A team from Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes Division has completed a complex multi-crane lift of a gantry crane for leading metal recycling company EMR at its Tilbury Dock site on the Thames estuary.

Working for specialist German engineering company Kocks Ardelt, the Ainscough team first offloaded the gantry crane components from a delivery coaster using a 750-tonne and a 500-tonne crane. They were then assembled on site using other, smaller cranes from the Ainscough fleet before the final lift of the main 285-tonne gantry boom was undertaken, raising it to some 32 metres above the quayside.

Using four 500-tonne Liebherr LTM1500-8.1 cranes, each fitted with full 165-tonne ballast and guyed main booms, and a 100-tonne crane positioning the supporting columns, the cranes installed the gantry crane as part of a series of lifts over a four week period.

The new gantry crane becomes the third operating at the site which is a key part of EMR’s logistics network through which it recycles around 10 million tonnes of scrap metal and other materials every year.

Working on an operational site, the four cranes were required as access and space constraints meant that the load needed to be divided between the four machines rather than using fewer, larger cranes. The four crane configuration was also a more economical approach for the customer.

Mario Martins, Project Engineer, who oversaw the lift on site, said: “It was a very complex situation to have four cranes lifting in unison in this way. The weeks of planning and work on site came down to the final lift and it went like clockwork.

“The overall project was a great example of how detailed planning, professional operators and the right range of machinery are combined to deliver for our customers. It was a great project to be involved with.”

Mark Reardon, MD of Kranunion UK, the parent company of Kocks Krane, added: “We chose Ainscough for this lift due to their experience and professionalism, this was a complex four point lift that needed to be completed as smoothly as possible. The lift went without a hitch and we would not hesitate to use Ainscough Crane Hire again.”


Ainscough Crane Hire and Murphy completed a number of challenging lifts to deconstruct and then reconstruct a major road bridge in Hoole, Chester, which reopened three days ahead of schedule.

The major work was carried out over two weekends in co-operation with Murphy on the Brook Lane Bridge in Chester, where a Liebherr LTM 1750 was used before Ainscough returned a week later with an LG 1550.

The crane was set up on a platform built on 1000 tonnes of stone which had to be put in next to the roadway to enable the crane to sit on to 5m. Given its position and tight parameters on the road where the rigging was set, space was limited.

Despite the challenges, the high-risk project went to plan and the team lifted 2 x 18m, 91 tonne L-Shaped arched parapet units with wires and 130 tonne spreading beam up from on a slope as it inserted more weight on one side than the other, whilst being lifted at a 32m radius.

The project began in September and the bridge was reopened at the beginning of May by five-year-old Harry Minnery of Newton Primary School because he had been captivated by the nine-month project.

Dave Baxter, Heavy Crane Division Technical Contracts Manager, said: “The available space for the crane & precast items was very limited, planning & positioning was crucial for the execution of the lifts. The Liebherr LG 1550 was rigged on 56.0m of main boom & the 31.5m derrick mast. The crane superstructure carried the normal 160.0te of counterweight & used an additional 180.0te’s of Derrick counterweight for the main lifts. With superstructure, the main boom, backmast & the counterweight a total of 480.0te of equipment was on the very narrow site. It was a successful challenging job helped by the Ainscough Crane Hire & Murphy team spirit.”

Murphy site manager, Jamie Skillin, said: “We’re really pleased to finish ahead of time as we know local people have experienced a bit of extra traffic in the area because we were on site. I’d like to thank them for bearing with us while we carried out this essential replacement bridge work.”


An Ainscough team from the Coventry depot, with support from the London Hire Centre has completed work at a new multi-million pound sports and leisure complex in Oxfordshire.

The South West Bicester Sports Village is a six month £3 million scheme comprising a two-storey sports and events pavilion, grass rugby pitch, tennis courts and the construction of a new cricket hut. Associated work includes utilities systems, landscaping, security fencing, floodlights and access roads.

A Liebherr LTM 1150-6.1 all-terrain mobile crane was used to install eight box culverts which will help with the flood relief at the site of the areas redevelopment. Each culvert weighed 23.5 tonnes and Ainscough were contracted by Bridge Construction Ltd for the one-day contract lift.

Kevin Barlow, Contract Lift Manager for the London Hire Centre, said: “This was a project that required a range of skills from within the company network.

“Being able to rely on Ainscough to assemble the most appropriate team of lift operators and planners is one of the key things our customers look for and, once again, we were able to deliver on our promise. The new sports centre is a superb facility and we’re sure the people of Bicester will love it.”

Ben Helsby, of Bridge Construction, said: “The new Sports Village is linked to a new housing estate being built in Bicester and we are building the facilities, including a car park and service yard associated with that.

“Working with Ainscough we needed to place a culvert crossing a brook that runs through the site to get access to the car park and the job was spot on, it went really well.”


Substantial progress has been made on a crucial element of Bolton’s new, state-of-the-art transport interchange.

The first steel span making up the ‘skylink’ bridge, which will connect the interchange with Bolton railway station, was lifted into place last night last week by a 750 tonne crane from Ainscough Crane Hire. The work was completed outside of rail timetable hours to minimise disruption to passengers.

The span is 3.6 metres high, 3.8 metres wide, 20.1 metres long, weighs 30.5 tonnes and oversees the interchange’s bus apron.

The span was transported to the interchange site last month on the back of a trailer and, since then, has remained at the Newport Street compound for preparation and cladding.

Following this successful installation, the remaining three sections of the 100m bridge will be lifted in to place during overnight works in the coming weeks.

The construction of the bridge is being carried out by Murphy Group, under the project management of Network Rail, on behalf of Transport for Greater Management (TfGM).

TfGM Committee Chair, Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “The skylink bridge is a vital part of the interchange project and will provide much greater integration between bus and rail services, which is a key motivation behind the entire scheme.

“So the installation of the first section really provides an obvious landmark and demonstration of progress.

“When complete later this year, the new interchange will transform a key gateway into the town centre and provide much-improved facilities for passengers.”

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The new interchange is now really coming together and this first piece of the connecting bridge shows how the huge project fits into place in our redevelopment of the town centre.

“The skylink bridge will provide a seamless link connecting the railway station with the interchange. The whole project moves Bolton’s transport links into the 21st century and provides a fitting gateway into the town centre.”

The new Bolton Interchange will provide better passenger information and ticketing facilities and a safer, more secure waiting environment.

It will also offer improved links between the town’s bus services and rail station, as well as providing a far more attractive ‘gateway’ to and from the town centre.

The transport interchange is being delivered by TfGM in partnership with Bolton Council, and forms part of the regeneration of Newport Street.

The scheme is being funded by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund and will support wider regeneration plans in the area.