Case Study

Thunderbird to the rescue – Mobile Crawler Crane Hire

Working for one of the leading global renewable energy specialists at a Solar Farm in Norfolk, we used our innovative Compact Crawler Crane, the ‘Thunderbird’, to overcome a challenge that no other crane company could solve.

Our Compact Crawler Crane benefits include:

  • Versatile & compact
  • Lifting capacities up to 13t
  • Pick and carry up to 6t
  • Low ground bearing pressures
  • Ideal for internal operations
  • Fly Jib for additional height/reach
  • Fully remote-controlled for safety
  • Attachable grab/bucket for material handling

The challenge

Carrying a 6t transformer over 1-mile across a field

Solar farms are making a major contribution to Britain’s energy mix. However, they pose a challenging environment for maintenance and upgrades because they are predominately constructed on farmland which, especially in winter, does not lend itself to heavy plant movements. When a 6t transformer failed deep within a solar farm in north Norfolk, a leading global renewable energy specialist needed a swift solution to a challenging problem. The renewable energy specialists are market leaders in the provision and operation of renewable energy facilities and, to their credit, had the foresight to anticipate this issue months before.

They invited innovative solutions from the country’s leading crane hire companies and after a rigorous tender and approval process, Cadman Cranes were awarded the contract for providing emergency replacement of plant to ensure minimal disruption to production. The faulty transformer needed to be extracted from its container using a machinery moving crew, transported back to a waiting recovery vehicle, and replaced with a brand-new unit. More than a mile from any hard standing the 6t transformer would have to be picked and carried on particularly soft terrain, ensuring no damage to the delicate, expensive unit while keeping specified safe clearance from the overhead power lines that crossed the site at various points.

Despite being up against some of the country’s leading crane hire firms at the tender stage, we knew we would win this one. We definitely have the right people and the right skills, but we also knew we were the only company with the right crane.

Introducing our Compact Crawler Crane, the ‘Thunderbird’.


The solution

The 6t pick and carry option was no problem for this unique machine and its restricted headroom of 4.8m under the power lines was achieved safely with ease.

The remote-control operation of the crane made the unit removal and installation a breeze, allowing the operator to have eyes on the load at every stage of the lift.


The solution

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