ALE is celebrating the 10-year anniversary since the launch of the AL.SK cranes series, which have performed some exceptional and record-breaking lifts previously thought impossible.
In 2006, ALE’s Research and Development (R&D) division, based in Breda, the Netherlands, began developing concepts for a new crane. ALE wanted the new design to have the highest capacity on the market, be capable of being configured in different sizes, to maintain speed and efficiency for smaller lifts, and have enhanced safety, accuracy and performance.
This became the first AL.SK crane, the AL.SK190, which was launched in 2008. It was the first crane to be designed and built by ALE and, at 4,300t, was then the world’s largest capacity land-based crane.
This was not just a new crane but a new type of crane altogether. ALE developed a solution to enable the crane to rotate around its ballast. It was this that helped to give it such a high capacity as well as an improved outreach.
From its first job lifting a column in Saudi Arabia, to replacing oil refinery drums in the USA and performing over 150 lifts on the STAR Project in Turkey, the AL.SK cranes have travelled around the world, overcoming numerous complex challenges.
Cees Segeren, Technical Adviser, explained, “The AL.SK fleet has revolutionised the way the industry perceives crane lifting and has had many notable achievements in the last 10 years. One of the great advantages of the cranes is that they can operate in a small space and this was showcased recently during renovation works at Earls Court in London, UK. Other demolition works could continue, which pleased the clients as they saved time and costs.”
The AL.SK190 received the Innovation and Development Award – End User at the 2010 ESTA Awards of Excellence. The AL.SK cranes were later included in ALE’s Innovation Series of equipment and in 2016, the AL.SK350 completed a remarkable 3,000t lift, the largest commercial lift by a land based crane.
Over the last 10 years ALE has continued to innovate and build more AL.SK cranes. The AL.SK350 was launched in 2013. It can lift up to 5,000t and took its place as the world’s largest capacity land-based crane.
In 2016 ALE enhanced their capabilities further by fabricating a new heavy duty jib for the cranes and also announced plans to combine two AL.SK cranes into one system, the AL.SK700, which will be able to lift loads up to 8,000t.
Roger Harries, who founded ALE, said, “ALE’s Innovation Series demonstrates our commitment to continuous development and the Series is still growing because there is a great demand for this specialist equipment. As a company, we are always looking forward to anticipating future challenges and innovation is at the heart of that. The AL.SK cranes were just the beginning for the Innovation Series and they will remain an important part of it as we continue to enhance our current systems and develop new solutions.”