By: Amber Grennan On: September 22, 2023 In: Blog Comments: 0

Operating cranes in urban environments comes with many challenges that you may struggle to overcome with traditional craneage. Static and larger crane models can struggle to find their way through built-up cities, historical buildings, and areas with high foot or motor vehicle traffic. This is where the spider crane comes in.

Since GGR Group was one of the first to introduce spider cranes to the UK market back in 2001 it has become the go-to crane for restricted areas. Spider cranes offer a solution to the puzzle that urban environments present for operators. With GGR Group’s expertise in applying spider cranes to various construction challenges, we are the solution for you.

The Urban Conundrum

The challenges faced by urban construction sites demand lifting solutions that can handle the challenging landscape of cities, keep disruptions to a minimum and increase efficiency. Many urban

areas come with a juxtaposition of old and new infrastructure, which means accounting for listed buildings with weaker structures and narrower streets, and modern areas which are often pedestrianised and busier.

Enter the Spider Crane

A UNIC URW-295 Mini Spider Crane tracking through double doors.

A UNIC URW-295 Mini Spider Crane tracking through double doors.

When spider cranes were first brought to the UK, they revolutionised the urban construction scene. Offering a combination of features that other cranes struggled to compete with the spider crane quickly became the go-to machine for confined spaces and spaces with a low floor load capacity. With a compact size and a lifting capacity disproportionate to its size the versatility of the spider crane is unmatched.

Compact Footprint

Spider cranes get their name for their spider-like shape with four retractable outriggers. When folded the spider crane adorns a boxlike shape which allows it to easily track through small openings.  Once unfolded the outriggers provide the crane with enhanced strength due to spreading the weight of the load over a wider area. These features make them ideal for urban environments where you may need something a bit smaller that can easily navigate congested areas, narrow entry points, and floors that cannot endure heavier machinery.

An example of where their compact footprint came in handy is during this project where the URW-094 had to work on a busy Manchester City Centre path.

High Lifting Capacity

Due to their high lifting capacity, aided by their unique outriggers, these cranes are excellent for various construction tasks. They can hoist loads to great heights which is particularly advantageous for construction tasks such as glazing on high-rises as well as precise restoration work on historical buildings. Spider cranes can effortlessly handle heavy-weight lifting often needed in urban landscapes without the disruption bigger high-capacity cranes would cause. One of our most famous projects had our URW-706 glazing The Shard.

A trio of UNIC URW-706 Mini Spider Cranes.

A trio of UNIC URW-706 Mini Spider Cranes.

Versatility – Spider Crane Accessories

Spider cranes are particularly versatile for many reasons. Compact and strong as well as easily adaptable to different terrains they can be utilised in an array of places. At GGR Group we offer a selection of attachments and accessories which allow you to adapt your spider crane to the task at hand. This includes jib extensions for a bit of extra length for something that is just out of reach. Glass manipulators, such as our GL-UMC range which are compatible with our UNIC spider cranes, provide you with all the best attributes of the spider crane with enhanced glass installation precision. One of our most innovative attachments is the MultiGrab, a hydraulic lifting clamp attachment which has a precise ‘pinching’ ability. We go into more detail on the MultiGrab here.

GGR Group: A Pioneer in Urban Construction Solutions

As leaders in construction innovation, GGR Group has utilised their Mini Spider Crane to tackle challenging projects across a broad spectrum of settings. Urban environments are one of the many places that see a benefit from the combining of GGR’s expertise and the spider crane’s features. To find out more about how GGR and our Mini Spider Cranes can help you contact us here.

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