A giant new $5 million hydraulic mobile crane, claimed to be the largest of its type in New Zealand, has been delivered to an Onehunga business this month.
Deane Manley, managing director of NZ Crane Hire, said his firm had bought the German-made Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1 crane.
That crane can lift 450 tonnes, reach 136m and was the most expensive the business had bought, he said.
"It's the biggest crane in the world that can go on the road in New Zealand without being disassembled," Manley said. "I can get a bigger crane but you have to take the boom off, which is a major job. This new crane could easily lift an elephant from one end of Eden Park to the other," he said.
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The boom is the long, telescopic or fixed arm that is used to move objects and the longer the boom, the more reach or height the crane has.
The telescopic boom on the new crane is 85m but that extends to 136m with the addition of the luffing fly, meaning it can almost reach the top of the 35-level ANZ Centre on Albert St in Auckland, Manley said.
The crane arrived by ship in Auckland on January 8 and its first job was on January 20, lifting massive transformers at the Port of Auckland from a ship to trucks.
"It did a second job on January 22 in Hobsonville, launching a boat by Yachting Developments and then its third job is today. Then, it will be working on a new bridge for the Puhoi-to-Warkworth motorway," he said.
Achieving that number of jobs in such a short time frame showed the crane's capability and usefulness, he said.
"Have a boom that long makes it extremely useful for inner-city work where spaces are tight and buildings are high. For example, many CBD air condition units being upgraded and we need to reach the top of tall buildings. We can do that a lot easier and more safely with the new crane than with the older cranes," he said.
The crane will often be working on buildings from roads but its speed adds efficiency to jobs not previously able to be achieved: "We won't have to close the road for as long as previously."
"The other thing this big mobile crane is really useful for is putting up fixed tower cranes. Every fixed tower crane has to be built up by a mobile crane," Manley said.
He has visited Lieberr's tower crane and mobile crane factories in Germany.
NZ Cranes supplied a time-lapse video showing the hydraulic mobile crane being assembled in Onehunga, with its luffing fly on the end.
Another crane standing near the new one laid out sections side-by-side on the ground in the correct order. Then, that second crane lifted up each section, fitted them together and fitted them onto the new crane.
Three main types of cranes operate in New Zealand: tower cranes, crawler cranes and mobile cranes.
Manley said his business specialised in mobile cranes which can cost around $2000/hour to hire.
Christchurch-headquartered Smith Cranes claims to be New Zealand's largest crane hire business, having nearly 100 cranes in its fleet.
In 2017, the Herald reported on what was said at the time to be New Zealand's tallest crane.
A Liebherr 357 luffing crane rose then on the site of the $1 billion Commercial Bay site in downtown Auckland.
Nicknamed Eenie, the red and white crane was then erected between Lower Albert St, Customs St West, the foot of Queen St and Quay St. A time-lapse video shows parts of the crane arriving via trucks, sections being hauled on to the site, then craned into place, all with Fletcher Construction's distinctive lion logo on the side.
At the end of the video, the boom is finally lifted up via crane and placed atop the entire structure, which will eventually be nearly a quarter of a kilometre tall.