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.


“The new Hoist Liftruck is a similar design, but also offers some extra features such as side shift whilst lifting
at full capacity, which is very useful for placing a machine precisely.” Palmer reveals that the spacing of the forks can also be adjusted hydraulically, making it safer for the operators, while the hoist itself is easier to use and control. “It has a maximum lift of 16 tonnes which is ideal for a lot of our work, and we find the digital dash display is very clear, making it simple to monitor the machine’s performance,” he adds.


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.”