Metal heads

22 April 2024

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Since writing my last editor’s comment I’ve been fortunate enough to see Mammoet’s PTC210-DS ring crane at the company’s yard in Scheidam, The Netherlands. It’s always exciting to see one of these big machines, that I’ve written and read so much about, ‘in the metal’. Indeed, my excitement grew as I made my way from Rotterdam Centraal station to Scheidam as you can see the crane from halfway across the city – a spectacular sight on Rotterdam’s skyline. There was a great view of it from my hotel room, too!

Despite the crane’s impressive stature once on-site the compact nature of its footprint becomes clear. It’s nestled on Mammoet’s quay, jutting out into the river Nieuwe Maas, where the crane can serve both of Cadeler’s jack-up vessels from a single position. Read more about the crane and the work it’s currently doing on page 26. The amazing photos hopefully go some way to conveying the magnificence of this marvellous machine.

I must also say a big thank you to Mammoet senior advisor Dirk Knoester who gave up his afternoon to show me around the site and, of course, the PTC210-DS itself. To speak to someone so knowledgeable about the history of cranes (he has worked at Mammoet for over 35 years) yet who is also so involved with the cutting-edge (and future) of heavy lifting is inspiring. Dirk, of course, is also a long-time Cranes Today reader and he kindly showed me his rare copy of the earliest edition in his collection – March 1974 – which he was given on a trip to the publisher’s office when he was just 14-years-old. You can read about Dirk’s history with Cranes Today in our 50th anniversary edition (November 2022).

Also in the ring cranes feature are some spectacular photos of Sarens’ ring crane – the SGC 250 – which has now lifted the dome onto the first nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C in the UK. I was fortunate enough to also see this crane first-hand at Hinkley Point a few years ago. Again, I could see the crane long before I arrived at the site – even from my hotel room in Bridgewater, some eight miles away!

Another crane I saw ‘in the metal’ this month was Ainscough Crane Hire’s new Liebherr 50-tonne capacity LTC 1050-3.1E Hybrid – the first of its type in the UK. Although compact in size the crane’s impact upon the lifting landscape could be massive.

The crane can be powered by Liebherr’s Liduro portable battery system – which opens up indoor applications in environments that diesel powered cranes can’t work. The LTC 1050-3.1E Hybrid is based down at Ainscough’s Bristol depot so would be well-placed, for example, to work inside Hinkley Point C now that the reactor’s roof is on. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I've enjoyed seeing some of the cranes in it.

Looking out of the hotel window: a crane editor's dream view
Dirk Knoester, senior advisor at Mammoet and loyal Cranes Today reader, with the first copy of the magazine in his collection: March 1974