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The ability to execute a heavy lift in a safe, yet time sensitive manner is achieved through a combination of procedural excellence, experience, expertise and top quality resources. 

Heavy lifts, by their very nature, are the source of numerous safety risks and with 36 years of comprehensive experience in a multitude of industries and applications, Johnson Crane Hire has earned its stripes as a heavy lift specialist.

The successful execution of a safety driven heavy lift is determined by careful, systematic planning. “A complete understanding of the nature of the lift, the risks involved, and any limitations is critical to the success of a heavy lift. The planning process begins with a site inspection followed by a more intensive on-site visit by Johnson Crane Hire’s technical heavy lift team. This allows the team to verify measurements and dimensions. Once the details are acquired, a CAD rigging study, in 2D or 3D, is undertaken,” Peter Yaman, general manager of Johnson Crane Hire, says.

Johnson Crane Hire use LICCON software to simulate the lift. This software is specific to individual cranes and allows Johnson Crane Hire to confirm that they have specified the crane correctly for the lift. It confirms that the capacity is correct and verifies the counterweight needed. In addition it will simulate the ground pressure that the crane generates in various scenarios.

The next step involves determination of the required load bearing capacity. This information is relayed to the customer who can then ensure that the site is prepared to accommodate the high loadings generated by cranes. Once the rigging study is completed, a method statement and risk assessment is undertaken.

With South Africa’s largest fleet of mobile cranes, it is critical that Johnson Crane Hire is able to select the crane best suited to the application. By interpolating all of this important information prior to the lift and leveraging its past experience in the field, Johnson Crane Hire is able to precisely pinpoint the fit for purpose crane in each situation.

The recent investment of R1-billion in an equipment expansion programme ensures that any crane deployed to site will be the latest technology. A strong relationship with primary supplier Liebherr as well as with Tadano and Grove, has resulted in a top-quality fleet primed to enhance safety and productivity.

In order to provide and uninterrupted service to its clients, Johnson Crane Hire runs a well-equipped workshop manned by a mechanical team with strong technical knowledge of cranes. Each crane in the fleet undergoes regular, scheduled inspection and maintenance in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Johnson Crane Hire’s team of 40 mechanics report directly to four field service foremen. These service foremen travel between the company’s branches to provide training and conduct evaluations of the standard of work undertaken by the branches.

When required, on-site repairs are conducted by experienced field service technicians. A fleet of 32 fully equipped two-wheel and four-wheel drive service vehicles are supported by four operational mobile workshop service trucks.

Underpinning the company’s reputation is a team of potential crane operators receive a solid grounding at the company’s training school in Vanderbijlpark. “All would-be operators are appointed as crane assistants for a period of 12 to 18 months and form part of a crane support crew. In this environment they begin to learn about safety and gather basic knowledge about crane operation and site management. From this group we select the candidates for operator training.”

Every single operator in our company has been proven to be competent in all aspects of crane operation,” he adds. “This ongoing preparation of new crane operators is an important component of the company’s succession planning.

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