SUCCESS STORY: Dismantling an old bridge
Success story

In success with heavy weights

With a potent mix of man, mind and machine, Allcargo's crane services team has yet again succeeded in lifting a heavy load without disturbing the life of the common man

Being the second largest crane rental service provider in India, Allcargo logistics regularly gets enquiries from power plants, infrastructure projects and oil refineries to move heavy equipment including columns, beams and turbines. With a fleet of over 130 cranes along with trailers, hydraulic axles, girder bridges, reach stackers and barges, Allcargo's crane services team has, in the past, executed complex assignments involving lifting heavy loads. In November this year, it was faced with a unique challenge.

A hefty problem

The 104-year old Patripool Bridge on the 21km Kalyan-Shilphata stretch near Mumbai, Maharashtra, though regarded as dangerous, was being used by over a lakh vehicles every day to reach the far-flung suburbs of Dombivli, Thane, Bhiwandi and Navi Mumbai. Below this road over-bridge ran the local suburban trains which connected the suburbs beyond Kalyan to Central Mumbai, as well as outstation trains. Because of its precarious state, the Central Railway (CR) authorities decided to demolish the Britsh Raj era bridge, built in 1904.

The demolition entailed lifting the heavy iron girders of the bridge and parking them away from the tracks as well as the pedestrian and motor traffic. Allcargo crane rentals was entrusted the task of lifting the girders to a safer place.

The task was fraught with many challenges, not to mention risks. First, the bridge was located in the heart of the city amidst a busy thoroughfare. At no point during the lifting process could debris be allowed to rain down on the tracks lest it fracture them that would cause subsequent disruption of rail traffic. Besides, the train services could not be halted for long periods as it would result delays and inconvenience to the daily commuters who had no other affordable means to travel to Central and South Mumbai.

All this entailed a swift execution to prevent any collateral damage. It called for meticulous planning, supervision and deployment of the most advanced equipment; something which the Allcargo logistics crane rental team was equipped with.

Dislodging the stubborn

The Allcargo crane services team decided to deploy a Demag 2400 400 MT crawler crane to dismantle the girders. Accordingly, all preparations were made for the morning of November 18. The area surrounding the bridge was cleared of all traffic, and the Demag crane was transported to the location. Using a sling capable of lifting loads of 60 tonnes, the girders were attached to the boom of the crane, after which the crane attempted to lift the load. However, to the dismay of the Allcargo team, the load refused to budge. The sling was replaced with one capable of lifting 70 tonnes, yet the would not budge. It seemed that the weight of the girders had been underestimated. Allcargo's team realised this and immediately fastened superlift attachments to the crane and added counter weights, which increased the lifting capacity of the crane by 30 per cent. This did the trick.

The movement of the girders was finally accomplished in five hours. Despite the space constraints, the team of skilled professionals was able to dismantle the girders and park them safely away from the thoroughfare. By afternoon, the area was cleared, enabling the smooth resumption of train and road services. With the assistance of the civic and CR authorities, Allcargo successfully dismantled and dislodged the bridge.

Once again, the combination of expertise and specialised equipment, helped the Allcargo crane rental team overcome a stiff and seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Reach with strength

Since the launch of its crane rental services two decades ago, Allcargo logistics has been consistently called upon to execute such complex assignments.It is armed with the latest technology in terms of equipment which is matched by skilled field workers to operate it. The heavy-duty fleet comprises crawler, telescopic, and truck lattice cranes which have been sourced from renowned global OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Liebherr, Demag-Terex, Sany, among others and covers sizes from 70MT to 750MT. These cranes are powerful, compact and manoeuvrable which make them capable of operating at the most demanding work sites. Allcargo's crane services come certified with best-in-class global safety standards including ISO 9001:2008, OHSAS 18001:2007 and LEEA Certification (UK accreditation).

Allcargo has adopted the latest technology to augment the efficiency of its cranes. The fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art features including anti-collision devices, variable drive, smart SLI and remote diagnostic capabilities that help monitor crane performance and identify faults. Highly skilled crane operators operate the controls after undergoing intensive and rigorous training.

To keep these mean machines in prim and proper shape, Allcargo maintains an equipment storage and maintenance unit in Panvel near Mumbai, where it undertakes regular and preventive maintenance of its cranes and other equipment. This includes after-treatment of welding to increase the life of the cranes along with routine inspection of hooks and latches for signs of deformation or cracks due to regular wear and tear. Lines, tanks, valves, pumps and other parts containing air or liquid are scrutinised for leakages while the booms are examined for structural damage. Allcargo technicians do this and more to ensure that the cranes perform optimally under all situations and even at the most inhospitable work sites. ''We have stringent safety standards. We conduct regular training for our people at the sites,'' says Shibu Joseph, general manager, business development, project and engineering.

Lifting loads; moving mountains

The dismantling of the Patripool Bridge is an extension of commitment of Allcargo logistics' crane services in assisting clients, no matter how complex their requirements.

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  • The Patripool Bridge was dismantled in five hours. The previous demolition — the Hancock Bridge near Sandhurst Road railway station in Central Mumbai in 2016 — took nearly 18 hours
  • A German-make Demag 2400 400 MT crawler crane was deployed to dislodge the girders
  • The lift was undertaken by the crane with a boom length of 30 metres and radius of 22 metres
  • Allcargo's crane services' heavy-duty fleet comprises crawler, telescopic and truck lattice cranes sourced from global OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Liebherr, Demag-Terex, Sany, etc. and covers sizes from 70MT to 750MT