Boat Transportation in Kent – Moving a Mirage 28

Boat Transportation in Kent – Moving a Mirage 28

Although much of our HIAB crane work is centered around the building and construction industry, we’re also able to carry out slightly more unusual tasks such as lifting and transporting boats to their new destinations. On this occasion, we were contracted to move a Mk1 Mirage 28 named ‘Serenity’ from one location to another. Our client Paul was an absolute delight to work with and has made a fantastic YouTube video documenting the move.

About Serenity and the move

The aptly named Serenity is a Mirage 28 Fin Keel Mk.1; she’s 28ft long (22ft in the water), 9ft 3 inches wide and weighs in at 3.5 tonnes and she needed to be moved from Iron Boat Yard in Faversham. Paul had owned her for 4 years and had already spent 2 years living onboard. About 2 years ago he decided to take a couple of months off work to sail her from Watchet in Somerset around Land’s End and along the South Coast to Faversham in Kent. He loved the journey and had firmly decided to keep Serenity as she’d proven herself to be ‘voyage ready’.

As Paul still wanted to carry out extensive work on his boat, he came to the decision to move her closer to him so that he could spend more time working on her without having to commute to and from Faversham each time. In order to get Serenity to her new home, Paul knew he’d need to choose a company that was capable of performing such a delicate and tricky task and that’s where HJ Logistics enter the story.

The boat's cradle on our HIAB truck

Paul already owned a cradle that he’d overhauled in order to rest Serenity on during her time on land so we picked up the cradle and transported it to Iron Boat Yard. As you can see in the video, it was necessary to find the boat’s centre of gravity so that it was well balanced for the lift. Once we were confident that she was perfectly balanced, Serenity and her cradle were lifted by our HIAB X-HiPro 418 crane onto the rear of our truck ready for her journey through Kent.

As Paul notes in the video, the route leaving the boatyard was quite tight in places but as we’re used to working in confined spaces with limited clearance on either side, this wasn’t a problem. He also correctly points out that it’s crucial to establish the exact height of any load travelling on the road network to ensure that it will pass under any bridges en route without incident.

Serenity ready for transport

Special thanks

Once we arrived at our destination, both Serenity and her cradle were carefully lifted off our truck and delicately placed on the ground so that Paul could begin carrying out the work on her more easily. If you’d like to keep up to date with Paul and his work, he has an entertaining and informative Youtube channel that’s updated monthly called “Just About Sailing” which documents the realisation of his dream of owning his own boat.

We’re thrilled that Paul made the video showing Serenity’s move and we hope that he gets the work done quickly so that he can spend less time dealing with epoxy resin and fibreglass, and more time watching the sun set below the horizon on the open seas!


Work on New Thames Tunnel Gets Underway – Largest Road Project Since The M25

Work on New Thames Tunnel Gets Underway – Largest Road Project Since The M25

For those that travel regularly between Kent and Essex, a significant reduction in journey time looks like it could be on the cards for 2027. That’s the proposed opening date of the Lower Thames Crossing, dubbed the biggest road project since the construction of the M25 motorway.

Engineers have begun sizing up what lies beneath the ground so that that can get an idea of what they’ll be drilling into once the mammoth project gets underway. They need to get a better geological understanding of what type of rock, soil and groundwater they’ll encounter when work on the 14 and a half mile road project begins. The Lower Thames Crossing will connect the A2 and M2 just south of Gravesend and Rochester in Kent with the M25 at North Ockenden, Essex. It’s thought that the engineers will be drilling around 700 boreholes of up to 100 metres deep at around 400 different locations in Kent and Essex.

Current Journey Time & Distance

At the moment, the distance you’d need to travel if you wanted to get from Chalk in Kent to East Tilbury in Essex would be approximately 24 miles. On a reasonably clear run, this will probably take around 40 minutes, assuming you don’t encounter much of a delay at the Dartford Crossing… which rarely happens. Assuming the project goes ahead, the journey time along the new route will be reduced to a matter of minutes through the 2.4-mile tunnel section passing under the River Thames.

By ClemRutterOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Watch the video

The official video on the “Highway’s England” YouTube channel takes you on a virtual journey along the route from Kent to Essex and is a must-see if you want to get a better idea of which areas are likely to be affected by the £6billion scheme. It’s also worth mentioning that once complete, the new tunnel under the Thames will become the longest tunnel in the UK.

