Up from under: an alternative way of lifting
18 May 2023
Lifting both from above and below the load was a requirement on a project at the Futuroscope Poitiers theme park in France.
With two cranes already on site and working from above, a need for extra lifting capability was met by providing it from underneath.
More than 100 new visitor lodges, called Ecolodgees, had to be lifted onto special trailers for transport into the theme park. NGE, a subcontractor to Futuroscope, asked Bovis to lift the huts without the need for another large crane, as a tower crane was already working on site. It sounds easy enough but with cranes already working overhead an alternative had to be found.
Heavy lift and transport specialist Bovis decided to lift the 12 tonne, 10 metre-long huts using Enerpac cube jacks. Doing it this way meant the production line assembly of the Ecolodgees could continue uninterrupted using one of the tower cranes.
The huts were assembled next to the park, standing on integral legs 800 mm above ground. Bovis had to lift the huts to the required height of 1,700 mm to clear the special trailers that could then be driven underneath. Four compact Enerpac SCJ-50 cubic cylinders and a split flow pump were used.
Explaining the advantages
“We had about 100 Ecolodgee huts to lift,” explained Jérôme Lebrequier, industrial project manager and Cédric Nau, business manager, Bovis Centre. “The Enerpac cube jacks proved to be very efficient. They took up very little space on the Ecolodgee production line and only required two engineers to operate, making the whole project very cost-effective. Using the cube jacks has enabled us to eliminate the need for a second crane and also to make our work safer.”
The SCJ-50 cube jack has a lifting frame and a series of self-aligning lightweight steel blocks are inserted to increase height as hydraulic cylinders raise the load. Automatic incremental locking helps provide a stabilised, high-capacity lift. The manufacturer said it is a safer, more controlled, more efficient, and environmentally sound alternative to climbing jacks used with tropical hardwood wedges.
The jack’s minimum initial lifting height of 558 mm meant it could easily fit under the cabins that were set 800 mm off the ground.
Futuroscope is one of the most popular theme parks in France and the only one in Europe. It is a 60 hectare site offering 25 attractions. The Ecolodgee huts are an alternative to the park’s hotel.