05/06/2015 LTC 1045-3.1 mobile crane passes through the eye of the needle

A clearance of just 7 cm on each side – a Cadman Cranes LTC 1045-3.1 in a tunnel

A clearance of just 7 cm on each side – a Cadman Cranes LTC 1045-3.1 in a tunnel

An LTC 1045-3.1 from Cadman Cranes had to deal with a challenging approach to hoisting work for a waste water system in London. The only access to the site was a small tunnel under a Victorian railway bridge. That made the Liebherr compact crane the only crane which could even be considered for the job. The load that had to be hoisted weighed one tonne and had to be hoisted over radius of 27 metres.

There is a 90 degree bend right at the entrance to the small tunnel. With its all-wheel steering, however the LTC 1045-3.1 had no problem to get straight before the entrance to the tunnel. The team from the company Cadman Cranes based in Colchester, UK then lowered the boom as far as possible to reduce the crane's height. The retracted rear-view mirrors reduced the width of the LTC 1045-3.1. The hydropneumatic axle suspension was used to raise the crane slightly on one side since the road had slight camber and the compact crane would otherwise had scraped on the tunnel walls.

The crane driver steered the crane slowly and carefully through the eye of the needle. The crane was directed through the tunnel perfectly using its active rear axle steering and hydropneumatic axle adjustment. Above the crane there was a gap of 20 cm to the tunnel roof and just 7 cm on each side – and stayed the same throughout the entire eight-metre length of the tunnel.

After successfully completing the job, the compact crane then had to pass back through the tunnel again. And a week later the whole thing had to be repeated to complete another hoisting job.