The gantry system has powerful hydraulic rams, mounted within the lifting towers and connected by an overhead lifting beam. These are often operated in pairs so that when the load is suspended from four points, the towers run on a track system that allows each pair to move whilst bearing the weight of the load. Strand jacks are cable-based systems
mounted inside individual lifting towers, which hydraulics clamps to grip alternate wire cables and lift, lower or pull the load in the required direction, they provide very precise control, even when handling very heavy weights.
Gloucester-based Keith Rhodes Machinery Installations, is the recipient of the aforementioned Hoist Liftruck FR 25/35 extendible counterweight forklift in the UK. “Until now there has been little option other than Versa-Lift. We have operated
them for some time and find them to be very robust machines, but a little limited in some respects,” explains Chris Palmer, operations coordinator.
Floor loadings both indoor and outdoor are a major concern for specialist machine movers as heavy-duty forklifts running on solid tyres transmit their weight through a relatively small surface area. This weight increases dramatically when a heavy load is lifted by the machine and operators often have to use steel plates to spread the load. “Ironically many of the older engineering buildings have been demolished, and they often had purpose-built floors that were very strong,” says Palmer. “Now we find some modern industrial units – converted for a second use – have to have the floors reinforced just to take the static weight of the machine. We have a set of air skates, which can be useful in these situations, but you do need a flat floor with no obstructions for them to work properly.”