Opposition to the scheme

Although the finished project will certainly ease congestion at the Dartford Crossing, ending the misery suffered by many regular commuters and transport companies in both counties, there is, understandably, still much opposition to the scheme. If it comes to fruition, it’ll mean that many people will be forced to move from their homes and numerous other buildings will have to be bulldozed. There is also concern that some pristine areas of wetland, along with the wildlife that inhabits it, will feel the brunt of the project too.

Will the new crossing be free?

When the Dartford Tunnel was built, it was supposed to be funded by a “toll”, put in place to pay for the infrastructure and overall cost of the build. Once sufficient funds had been collected, it was then supposed to be free. Controversially, this didn’t happen and you still have to cough up £2.50 each way to travel by car through the tunnel or across the adjacent QE2 bridge.

You’ll also have to pay to use the new Lower Thames Crossing, although we don’t yet know what the cost will be. To avoid future confusion, rather than being called a “toll”, it will likely be called a “user charge” according to what Tim Jones, project director for the Lower Thames Crossing, told the BBC. He explicitly said that the charge would “continue”, thus eliminating the possibility that it will ever be free to use at a later date.

Asian Hercules III Floating Sea Crane Visits Scotland

Asian Hercules III Floating Sea Crane Visits Scotland

With wind energy becoming more widespread across the globe, the key components that are used to generate it need to be transported to their final destination somehow. For land-based wind farms, specially adapted low loader trucks are often used to carry out the task but for offshore wind farms, something a bit different is needed to get the job done.

Arrival in Dundee

Thanks to Paul Morgan’s Creative Commons video posted back in April 2018 on YouTube, we can see the first in a series of clips documenting the arrival of the Asian Hercules III arriving at the Port of Dundee where it was eventually destined to carry out the task of transporting the reported 1,200 metric tonnes, 77 metre wind turbine steel jacket foundations to their new destination, the EOWDC (European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre) in Aberdeen Bay. Previously, the huge floating crane was seen back in late 2017 arriving in Petershead, where it can be see dwarfing the adjacent lighthouse. It’s difficult to get an idea of how big this monster crane really is when it’s out at sea, so we’ll give you a brief rundown of its size.

About The Asian Hercules III

Jobs like this aren’t a problem for the mammoth Asian Hercules III sea crane. Built only recently in 2015, it has a gross tonnage of 16,805 MT and it measures an impressive 106.2m x 52m. It has 2 cargo winches that are capable of pulling 20 MT at 10 m/min and the vessel is over 130m tall, which is only 100m short of One Canada Square (Canary Wharf’s skyscraper – 230m tall).

What Does HIAB Stand For? – A Brief History

What Does HIAB Stand For? – A Brief History

For those of us within the industry the word HIAB is synonymous with ‘loader crane’ but what does the word stand for and what does it actually mean?

HIAB is an acronym. In other words, it’s an abbreviation of the full name of the company Hydrauliska Industri AB that manufactures this type of hydraulic crane. In fact, the word HIAB is often used to define any type of loader crane by any manufacturer much in the same way as the word ‘Hoover’ is commonly used to describe any make of vacuum cleaner.

Swedish origins

Hydrauliska Industri AB (HIAB) is the Swedish manufacturer of this type of loader crane. It’s well known for its demountable container handlers, forestry cranes, truck-mounted forklifts and tail lifts. The HIAB company is currently owned by the Cargotec Corporation.

The History of HIAB

The HIAB company was founded by Eric Sundin in Hudiksvall, Sweden just before the end of WW2 in 1944. Sundin was a resourceful chap and always seemed to have new inventions in the pipeline. Prior to this, he had already started a company called Sundins (now Sunfab) in 1925 which manufactured skis. It didn’t take long for the Swedish military to become interested in his innovative products and they began buying large quantities from him. As a result, the company grew rapidly and just 11 years later in 1936, Sundin bought an old industry plant at Hudiksvall harbour and moved his entire operation there.

Sundin was already familiar with the power of hydraulics as they were used in the production process at his ski factory and it didn’t take him long to realised that he could harness the power of a truck’s engine to power a hydraulic system. The fact that hydraulics could be powered by a truck meant that the entire system could be mobilised and taken anywhere. In 1947, his idea came to fruition and his recently formed HIAB company made the world’s first hydraulic truck-mounted crane which revolutionised the cargo handling industry around the world. The rest, as they say, is history.

