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Spreader Beam Lifting Rig for Forth

Road Bridge Project

The repairs were immediately above one of the piers,

which meant that an access platform, scaffolding and

materials had to be transported by barge.

Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd

provided a below-the-

hook solution to infrastructure management company

Amey to lift a truck-mounted access platform during

maintenance on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland.

Amey, on behalf of Transport Scotland, undertakes

services associated with the operation, management

and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge and its ap-

proach roads.

They carried out emergency repairs, necessitating

through the night working, on the bridge in December

2015. Rope and Sling provided a spreader beam lifting

rig to lift a 35t

Bronto Skylift

mobile elevating work

platform provided by

Nationwide Platforms


Access was required to make a repair to a support

truss on the bridge’s northern pier. The pier from the

north tower is sited on the Mackintosh Rock, a whinstone

outcrop that made for an ideal foundation during


Rope and Sling hired to the project a modular spread-

er beam type MOD70H, with a lifting capacity up to 100

t with 8 m span together with two MOD34 beams, with

design load up to 34 t at 5 m, manufactured by Modulift.

In addition, various round slings and shackles where

supplied from its hire stock. The rig was assembled

in line with computer-aided design (CAD) drawings

of the MEWP, sent to Rope and Sling by Nationwide


The lifting rig was used below the hook of a

barge crane—the bridge spans the Firth of Forth—

that lifted the truck-mounted hydraulic platform

onto the barge from the shore, travelled to the site,

then lifted it to the base of the bridge from where

it was stabilised by outrigger before providing lift

access for personnel,.

Upon completion of the work, the rig was em-

ployed again to return the MEWP to the barge,

remove it from the scene by water and return it to shore.

Steve Hutin, managing director, Rope and Sling

Specialists, said:

“We only had half a day to design the assembly

of the rig and deliver it to the site but we were

able to use CAD drawings from Nationwide to

calculate the centre of gravity—the load was

heavier at one end—and we knew we could use

the outriggers as pick up points.”

He added:

“It is always an honour to be involved on

landmark infrastructure projects. The main

towers of the Forth Road Bridge rise up over

150m above high water level.

   It is an impressive feat of engineering; the

bridge has a main span of over 1,000m between

the two main towers and the side spans that

carry the deck to the towers are each over 400m

long. We have worked with Amey on the bridge

in the past and we recognise their requirement

for safe and efficient engineering below the hook

of lifting applications on the site.”

For more information:

Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd



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