By Euan Youdale07 July 2010
UK-based King Lifting used a 130 tonne capacity all terrain crane to lift a ferry from the Serpentine river in Hyde Park, London.
The 11 tonne Solarshuttle is the only one of its kind in the UK. Its unique feature is that it can transport up to 40 passengers at a time using energy from the sun. The solar powered machine was designed in Germany where the biggest model, carrying up to 120 passengers, can be found in the port of Hamm.
Crane services specialist King Lifting, based in the South of the UK, was contacted by The Hyde Park Boathouse to lift the craft onto the river's edge for routine maintenance and hull inspection.
The job was a relatively straight forward one but it demonstrates the range of applications that a five axle crane in this capacity class is suited to.
The Manitowoc Grove GMK5130 was configured with 31 m of boom at 16 m radius. The outrigger base was set at 7.5 x 7.8 m and some 23.5 tonnes of ballast was used. A 5 m long spreader system was attached under the hook.
The vessel was moved from its mooring alongside a nearby jetty to the river's edge, adjacent to the crane. A team from King Lifting and the Boathouse used a small motorboat to push Solarshuttle into position before slings were attached to the four lifting points built into the vessel.
Weather conditions were near to perfect and the GMK5130 carried out the lift and place operation in some 30 minutes. Four cribbing supports, about 75 cm high, made up of stacked timbers, had been placed on the river's edge ready for the catamaran-style ferry to be lowered down on to them.
Once in place the £230,000 (US$500,000) vessel underwent maintenance over a 24 hour period. The next day, the GMK5130 drove back into position and lifted the ferry onto the Serpentine where it ferries up to 120,000 passengers every year.