Two rubber-track, mini crawler cranes from Kennards Lift and Shift proved suitable for work in confined spaces during construction of a new marine maintenance facility on Sydney Harbour.

Spartan Steel Fabrication hired a Maeda MC405 unit to install an internal steel stairwell and used a smaller MC285 model on a rooftop to lift steel rafters. The $25 million Sydney Slipways project, which is being built by Lucas Stuart on a 1.9ha site at Rozelle Bay, includes a vessel maintenance and refit yard, wet working bays and associated facilities, as well as an office building for marine professionals, retail area and 150-seat restaurant.

After completion, the new marine maintenance facility in the Sydney Harbour will be the largest maintenance facility for power and sail boats on Sydney Harbour, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to Errol Reeves, Site Manager, Spartan Steel Fabrication, the Maeda units were ‘beautiful machines’.

There had been the following two reasons for using the larger unit to lift sections of the internal steel staircase:

  • They had to set the crane up on the road but could not block it because it is used non-stop by trucks going to and from a big storage terminal. By using the mini crawler crane, they were able to do the job and still keep one lane open to traffic
  • The boom on a larger crane would have been too big to get into staircase sections into the opening of the building

The smaller mini crawler crane was suitable for rooftop work. They lifted it up with a larger crane and used it for the roof steel. The diesel-powered mini crawler cranes can be used for a range of building, construction landscaping and other types of projects. Jobs can include concrete panelling, sheeting, cladding, glass installation, plant maintenance, positioning heavy furniture through windows from the outside of buildings and relocating valuable art works.

The larger model can lift 3.8 tonne, when it is working in close, with the arm at a radius of 2.7m, while the smaller, super-slim smaller model has a maximum capacity of 2.82 tonne at a working radius of 1.4m. Hirers can transport the smaller unit on a trailer behind a medium size 4WD or truck. A C2 crane operator’s certificate is needed for both machines.