Hy-Ten, the exclusive UK manufacturer and supplier of Bamtec, concrete slab reinforcement that comes in a roll, has called on Birmingham-based lifting equipment specialist Lloyds British to oversee a crane runway replacement project.

According to Keith Johnson, project manager for Lloyds British, who visited the site to assess the situation, the solution was complex for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the gantry was approximately 70m in length and the only access to the inside area of the gantry was at one end, this would mean that in order for a mobile crane to reach from one end of the gantry to the other it would need to reach a radius of at least 70m.

If a mobile construction crane were used, a large crane with a nominal capacity of 500t would be needed to reach from one end of the site to the other to lift the steel beams.

However, such a crane would not fit in the small area available and even if it could, Lloyds British would not have been permitted to use one, owing to the location being within 40ft of a mainline railway line. The railway network would not have allowed the crane to work so close to the line.

In addition, there was approximately 1,000 tons of steel bars and grating within the area of the gantry, where access to the gantry steelwork for the engineers was located.

There was also fixed conveyors leading were the steelyard into the factory adjacent to the gantry, that couldn’t be easily moved to allow access equipment to freely manoeuvre up and down the work area.

Lastly, the work had to be completed in a timescale so as not to disrupt the customer’s important production timescales.

Lloyds British, focusing on the first issue, devised a plan to use two davits, manufactured by its Rota division, which were mounted on each column and used to lift the old beams down to ground level, and then the new beams from ground level onto the top of the columns. The davits were then transferred to the next column and the process repeated, a very time-consuming and labour intensive process but one that worked extremely well in the circumstances. Lloyds British explained that each beam was slightly different in length to all other beams, and therefore every beam position and every lift had to be meticulously planned in order for the job to run smoothly.

The new beams being fitted were 75mm deeper that the ones being removed, therefore the cranes on the gantry would only run up to the start of a new beam. This created other problems when transferring steelwork around the work area, and also on the positioning of the access platforms.

The access platforms used had to be positioned in strategic places within the confines of the gantry area. These had to be lifted into place using the overhead cranes, and again due to the amount of steelwork cluttering the work area, they only had limited movement until a number of beams had been changed and one of the cranes had been transferred onto the new, higher steelwork.

A schedule was adhered to for every move undertaken for the beams and access equipment, so the movement of equipment followed in order.

The job, which commenced on 14 December, was completed with a 10-day timescale before Christmas.

Ryan White, managing director of Lloyds British said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the contract by Hy-Ten.

"With our team of hugely qualified engineers and expertise we were able to plan meticulously the intricate details of the job.

"Due to the constraints of access and manoeuvrability around site, the job did start slowly, however with the dedication from the engineers, the work was completed on Christmas Eve, to the customer’s satisfaction"

Last year, Lloyds British Training expanded its training offering with the addition of open courses at its refurbished training centres across the UK.

The business, a division of Birmingham-based national lifting equipment and certification specialist Lloyds British, offers ‘state of the art’ training suites located within their branch network.

These are found in Wednesbury, Wigan, Rotherham, Dartford and Southampton. More centres are planned, with one in Newcastle upon Tyne opening in the New Year.

Lloyds British Training is introducing a range of open courses to complement their highly commended 3 day LEI (Lifting Equipment Inspection to thorough examination) course which is currently running in all centres.

Following recent accreditation as an ECITB Approved Provider they are now offering the much sort after CCSNG Passport to Safety course programme. Paul Whitehouse, group training director explained: "We are delighted to be offering such a wide variety of courses, we can be called upon to train anywhere in the world and our expertise and reputation are the foundation of our training and consultancy services".

It marked the end of a busy year for the business. Earlier in 2015, Lloyds Somers, the manufacturing division of Lloyds British, set a rail industry milestone.

The company designed, manufactured and supplied an 80 tonne, 23 metre rail vehicle turntable, as well as a bogie test turntable, for Hitachi Rail Europe’s new train manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

According to Lloyds, it is the first time in 50 years that such a large piece of bespoke rail equipment has been constructed in the UK. The consultancy and development on the project was handled at Lloyds British’s West Midlands-based design headquarters in Wednesbury, and manufacture taking place at the organisation’s Swansea facility.