The road to today’s HIAB company

Eric Sundin’s experience of hydraulics led him to form the Sunfab company in 1952 so he could further develop and improve upon the performance of hydraulic pumps and, of course, his new mobile hydraulic crane system. The Sunfab company (which is still owned by the Sundin family today) went from strength to strength and grew rapidly. Just 2 years after Sunfab’s inception, the company created its first hydraulic piston pump for trucks.

Demand was so successful that the Sundin family were struggling to cope with their meteoric expansion, and as a result, they decided to sell the HIAB business to an investment company in 1965. Eric continued to work at his Sundin factory right up to his death in 1975.

1965 to present day

  • 1985 – HIAB is bought by Partek
  • 2002 – Partek is bought bt the KONE Corporation
  • 2005 – The KONE Corporation splits into 2 separate companies, KONE and Cargotec, with Cargotec owning HIAB
About HJ Logistics

We specialise in long-reach, heavy-load mobile crane hire in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex and London and we love HIAB cranes!

Heaviest Object Ever Lifted By A Crane

Heaviest Object Ever Lifted By A Crane

Although our mobile HIAB cranes are strong, being able to lift 40 tonne/metre, they’re nowhere near as strong as this brute. After penning a recent blog about the biggest truck in the world, we couldn’t resist finding out more about heavy-duty cranes and just how much the strongest crane in the world is able to lift.

The clear winner in the Heaviest Crane Lift Ever category turns out to be the ‘Taisun’ crane at Yantai Raffles Shipyard, Yantai, China.

Back on 18th April 2008, it was able to lift a barge ballasted with water with a total weight of 20,133 tonnes (or 44,385,667.25 lbs). It’s no surprise that the barge was dressed for the occasion with a banner which read 20,000t WORLD RECORD to highlight just what was being achieved on that particular sunny April day.

Just how heavy is 20,000 tonnes?

Some 11 years later, the world record still stands and to give you an idea of just how heavy the dead-weight lifted by the Taisun was, here are a few comparisons of how much 20 thousand tonnes actually is:

  • An average Land Rover Discovery weighs about 2 tonnes so it’s the equivalent of the crane lifting 10,000 at once
  • A Boeing 747 weighs around 181 tonnes when unladen/empty so the crane could lift 181 of them
  • Weighing around 6 tonnes on average, the Taisan crane could lift 3,333 Africa elephants

Hopefully, the above comparisons will give you a fair idea of just how much 20 thousand tonnes actually is; suffice it to say, it’s a lot of elephants!

More about the heaviest crane lift world record holder

The general operating purpose of this record-breaking heavy lifter is for the installation of very large modules in semi-submersibles (e.g. offshore drilling rigs) and FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) projects. It’s located at Yantai Raffles Shipyard in Yantai, China and was originally made to install huge integrated modules on top of a vessel’s hull.

Before the Taisun, semi-submersibles or FPSOs tended to be constructed in module form, typically of 1000 to 2000 sections. Because of this, much of the installation work had to be done on board which meant that the efficiency and speed of the project were compromised. Now Taisun is on the scene, the upper and lower parts of the vessel can be constructed at the same time. The net result is way shorter construction man-hours coupled with an improvement in quality and safety. In fact, according to this old article from 2008 on the ‘Offshore’ website, the heavy-duty Taisun crane’s ability to lift 20 thousand tonnes was estimated to save about 2 million man-hours on projects that would normally consist of moving much smaller pieces one at a time.


2008 was definitely a good year for the Taisun crane as it also won the Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) the same year for having a significant impact on the offshore industry.

The heaviest object ever lifted

When reading this article, you may well have got the impression that Taisun holds the world record for the heaviest object ever to be lifted on land but this isn’t the case. In fact, the current record for this was set on 17th October 2011 and stands at an astonishing 23,178 tonnes (51.1 million lbs). The object lifted was part of the North Rankin B Platform and it was raised to a height of 26.5 metres at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. Rather than a crane lift, this was more of a “push-up” whereby 15 push-up towers with extra bracing were used to safely lift the deck.

So, although the heaviest object ever lifted wasn’t carried out by the heavy-duty Taisun crane, it still holds the world record for the heaviest ever crane lift and is the reigning strongman of the crane world in our book.

Lead image kindly shared by HaakmanOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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