Modulift helps Tilt Wall with tilt-up construction

Modulift spreader beams assisted the Ontario contractor complete a new condominium at Muskoka Bay Resort

New prefabricated construction methods are helping contractors save time and money on the jobsite, and lifting specialists like Modulift are helping to hoist large prefabricated components into place. 

Tilt-up is just one of those methods. 

It’s a building technique where reinforced concrete panels are manufactured on or off-site, and then hoisted up and tilted into position. 

These panels become the load-bearing structural components and eliminate the need for perimeter columns.

That’s why when Canadian company Tilt Wall Ontario won the contract to build a new apartment block on the luxury Muskoka Bay Resort, they approached Modulift’s local distributor, Equipment Corps, for two new modular spreader beams.

Tilt Wall Ontario is a subcontractor based in Woodstock that has become a leader in tilt-up construction in Ontario. Since 2002, Tilt Wall has erected more than 40 buildings and 1,750 panels equalling more than 70,000 square metres of panels.

The company’s tilt-up projects include a range of scope, from simple buildings such as the Princeton Pavilion, to complex projects like the award winning three storey Humber College. 

The construction company had typically relied on basic spreader beams or bars provided by crane companies. However, on a recent job, Tilt Wall had come across Modulift’s spreader beams and was impressed by their versatility. 

Expanding Muskoka Bay Resort

The Muskoka Bay Resort is located in Gravenhurst, Ontario and is well-known for its championship 18-hole golf course. 

Its popularity meant that more luxury accommodation was required, hence the construction of a five storey, multi-unit residential condominium building with a sixth storey on the three stair towers for access to the roof. 

The building was constructed entirely with 381 precast tilt-up concrete panels. The panels’ width ranged from 1.5 metres to more than 18 metres wide, with weights anywhere from 1 tonne to 58 tonnes.

Tilt Wall Ontario was keen to use the Modulift spreader beams again so rather than asking the crane company to provide them, project manager Ken VanCasteren, approached Equipment Corps directly, who supplied a MOD 50 and a MOD 110. 

The MOD 50 and a MOD 110 were used to even the load distribution and to facilitate proper angles on the lifting slings and hardware.

“We utilized two different sized beams and between the two, they were used for about 80 to 85 per cent of the picks,” VanCasteren said.

“We did not adjust the lengths of the beams during the lifting process, but instead used the two different beam sizes to allow for quicker rigging changes. From the MOD 110, we went down to an eight-point pick for load distribution and on the MOD 50 we were using a four-point lifting setup.”

Lifting with Liebherr

A Liebherr LG 1750 lattice boom mobile crane was used for the condo project, with the added assistance of a 350 tonne mobile crane to help move some of the concrete panels closer to the LG 1750 for final picking and setting.

The LG 1750 lattice boom mobile crane has the flexibility of a 750 tonne crawler crane combined with the mobility of a high speed mobile crane. 

Liebherr uses the crane turntable and boom systems from the LR 1750 crawler crane for the LG 1750. The crane features a maximum hoist height of 193 metres and a maximum radius of 136 metres.

The LG 1750 carefully lifted the panels horizontally to the required height and then tilted them upright into place by sliding the wire rope links through the snatch blocks attached to the spreader beam. 

The Modulift spreader beams are designed to be particularly stable and trusted for this maneuver and are compatible with snatch blocks. 

The Tilt Wall Ontario team then braced the panels until the permanent structural connections were completed.

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“It was a pleasure to work with Equipment Corps on this project. When issues or concerns came up regarding the loading and safe working loads of the rigging on some of the heavier lifts, Equipment Corps was quick to respond and review all of the loading calculations to ensure everything was rated properly,” VanCasteren said.

“The Modulift beams were versatile and easy to get the required spreads needed. The beams assembled easily and were user friendly throughout the project duration.”

From construction and oil to mining and steel, Equipment Corps in Ontario provides equipment to many industries across North America. It has been a distributor of Modulift products since 2016.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Ken. Liaising directly with the client has meant that even after the construction started, we were able to provide additional support with the lifting calculations,” said Luke Habza, national sales and business development manager for Equipment Corps.

“We embraced the opportunity to provide our technical expertise, because while we are more than happy just to provide lifting equipment, we do know how it works as well. Modulift spreader beams really sell themselves to companies who appreciate high quality products and we were pleased to recommend them for this project.”

Modulift is an engineering company that provides technical expertise alongside the manufacture and supply of specialist lifting equipment that is tested to the worldwide standards.

‘The versatility of our products, together with them conforming to the highest level of safety standards, means that our products facilitate not only the lifting capacity required for the lift, but our Modulift range of beams also ensure a sufficient amount of standing time until the permanent construction is completed, demonstrating a prolonged period of load suspension which is paramount for projects like this,” said Harshal Kulkarni, engineering manager for Modulift. 

The company, established since 2002, produces lifting and spreader beams, spreader frames and other below the hook lifting equipment. Sectors provided include wind energy, nuclear, construction and the oil and gas industries.

Headquartered in Dorset, United Kingdom, Modulift offers a complete engineering lifting service, including unique integrated lifting analysis with all products, available off-the-shelf or custom designed to meet a client’s specific requirements.