Chappell, a lift supervisor, two slinger banksmen and the crane operator, the lifts were planned in meticulous detail during four site visits with the client and other contractors.

Paul Haigh, depot manager at Ainscough’s Lancaster Depot, and the appointed person on the lift, said: “Working with a rail possession always brings with it a focus on efficiency and timing. Everything needs to run like clockwork and there is often very little leeway.

“The removal lift of the skew bridge was the most challenging here as the highways were quite narrow and space was at something of a premium. This meant the solution for the lift involved the crane positioned on one side of the bridge, with the trailer on the other. The sections were then attached-to-and-braced-by the crane while the final cut was made. Once free, we lifted them onto the waiting trailer.

“The trailer then made its way to the recycling centre where a much more straight forward lift of the sections took place. The entire process took 10 hours which was shorter than we had planned for.”

Although this was the first project delivered for Lancashire County Council, since its completion, addition lifts have been carried out.

Mark Dunbar, area sales manager added: “It required a team effort and I’d like to pay tribute to the individuals who were instrumental in delivering this project.”

Ainscough Crane Hire’s Social Network Is Growing

The popularity of our social networks continues to grow. We now have 7,000 members on our LinkedIn page, it’s a great tool to communicate with customers, team members and potential employees of the future.

Social networks are powerful because when you share articles with your followers, you reach their followers and the audience grows very quickly.

We’d love to know what you think about the content on the LinkedIn page. What works? What doesn’t? Do you have anything you’d like to see up there, shared between thousands of people?

Let us know by contacting Gary Warner, on

Ainscough Crane Hire Take Part In Rail Safety Week - Ainscough Crane Hire