“It was definitely a job for our most powerful all terrain cranes,” reports Sunil Makad, director of the Indian crane hire company Steel Carriers. His team was tasked with lifting a 50-meter-long, 50-tonne steel structure for a DPC (deep pan conveyor) to a height of 60 meters between two silos at a cement works in Gujarat. And they had to perform the lift at a radius of up to 40 meters. This clearly called for a tandem lift, and Steel Carriers chose its AC 1000-9 and its AC 500-1 for the job.
The job was part of a project to repair cyclone damage at a cement plant in the Indian state of Gujarat. One part of the conveyor bridge had been so badly damaged that it had to be completely replaced. “Obviously, we could have used one of our big Tadano lattice boom crawler cranes for this job,” explains Sunil Makad. “But in this case, the all terrain cranes proved to be the better option. That’s partly because we could get them to the site quicker, and partly because they were easier to position in the very limited space available at the site.”
The challenge: Tandem lift using cranes with different configurations and lifting capacities
It took Steel Carriers three days to transport both cranes and 17 support trucks from its branch in Mumbai to the job site in Gujarat. Once there, the seasoned Steel Carriers team had both cranes set up and ready for the lift in just two days. They set the AC 1000-9 up in the HA‑SSL configuration using the 100-meter main boom and Sideways Superlift because there was not enough space at the site to assemble a fly jib. They were, on the other hand, able to set the AC 500‑1 up in the WIHI-SSL configuration.
“The differing crane configurations and the fact that they have differing lifting capacities made the tandem lift that much more challenging for the operators to execute,” says Sunil Makad. But he also knew that he could have complete faith in his operators and their skills. And he was right: the two cranes lifted the 50-tonne load to the required 60-meter height without a hitch, rotated the load by 90 degrees and set it down in the required position with surgical precision.
Despite the challenges and complexities involved, Steel Carriers needed only a five-man team for this lift: two crane operators, two assistants and one site manager. Together, without any outside help, they completed the entire operation – from setting the cranes up, to performing the lift, to dismantling the cranes afterwards – in just 15 days. “It just goes to show how quickly and efficiently you can get even very difficult jobs done if you have a highly skilled and experienced team and the right cranes,” Sunil Makad said. “That’s why, for me, the combination of our people and Tadano cranes always makes for the absolute dream team.”