Kennards Hire and Pacific Hoists create solution for a challenging lift

Ricky McGaw, Operation Product Specialist at Kennards Hire's Lift & Shift

Kennards Hire‘s Lift & Shift has partnered with Pacific Hoists to create a remote control system, allowing a 70-tonne load to be lowered into place as part of Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel project. A first for the hire industry, the system has proven to be a precision solution for end client, CYP Design and Construction. It was also delivered to a very tight deadline.

The DC electric over pneumatic JUUKO remote system gives a single person instantaneous control over four air hoists – all at once or in any combination. Previously, each hoist would need to be operated by a different user, with critical delays of several seconds. This ground-breaking system, created by Pacific Hoists, is now offered through Kennards Hire to customers requiring the most efficient, large-scale lifting solutions currently available.

Why was the remote control system created?

According to Ricky McGaw, Operation Product Specialist at Kennards Hire’s Lift & Shift, the remote system was created to meet the challenging unique requirements of the Metro Tunnel brief.  Pacific Hoists designed and built the remote system, while Kennards Hire supplied the four JDN 30-tonne hoists required for the lift at Town Hall Station. One week prior to the operation, the team undertook a demonstration at Kennards Hire’s Port Melbourne Branch.

“The demonstration was critical to prove the system was both safe and effective. Once cut free, the platform couldn’t be put back. With our detailed planning and analysis, both the demonstration and the lift itself went 100% according to plan,” Ricky commented.

The success of the operation relied on disciplined teamwork, involving ongoing consultation and on-site checks as the project progressed. “We initially toolboxed it with the client to find out what they wanted, and how we could meet their needs. Then we toolboxed it on-site with Pacific Hoists, CYP and their rigging crew, and all the relevant OHS people,” Ricky said.

What does the innovation mean for the industry?

The solution was designed, demonstrated and delivered on-site in record time, creating a template for other major project lifts in the future. For Steve Purves, Group Technical Manager for Pacific Hoists in ANZ, this was the opportunity he’d been waiting for.

For several years, he’d been exploring better ways to operate a pneumatic hoist. The Metro Tunnel project gave him the chance to put these ideas into practice. Steve is delighted by the success of the remote system. “I knew it could be a game-changer for lifts. By giving one operator control of all four hoists individually or all together at the click of a button – with response in less than 50 milliseconds – the precision level is greatly increased,” Steve said.

“It was the only possible way to lift and lower the platform exactly. We designed and built it in three days. On the fourth day, we flew it into Port Melbourne, for the demonstration. Kennards Hire has bought the system, and can hire it out as a single, tandem, triple or quad air hoist remote control. It’s a much safer and efficient way to deliver major tunnel projects.”

As the first carbon-neutral lifting firm, Pacific Hoists is dedicated to innovation and creativity. “We have very similar values to Kennards Hire, always looking for better ways to do things. That’s why we work so well together. We aim to deliver not just products or services, but a genuine, all-round solution to the specific challenges of the job in hand,” commented Steve.

From the client’s point of view, there was zero margin for error. CYP Design and Construction engaged in extensive consultation with the two main partner firms from the outset. According to CYP Project Engineer Oscar Savage, it was a very positive experience, with Kennards Hire and Pacific Hoists “extremely helpful” through all stages of the process.

“They helped us overcome the trifecta of challenges – OHS, time and cost. We were able to condense two to three weeks of medium-to-high-risk lifts, down to a single, controlled lift. This saved us time, disruption and labour hire. We also achieved a successful buy-back of the scrubber units, to recycle and reuse in another project,” Oscar Savage commented.

“It was an amazing outcome, involving very professional organisations. I can’t fault them. We worked closely together, from start to finish, with a great dry run in Port Melbourne. It all came together within the deadline, which helped us accomplish our mission,” Oscar said.

What does the innovation mean for the partnership?

Kennards Hire’s Lift & Shift and Pacific Hoists have had a long and successful working partnership. In Ricky McGaw’s words: “As long-standing partners, we value the expertise and commitment of Pacific Hoists very highly. They are solutions-based, just like us.”

Steve Purves said, “Like us, Kennards Hire is an established family business, with strong ethics. It’s not just about selling or hiring, it’s about quality solutions for challenging projects. We both have a customised approach, so it’s not just in the box, but what’s out of the box that’s vital. This is how we harness creativity, between ourselves and Kennards Hire.”

Kennards Hire Lift and Shift is available alongside other  solutions including site solutions, pumps, power, access, concrete care, traffic management, and test and measure to provide complete end-to-end solutions and technical guidance for our large commercial clients.