TopLift 2023: Vote for your favourite lift

Our annual TopLift competition returns as we reveal ten of the most impressive lifts from the last 12 months. Pick one as your favourite and vote for it using the link below


Equipment user: Mammoet
Equipment used: PTC200-DS ring crane
Location: Norwegian North Sea

International heavy lifting and transport specialist Mammoet handled the onshore load-in, marshalling and turbine assembly work for the Hywind Tampen wind farm, 140 km off the Norweigan coast. The 8.6 MW Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD turbines had to be lifted in port onto 107 metre spar buoys floating foundations due to the Tampen area seabed geology. This had to be done in port before the assembled turbines could be towed to the site. Weather conditions were an issue due to the large wind-catching surface of the components. Alongside a PTC200-DS ring crane, 24 axle lines of SPMT and a range of smaller cranes were used to handle the movement of components, as well as a Liebherr LR 1750 crawler crane to assist the PTC during lifts that required rotation of components.


Equipment user: Bylor
Equipment used: Sarens SGC 250 super heavy lift ring crane
Location: UK

The world’s biggest land-based crane, Sarens’ 5,000 tonne capacity super heavy lift ring crane nicknamed ‘Big Carl’, lifted the final liner ring into place at one of the nuclear reactors being built at the Hinkley Point C power station site in the UK. The ring weighed 304 tonnes. Inside the liner ring there are supporting brackets for a polar crane – a bridge crane installed inside the reactor building which will rotate through 360 degrees above the reactor and be used for refuelling. Bylor, the main contractor on site, is a joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics and Laing O’Rourke. It has completed all the reactor building except the dome-shaped ‘lid’ which is already completed and scheduled to be lifted into position in late 2023.


Equipment user: Eisele AG
Equipment used: Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 and LTM 1130-5.1
Location: Germany

Germany-based crane and engineering group Eisele AG needed a 750 tonne wheeled mobile crane to help install 30 tonne concrete girders in a new sports hall in Wiesbaden, West Germany. With no suitable unit available, a 130 tonne capacity Liebherr LTM 1130-5.1 was lifted into the under-construction building to assemble the four concrete elements located furthest from the crane. The remaining trusses could then be installed without any problems using a 500 tonne crane, in this case a Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1.


Equipment user: Tinlohi
Equipment used: Grove GMK5250XL-1 and GMK6400
Location: Spain

Spanish crane rental company Tinlohi used its Grove 250 tonne capacity GMK5250XL-1 and 400 tonne capacity GMK6400 cranes in tandem to dismantle a wind turbine in Palencia, northwest Spain. The GMK6400 was rigged with 35 tonnes of counterweight to support its maximum 60 metre boom plus a 30 metre fixed jib. It lifted just over two-thirds of the load.

Alongside it, the five-axle GMK5250XL-1 was also rigged with its maximum boom (78.5 metres) and fitted with a 9.4 metre jib. The counterweight was 30.5 tonnes for the GMK5250XL-1 to manage its role in supporting one-third of the load. Components were lowered from a height of 90 metres.


Equipment user: XCMG
Equipment used: XGT15000-600S
Location: China

Chinese crane manufacturer XCMG has sent the second unit of its XGT15000-600S, which it claims as the world’s largest tower crane, to serve a mega scale bridge construction project at the Changtai Yangtze River in China. The super large tower crane is designed to accommodate large scale construction projects. The first unit, which was completed in June 2020, was deployed to the Chao-Ma railway bridge project of the Ma’anshan Yangtze River Bridge which includes a railway and road. This second unit was sent from XCMG’s smart manufacturing facility in Xuzhou, China, to complete a series of steel tower hoisting and installation tasks, including lifting maximum weight of 270 tonnes to a height of more than 300 metres.


Equipment user: Artes Group
Equipment used: Kobelco CKE800G-2
Location: Belgium

Artes Group in Belgium chose a Kobelco CKE800G-2 lattice boom crawler crane to help with renovation work on Blankenberge’s iconic pier. Renovation of the iconic walkway will see its complete demolition and reconstruction. Artes Group was responsible for all the piling, concrete and restoration works. It began with a 1 metre high, sea-proof, U-shaped cofferdam erected around the whole structure. The cofferdam uses 28 metre AZ42-700 type piles, driven 18 metres into the sandy beach. The crane, bought in 2018, was fitted with a 2332VM vibratory hammer weighing 12 tonnes. It was rigged with 30.5 metres of main boom.


Equipment user: BSH
Equipment used: Tadano AC 3.055-1
Location: Germany

Germany-based crane service provider BSH used its Tadano AC 3.055-1 all terrain crane to disassemble a roller coaster at the Düsseldorf Rhine Fair. The ride had a maximum height of 32 metres and a track length of more than 1,000 metres. The compact design of the crane combined with a 50 metre boom was ideal for the project, the company said. Dismantling the ride involved loads weighing 300 kilograms up to 6 tonnes. To be able to lift the components, including the many 2 tonne track sections, the crane operator used boom lengths between 24 and the maximum possible 50 metres. The largest radius was 36 metres.


Equipment user: Marr Contracting
Equipment used: Favelle Favco M2480D
Location: Australia

Big Favco in Marr colours erected for megaframe install

Marr Contracting was awarded the subcontract to deliver specialised heavy lifting crane services on the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge in Brisbane, Australia. Located in Brisbane’s busy river, the key challenge was how to construct the bridge while minimising potential impacts on the ferries and vessels that use the Brisbane River daily. Marr will undertake 10 major lifts and has completed its first, lifting a 25 metre by 25-metre-wide working platform using its Favelle Favco M2480D tower crane. The heaviest lift the tower crane will undertake for the project is 180 tonnes and will be the 28 metre tall pre-fabricated steel masthead.


Equipment user: Heerema Marine
Equipment used: Thialf, semi-submersible crane vessel
Location: Baltic Sea

Heerema Marine Contractors has installed the first of 27 Vestas V174 – 9.5MW turbines at the Arcadis Ost 1 offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, offshore Germany, using a floating installation method, which the companies involved said is unique. The turbine was installed using Heerema’s Thialf semi-submersible super heavy lift crane vessel instead of the typical method using a jack-up vessel. After almost three years of development and engineering, in November 2022, the companies executed the first floating installation. Heerema said the floating installation method has two main advantages. There is zero seabed interaction, which is useful when working in areas of significant water depth or challenging soil conditions. It also has a shorter installation cycle.


Equipment user: ITER
Equipment used: Bridge cranes
Location: France

At the ambitious ITER project in southern France, scientists are hoping to demonstrate nuclear fusion as a safe, plentiful and commercially viable source of energy for the Earth. The ITER machine will become the largest tokamak or nuclear fusion reactor in the world, comprising around a million components and weighing around 23,000 tonnes. Central to the machine’s assembly are two sets of enormous yellow remotely-operated bridge cranes. The cranes are designed to travel 175 metres on rails and their main beams span 47 metres. In May 2022, the ITER assembly team completed one of its most complex lifts to date, using the bridge cranes to extract the first 1,380 tonne wedge-shaped pre-assembled segment of the vacuum vessel and slowly move it into the tokamak pit with millimetre accuracy.


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