By: Kelly Holdaway On: January 13, 2016 In: Blog Comments: 0

2015 has been another action-packed year for GGR Group, not only did we celebrate our 20th birthday but we got involved in some great jobs and got news of a very special award.

Take a trip through our best bits!

GGR Group 20 Years Of Innovation-rgbGGR was founded by brother and sister team Graeme and Gill Riley in 1995, since then the business has grown into an international success. To celebrate 20 years of innovation GGR decided to give back, we took on the challenge of donating to 20 charities over the course of the year.

We kicked the year off with a donation to Age UK’s Men in Sheds project and ended the year with a donation of toys to Wood Street Mission. Other charities we supported through the year included Nightingale House Hospice, Team Margot, Macmillan, Racing for MND, Help for Heroes and Sunsport.

GGR Group strongly believes in supporting charity and giving back to the communities we work in. Alongside our regular charity work we sponsor children’s rugby, cricket and football teams as well as a promising young race driver.

Intermat Paris

GGR at Intermat ParisIn April we exhibited at Intermat Paris and launched two brand new additions to our fleet of UNIC mini spider cranes, the URW295-2 and URW706-2.

These new mini cranes retain all the benefits of the popular URW-295 and URW-706 models including an excellent lift-to-weight ratio for their compact size, yet they boast a fully hydraulic searcher hook and fly jib to give customers extra flexibility and reach.

Both hydraulic jib and hook are designed to give customers greater control and help save time, with the ability to fine-tune the position of a load when closer to the installation point without the need to reset the entire position of the crane.  Customers can overcome tricky obstacles on site and still lift in the tightest of conditions thanks to the cranes’ compact width and lightweight design.

Graeme Riley, Chief Executive Officer of GGR Group said at the time of launch, “The UNIC URW295-2 and UNIC URW295-2 are great additions to our versatile UNIC range and we are excited to showcase them at Intermat 2015. Our ever expanding fleet means that we can bring efficient and safe lifting solutions to an even wider breadth of industries.”

Gill Riley OBE

GGR's Gill Riley OBEIn June we received the amazing news that our Managing Director, Gill Riley had been awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Gill was invited to an investiture at St James’ Palace in December where she was given her award by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Gill was awarded the honour for Services to Construction, an honour that has rarely been given to a female in the industry.  On receiving the news of her OBE, Gill said:

I am truly honoured and humbled to have been chosen to receive such a prestigious award. It is very exciting to think that the work I have done over the years has had a positive impact on the construction industry as a whole.

I’m proud that our cranes have helped build and maintain some of the most iconic and prestigious buildings across the UK.  We’ve truly gone from strength to strength thanks to a fantastic team and supportive family around me; this is a proud day for the whole of the GGR family.

Needless to say we were all exceptionally proud of Gill!

21 compressedUK’s Biggest Vacuum Lifters

In October we put the UK’s biggest glass vacuum lifters to work on some very tricky glazing jobs. The Hydraulica 4000 went to work on its toughest job yet. he mighty machine was most recently hired to take on the installation of glass sheets weighing in at 3.6 tonnes each at one of the UK’s most innovative, new buildings.

The ground-breaking, eco-friendly mansion will secure the future of one of the UK’s oldest country estates. It is filled with features that will ensure the house is zero carbon and has been designed by award-winning architects Pringle Richards Sharratt. GGR’s Hydraulica 4000 was called upon to install the giant glass sheets that makes up the impressive front elevation of this unusual build; each of the sheets measured 8.5 metres high and 3.5 metres wide.

As the manufacturing of glass has improved architects and their clients have increasingly favoured designs with as much glass as possible. Glass not only improves the aesthetics of a building, used correctly it can increase the energy efficiency of a building. Large format glass is desirable as there are fewer joints creating a flawless appearance.

GGR’s Bumper Sales

2015 has been another great year for sales, amongst our crane sales this year were a pair of the world’s strongest mini cranes the UNIC URW-1006 which headed off to the Caribbean, duo of spider cranes were added to a Dutch fleet and one of our G20 pick and carry cranes that went to manufacturing giant Kimberly-Clark.

GGR 1006 HandoverAmara S.A. a global leader in the distribution of electrical supplies and logistics management with a worldwide network of warehouses and sales offices and a wide international coverage, bought a pair of UNIC URW1006s.  The company has extensive experience in the industrial, energy, engineering and telecommunications sectors. Both of these impressive machines winged their way to an energy provider in the Caribbean region where they are used in the repair and maintenance of electrical infrastructure networks. A mighty task for two mighty machines!

