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Bernard Hunter invests heavily in Liebherr

Bernard Hunter invests heavily in Liebherr



Edinburgh-based Bernard Hunter is a long-standing Liebherr customer
Over recent years the company has invested c£6m in Liebherr cranes from the LTM range
Liebherr cranes were used on the company’s recent contract to work on the Forth Crossing Bridge
Biggleswade (Great Britain), June 2017 – Long-standing Liebherr customer Bernard Hunter has made significant recent investments in Liebherr cranes from the LTM range with its 18 strong fleet now including 11 Liebherr machines. The Edinburgh-based company was selected as the contractor for the dismantling of three Liebherr tower cranes used in the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing across Scotland’s Firth of Forth.
Edinburgh-based family business Bernard Hunter was established in 1946 and operates across crane hire, metal processing and recycling and machinery movement. The company, which today is managed by the third generation of the family, is a long-standing Liebherr customer and its current fleet of 18 cranes includes 11 Liebherr machines.

The company’s philosophy is to grow but grow slowly and over the last five years it has seen steady growth, which has resulted in significant investments in Liebherr’s range of LTM mobile cranes. Bernard Hunter estimates its most recent investment to be in the region of £6m and this includes an LTM 1040-2.1, two LTM 1050-3.1s, an LTM 1060-3.1, an LTM 1100-4.2, an LTM 1300-6.2 and the company’s largest telescopic mobile crane, the LTM 1500-8.1.

Bernard Hunter won the contract from Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) to dismantle the three identical 40 tonne Liebherr 630 EC-H 40 tower cranes that were erected to build the three 207 m towers that will support the Queensferry Crossing. This new 2.7 km long bridge will be the world’s longest cable stayed bridge with three towers and will sit alongside the existing Forth Road Bridge across Scotland’s Forth Estuary.

An LTM1500-8.1 mobile crane with a 35 m fixed fly jib was used to remove the tower cranes’ tie bars from the bridge structure and was lifting five tonnes at a 57 m radius and a 90 m hook height. This crane then went on to remove the tower cranes’ jib sections, head, cabin and slew assembly. Alongside the LTM 1500-8.1, an LTM 1300-6.1 mobile crane was used to remove the tower cranes’ counter jib, hoist unit frame and counterweight ballast blocks. This crane was lifting 22.2 tonnes at a 22 m radius and a hook height of 55 m.

Chairman Jim Rafferty explains that a key factor in Bernard Hunter’s purchase of the 300 tonne LTM 1300-6.1 and 500 tonne LTM 1500-8.1 mobile cranes from Liebherr was the additional investment that they were able to make in the Liebherr steel fabricated mats, which are available as an option on these machines. These mats came from the factory with the relevant calculations demonstrating the load bearing capabilities inherent in their design and it was extremely useful to be able to demonstrate to the FCBC that the mats were right for the job. Safety is of paramount importance to Bernard Hunter and this is in line with the rigorous safe working practices of the FCBC, which made it very easy for the two parties to work together. “As an Edinburgh-based company we were delighted and proud to win this prestigious contract”, concludes Jim.


Bernhard Hunter’s LTM 1500-8.1 derigging one of the three Liebherr 630 EC-H 40 tower cranes. Photograph courtesy of Transport Scotland.


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