As part of the crane skate process at Aurora Melbourne Central, the site team needs to reposition the crane by skating it three meters to the East. This allows the crane towers to be retrieved from the lift shaft, enabling vital lift works to continue. Grillage installation and enabling works will take one week to complete, with the crane skate itself being completed in a single day, 90 storeys above ground.

The crane dismantling process at Aurora Melbourne Central has been in planning for over 6 months. During this planning process the site team held over 5 safety & design workshops with our directors and safety managers to ensure this highly technical crane skate process is undertaken safely.

“A seriously important acknowledgement for a 'Building Greatness' moment that occurred last week at Aurora Tower. I want to openly congratulate and thank the team, our executive and our suppliers for their demonstration of high risk management excellence.” - Luke Stambolis , Managing Director Victoria

The team had to remove the tower crane from within a lift cell up on to a purpose grillage in order to move it off to the side of the lift core roof. The high rise builders lift works can now be completed below.

It's a proud moment in knowing the professionalism, detailed dedication and rigorous planning by ALL involved lead to such a safe and seamless transfer of a tower crane at 271m height above the city centre.   

Alexei Simm, Project Director accurately describes the operation itself, specifically the engineering involved :

  • Constructing a steel grillage capable of carrying the entire weight of an operating tower crane, atop a lift overrun some 271m above street level,

  • Fitting the very large and heavy members 'wrapping around' the towers of the operating crane.

  • Balancing and then disconnecting the crane (weighing ~75 tonne) from its supporting towers in the shaft of Lift 7

  • Attaching it to the beams on 'skate shoes' to then grease and 'slide' it more than 3.5m to the East, before securing it 'permanently' to the beams, and

  • Returning the crane to service.

I would like to specifically recognise Marc James, Chris Boyle, John Marra and Michael Driver for their willingness to embrace the challenges of a 'new' process so wholeheartedly, thoroughly and professionally - therefore making it so successful.

Our partners in GENERAL CRANES (particularly Trevor Fox, and 'Ant'), CONSTRUCTIONEERING (John Stella, and Ben Dahlenburg) and GTC FABRICATIONS (Gavin Butler and crew) and of course our AURORA Crane Crew, worked in a truly collaborative way to get this done, and deserve special mention also.

This is yet another in a growing list of 'special moments' for Team Aurora which I'm confident is leading by example for the whole industry.

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Sarah Cuscadden