GGR Mavebo Handover 1006Dutch firm Mavebo B.V. added two UNIC Mini Spider cranes to their hire fleet. TheUNIC URW-295 and its big brother, the UNIC URW-1006 were purchased from UNIC Dealer Aerial Work Platforms B.V. in the Netherlands.

Eric Bos, owner of Mavebo B.V. worked as a crane driver for many years before setting up the company in 2014. Mavebo specialise in the restricted access market and feel that the UNIC mini cranes are a valuable addition to their already extensive hire fleet.

Mavebo B.V. said that both cranes will be used primarily in factory/warehouse settings and so they purchased both machines with the electric-powered option.  Being powered by mains electric means that these mini cranes have zero emissions making them an ideal choice for use indoors. Amongst other things, the UNIC URW-1006 is likely to be hired for the erection of large lifts in automated warehouses. Mavebo B.V. predicts that its customers will be very happy with the new cranes and will have many opportunities to put them to good use.

GGR G20 handover Global personal care giant, Kimberly-Clark bought a G20 Pick & Carry crane from GGR Group for use at their Kent depot.

Kimberly-Clark has been manufacturing and selling products since 1870 and is responsible for some of the world’s most recognisable brands including Kleenex, Andrex and Huggies.  It was Kimberly-Clark that first put toilet paper on a roll way back in the 1890s.

GGR Group’s Adrian Richardson handed the keys to Project Manager, Mr Terry, who was delighted with the new addition. Mr Terry said, ‘‘I am very happy to add the G20 to our fleet, after seeing what it can do I am impressed with its versatility. I am sure that with the G20 in use, many jobs around the depot will now be a lot easier.’

Some of our favourite jobs in 2015…

GGR Tree Planting NorwayUNIC Mini Crane Brings Florida Sunshine to Cold Norway

A mini spider crane hired from official UNIC dealers in Norway, Knutsen Maskin A.S, was used to plant trees in Oslo’s Central Station. A UNIC URW-295 mini crane was used to lift each of the 9m high, Bucida Buceras ‘Shady Lady’ trees that were specially imported from Florida. The trees weigh around 1 tonne each; the 2.9 tonne capacity crane lifted the trees into place with ease so they could be safely planted on the station concourse.

These colossal trees are much more suited in the warm climate of Florida, so much so that there had to be careful plans in place to get them from the transporter into the station. A special tunnel was built, heated at both ends, to get the trees into the station safe and warm. Perhaps these leafy trees will make travellers forget the Norwegian cold as they dine in one of the station’s new restaurants.

GGR Lifts Man of Steel SculptureSpider Crane Installs Larger than Life Steel Sculpture in Hospital

GGR’s UNIC mini crane was hired to help mount a large steel sculpture onto a wall at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, UK using its lifting muscle and impressive reach. A mid-capacity UNIC URW-376 spider crane was used to lift a 530kg steel figure up to a 9 metre height to fix it onto the wall. The artwork by sculptor Joseph Hillier features in the atrium of the hospital’s £32m new Emergency Care Centre.

The sculpture named “Faith” stands at 3.6 metres tall and is made from hundreds of pieces of 4mm stainless steel woven together designed to give the effect of a CT scan. Joseph Hiller is a nationally renowned artist that lives in the local area and hope that his work can make visiting hospital a less daunting experience for people.


GGR at Caernarfon CastleGGR Mini Spider Crane Builds Glass Structure Fit for a King

GGR’s 1t mini crane helped to build a new glass entrance at Caernarfon Castle.  Caernarfon Castle, King Edward I’s intimidating stone fortress is considered one of the most impressive of Wales’s castles, a claim backed up by its World Heritage status. The castle attracts 1000’s of visitors each year and as a result there is a need for increased visitor space and improved facilities. The great honour of World Heritage status comes with great responsibility; making any structural changes to the castle is a definite no-no, this problem is being solved using glass.

UNIC URW-095 was hired to build a new glass entrance way to the castle. Boasting nearly one tonne of lifting power and an unrivalled lifting height of up to 8.8m, the Unic 095 is one of the most popular mini cranes in the industry. The mini crane teamed up with two glass vacuum lifters to install the glass units that varied in size with the largest piece measuring 4.3m x 1.6m. The Quadra-Tilt MRTA6, with its 500kg lifting capacity, was able to handle the heavier glass with ease.  The versatile P11104 Connect-4 vacuum lifter was also on hand to help install the various other glass panels.

