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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Ainscough Cranes called in for cautious kiln lift

Ainscough Crane Hire’s Heavy Cranes Leyland team has removed a redundant 130-tonne kiln section and replaced it with its successor on behalf Grayton Limited and Hanson Cement Works in Ribblesdale, Clitheroe. A fiercely competitive tender, Ainscough were able to demonstrate their engineering expertise and lifting capabilities to secure the contract. 


Incredibly complex in nature, the project itself took 18 months of planning and engineering from first accepting the job and surveying the site to planning and arriving at the site to complete the works. This is due to confined operating area, its location on a slope, and the extremely large nature and weight of the kiln section itself. 


Ainscough arrived on site on the 8th of January to begin rigging and employed the use of 24m of heavy duty EKKI mats to create a level platform for the 800t lattice boom crane, the heaviest crane in the company’s fleet, to operate on.  


In total, the crane had a very snug 18m of width to fit into, with outriggers positioned between 1 and 1.5m in height to level the slope. The section of the kiln replaced, is the main critical component of producing cement, it was 22m long and 4.6m in diameter and runs at a 4-degree angle. 


Taking three days to rig, once deployed, the crane operated with limited jib length, a radius of 26.5m and only a metre spare to raise the boom.  Once rigged, a further challenge the team overcame was having movements limited by the presence of a gas duct in front of the kiln. The lift itself took ten days, with four being written off due to high winds and additional work having to be carried out by Graytons. Ainscough left site on the 20th of January.  


Graham Lindley, Technical Manager at the Ribblesdale site, said: “As the UK’s leading crane hire company, we pride ourselves on being able to accept pretty much any contract. This project, however, was the ultimate test of our expertise. There were many factors at play with severe consequences for mismanagement, but by adhering to our Make the Safe Choice principles we completed the job with minimal complications. 


“However, through rigorous planning and perfect execution, we were able to safely and properly remove and install the kiln section working closely with the Grayton team. I’m incredibly proud of the team for the professionalism displayed throughout the process. I’d also like to thank Grayton Limited and Hanson Cement for their close collaboration, brilliant organisations to work with who enabled us to complete our work smoothly and safely.” 


Cody Sixsmith, Account Manager at Ainscough said: “This difficult project underlines so much of what makes Ainscough unique in our offering. We’re the number one lifting solutions company in the UK for a reason, through our industry-leading lift experts, our drive to succeed and through to our collaborative work with customers to deliver the best service for them. I’m proud of my team for their commitment in securing such a competitive job and exhibiting why Ainscough is best at what we do.” 


Carl Meale, Operations Director at Graytons said: “This really was a challenging project during the planning stages and the execution stage. It had everything, changes to plan, changes to scope, bad weather conditions and short daylight operating conditions. Throw into that an already complex lifting operation it was a great challenge. 


Thanks to the support of Graham and the whole of the Ainscough team along with close collaboration between our onsite rigging team, this job was completed safely and successfully. We look forward to the next challenging project which I am sure won’t be too far around the corner.” 



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