Weighted lifting beam reduces tower crane downtime

4 August 2022

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Britlift lifting beam increases tower crane productivity for Kier at costal jobsite.

UK construction and infrastructure services company Kier Infrastructure, the civil engineering arm of Kier Group, used a heavy-duty lifting beam, from UK manufacturer Britlift, to improve efficiency by reducing crane downtime.

Kier Infrastructure approached Britlift to produce a bespoke lifting beam designed to add enough weight to lifting operations to increase the maximum permitted windspeed at a costal jobsite. The job was to construct a reinforced concrete building and the principle contractor was using four tower cranes, between 54m and 68m from ground level.

Due to the location on the coast, and with the maximum permitted windspeed for lifting standard size formwork being 6mps, high winds speeds meant that the cranes could not be used for 50% of the time.

The solution, Kier explained, was to add weight to the formwork to increase the maximum permitted windspeed. Initially it was debatable whether the weight of lifting accessories was to be included when calculating the maximum permitted windspeed but through collaboration with the client and their subcontractor it was deemed viable for the accessories to be added to the gross weight of the load.

Using the heavy-duty lifting beam increased the maximum permitted windspeed from 6mps to 8mps for standard size formwork, with a further increase when using smaller sized forms. As a result of increasing the maximum permitted wind speed crane downtime has been reduced and productivity improved.

Following the initial supply of the bespoke weighted lifting beam, Kier Infrastructure returned to Britlift for a more customised second lifting beam, which provided further lifting efficiencies.

Kier Infrastructure operates throughout the UK on standalone major projects and frameworks ranging between £2m and £2.6bn in value.