Self erector proves its worth

By Alex Dahm06 January 2009

Vanson Cranes VC42 self erecting tower crane

Vanson Cranes VC42 self erecting tower crane

To reduce site operating costs a developer in Scotland is using a self-erecting tower crane to increase operational efficiencies while reducing manpower costs.

Specialising in the construction of affordable private housing developments, Discovery Homes (Scotland) Ltd is building a three storey block of 44 two-bedroom apartments in Dundee. The VC42 self erector is from Vanson Cranes' VC range developed by Trevor Vanson, managing director, to address specific requirements of the UK construction industry.

As with most urban development projects there is often an issue with site access. Discovery Homes recognised the value of using a compact and manoeuvrable pedestrian operated tower crane to improve material handling efficiency.

"Having the availability of the VC42 enables us to build when we want to, rather than having to wait for a crane to arrive on site. Also, instead of undertaking the labour-intensive process of manhandling materials such as blocks, windows and plasterboard, we have instead used the VC42 to offload materials from the forklift truck and then lift them straight to the required area of the site. This has been a godsend and has had a huge impact on our labour costs, as one crane operator is now able to do the job that was previously done by 10 labourers. The crane also saves time, as we now use the VC42 to crane a whole pallet of plasterboard onto the site instead of getting three or four labourers to carry individual sheets," a Discovery spokesman said.

Using the VC42 has also reduced the amount of damage to delicate materials, for example, sheets of plasterboard and some 2.7 m wide doors.

The VC42 is designed to be simple and user friendly, allowing it to be erected in a small working envelope to reduce erection and dismantling costs compared with conventional tower cranes of a similar size, Vanson said. It is self-contained and has its own ballast handling derrick so there is no need for third party lifting equipment. The crane can be taken down and erected in a different position on the site in five hours.

The VC has independent hydraulic cylinders in the inverted position, to retain oil, to avoid the potential for crane collapse during dismantling, Vanson explained. During erection the crane can be slewed through the full 360ยบ, which reduces the time needed and also allows easier positioning.

Delivered directly to your inbox, World Crane Week Newsletter features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.
Long Reads
SHOW GUIDE: The Utility Expo
A host of products and services will be shown at The Utility Show, formerly ICUEE, in Louisville, KY.
Heavy industry big part of climate crisis solution, says Mammoet
Mammoet’s head of sustainability, Erica Gray, discusses engineered heavy lifting’s role as an enabler of the climate change transition
Top 5 private equity rental acquisitions 2021
We pick out five prominent acquisitions that have occurred throughout the year
Alex Dahm Editor, International Cranes and Specialized Transport Tel: +44(0) 1892 786 206 E-mail:
Mike Posener Sales Manager Tel: +353 860 431 219 E-mail: