Alternative lifting solution

By Christian Shelton01 September 2020

German crane service provider Riga Mainz was commissioned by German engineering and construction company IHT Ingenieur-, Hoch- und Tiefbau to help replace eight aging Deutsche Bahn railway bridges in Darmstadt, Germany.


The new concrete bridges weighed 320 tonnes each, although the total load carried by the SPMT was 570 tonnes  

Due to the layout of the bridges, it was deemed unfeasible to use a mobile crane for the job. “We could lift the first bridges while parked on the road to their designated positions using a mobile crane,” explained Uwe Langer, managing director of Riga Mainz, “but we couldn´t reach the remaining structures in this way at all. At the very least the use of a crane with a corresponding reach would be very complex and expensive. This is why we were looking for a more economical solution.”


Ten SPMT axle lines were used on either side of the girder deck/lifting bridge and in-house lifting system

The method Riga Mainz used involved 20 Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) axle lines from German manufacturer Scheuerle, a girder deck/lifting bridge rented from German heavy lift specialist Kubler Spedition, and its own patent-pending in-house lifting system, which Riga Mainz says provides a lifting capacity of 500 tonnes.

The girder deck and lifting system were located between 10 SPMT axle lines on each side. These SPMT acted as moveable platforms. In this way the entire setup was manoeuvred into position to remove the old bridges and install the new ones. 

A key advantage of this lifting method, according to Riga Mainz, was that the railway’s overhead powerlines could be left in place keeping disruption to a minimum.

Riga Mainz said that because the system was so effective, it is now looking to purchase additional Scheuerle SPMT axle lines.


Riga Mainz has filed a patent for its in-house designed lifting system


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