GGR Glazes New Christie Building ManchesterGGR Mini Spider Cranes Help Build Christie’s New Cancer Research Centre

GGR Group’s mini spider cranes have helped in the construction of Christie’s new ground-breaking Manchester  Cancer Research Centre. A pair of UNIC spider cranes,URW095 & URW295 teamed up with GGR’s glass vacuum lifting equipment to help glaze the new £28.5m building which will pioneer new treatments for cancer patients.

GGR’s popular spider crane URW095 combined its lifting power of just under one tonne with the GL-UMC 600 glass manipulating robotic head to complete tricky glazing work on the site.  The new building has been designed with sloping facades to give it an unusual and modern feel.  This dynamic duo was just what was needed to lift and install the 500kg glass panels at a 15 degree angle. Our UNIC URW295 was combined with our DSZ2 Slimline vacuum lifter for the large glass units.

GGR at Eco Building East AngliaUNIC Spider Crane Turns Master Thatcher on New Eco-Building

One of our UNIC URW-376 mini cranes teamed up with one of the most versatile vacuum lifters available on the UK market, an MRT4 Quattro, to work on the new £11.6 million Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia. The innovative and unique thatch cladding system being used on the new centre is a world first in construction.

The cladding, which combines traditional craft with modern methods of construction, represents a completely new way of using thatch and is one of the key sustainable elements being incorporated into the building. The timber cassette modules are filled with straw from local thatchers’ barns across Norfolk. The building is now complete and has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any building of its size in the UK.

The UNIC URW-376 crane was used with a searcher hook to allow the vacuum lifter to install glass underneath the overhang of the thatched cladding. The MRT4 Quattro lifter was the perfect choice for the job, with 320kg of lifting power, full 360 degree continuous rotation and 90 degree tilt; it is one of our most popular vacuum lifters.

GGR at Soho School LondonChild’s Play for GGR Mini Crawler Crane

One of GGR Group’s mini crawler cranes has been used to install a new, modern entrance and play area at Soho’s Parish School. The school redevelopment programme is the culmination of three years of fundraising and GGR are delighted to have helped contractor Jane’s Pond to complete the project.

The new play area is made up of eight cubes each weighing up to a tonne; the mini telescopic crawler made light work of lifting and installing the cubes. Its 2.35m wide base and solid tracks provide it with the stability to lift and travel with loads up to 2 tonnes in weight. The MCC495 also used its static lifting power to install the brand new school gates that weighed in at 1.25 tonnes and screens at almost 2 tonnes each. The school entrance has been completely redesigned, presenting an attractive, fresh street façade.  As well as enhancing the look of the area, it also ensures that the school is no longer hidden away behind black gates but is a visible part of the community once more.

GGR Mini Crawler Crane Installs Wind Turbine GGR Helps Pennines Wind Turbine Reach for the Sky

One of GGR’s mini crawler cranes has been used to erect a wind turbine high up in the Pennines of Lancashire. The MCC805 was tasked with installing the mammoth 18.6m high turbine. The wind turbines, manufactured in Yorkshire, are making waves in the field of sustainable energy. Each one is capable of powering twenty domestic houses at maximum power output of 60kw.

The crane was required to track across farmland to get to the turbine’s installation point so its hydraulic blade, mounted on the front of the chassis and designed to even-out any rough terrain and self-level the crane, was definitely an advantage. When the turbine is fully upright the rotor hub stands at 18.6 metres high with the rotor blades spanning 16 metres.

GGR Brings UK’s Largest Christmas Tree to Liverpool

One of GGR’s UNIC mini spider cranes has been used to assemble the UK’s largest Christmas tree at the Liverpool ONE shopping complex in the North West. The impressive tree, constructed from steel, was assembled by a team of GGR lifting experts using a UNIC URW-706 spider crane.

The tree, which stands 30 metres tall and is the tallest in the UK, took two weeks to assemble. The 23 tonne structure includes a 12-sided steel cone, 280 heart-shaped lights, 314 light rods and more than 2,000 metres of cabling to supply the power to illuminate the giant structure.

The UNIC URW-706 is one of the biggest mini cranes on the market; this ‘maxi’ mini crane is capable of handling loads of 6 tonnes to a radius of 3 metres and a height of 7.2 metres. These impressive lifting credentials allowed the crane to lift the various steel sections of the tree into place with ease. The tree was constructed in two halves before being lifted into position by the spider crane. The steel sections, weighing up to 450kg each were lifted to a maximum height of 12 metres.

 Thank you to all of our customers for making 2015 a great year, we look forward to what 2016 will bring!

If you would like to find out how GGR can help you on your 2016 projects just give our friendly team of experts a call, we would love to hear from you.

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