Old meets new as Hird Group mini crane works at Hull museum

Old meets new as Hird Group mini crane works at Hull museum
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Date: 7 June 2017

It was a case of the ultra-modern meets the historical as a Hird Group mini crane and glass vacuum lifter went to work at the Streetlife Museum in Hull.

A Maeda MC-174 tracked spider crane and an MRT4 glass vacuum lifter was used to install a new glass panel at the East Yorkshire museum which celebrates transport and industry.

By coincidence, the mini crane had to be set up right next to one the museum’s exhibits, a crane manufactured by the Priestman Brothers crane and excavator company, founded in Hull in 1870.


New rises over old

The Maeda MC-174 spider crane had to lift the new glass panel up and over the exhibit to complete the glass installation project.

Priestman Brothers manufactured cranes and a range of other machinery, including dredgers. Its excavators were used to rebuild French villages after World War One.

In 1950 the company opened a factory in Marfleet, Hull, which eventually spread over 63 acres. The company merged with Coles Cranes, of Sunderland, in 1990, which closed in 1999.

Although The Hird Group is not a manufacturer, Hird is maintaining Hull’s connection with crane expertise by providing one of the UK’s fastest-growing mini crane hire and sales services.


Largest Maeda fleet

It has the UK’s largest fleet of Maeda mini spider cranes, and is the UK and Ireland authorised distributor for Valla industrial cranes. Hird Group also has a thriving and expanding contract and specialist lifting service.

The Maeda MC-174 spider crane was perfectly-suited for the lifting operation at the Streetlife Museum in High Street, Hull, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year.

It is ultra slim, weighs under 1.3 tonnes, and can be quickly moved into position in extreme confined spaces.

Once the spider cranes’ four legs are set up, it exerts extremely low ground pressure for a machine that can lift up to 1.74 tonnes.


Enhanced lifting safety

The Woods Powr-Grip MRT4 glass vacuum lifter lifts glass or other non-porous materials, like metal, plastic and stone, weighing up to 320kg.

Its latest version has a new safety system called Intelli-Grip, which enhances lifting safety and improved lift productivity.

William Dent Priestman, founder of Priestman Brothers, would have been impressed with the Hird crane technology on display at the Streetlife Museum. He would see that lifting innovation is still thriving in Hull.

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