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Two Potain MR 295 tower cranes are helping to build Birmingham’s tallest office building

  • Two Potain MR 295 luffing jib cranes are installing the steel frame of the 103 Colmore Row office building in Birmingham, UK.
  • The cranes’ compact counter jib makes them suitable to work in the limited space available.
  • The cranes have been equipped with additional custom wind sail plates to further reduce the out of service radius due to the tight site location.

Two Potain MR 295 luffing jib cranes are helping to build a Grade A office building in 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham. The 16 t and 20 t capacity cranes have been on the site since last October, supporting the construction of the concrete core and lifting and assembling steel girders to help build the office tower’s steel frame and winter garden.     

The Potain MR 295 features a fixed counterweight that minimizes moving parts and creates a compact counter jib, making the cranes the ideal size to work in the confined city center. The crane can be equipped with up to 60 m of jib, with capacity at the end of the jib being up to 2.8 t. For the Colmore Row project, the cranes have been equipped with 40 m and 45 m jibs, which gives the cranes a capacity of 6.1 t and 4.5 t, respectively. The first crane was erected to 114.5 m and the second crane was erected on top of the concrete core, installed some 100 m above ground level with a tip height of 162 m, making it the tallest structure in Birmingham.

Tons of steel
“The customer needed a crane with the capacity and reach to meet the tough project specifications while also being compact enough to work in the limited space available,’’ explained Kim Dandridge, managing director of Manitowoc Cranes UK. 

The MR 295 was supplied for the project by Radius Group, the UK partners of NFT Specialized in Tower Cranes.

Nagham Al Zahlawi, deputy general manager of NFT, said: “The Potain MR 295 fulfills all the requirements and we are impressed with the strong performance of the cranes. Building the steel frame will take around 36 weeks to complete and it means the cranes will have to lift more than 2,200 t of steel. With the MR 295, the project is progressing rapidly.”

Comprising 20,775 m2 of office space, the 26-story tower will be Birmingham’s tallest office building and will also be home to a restaurant located on the top floor. The building is located at the junction of Colmore Row and Newhall Street and is part of Birmingham’s City Center Enterprise Zone. Work is expected to be completed by May 2021.

No job too large
With a rental fleet of 50 cranes in the UK and more cranes on the way, there is no project that Radius Group cannot handle.

“NFT and Radius Group see great potential in the British market and are constantly updating their fleet to meet any requirement,” Al Zahlawi added.

Supported by its own crew of erectors and mobile electric maintenance experts who travel all over the country, the company also runs a workshop in Buckingham with a team of five permanent service personnel and a stock of spare parts. For further spare parts, technicians and technical documentation, Radius Group is supported by the Potain after-sales and parts services support from the Manitowoc premises in Buckingham, UK.


Cristelle Lacourt
T +33 472 182 018

Potain MR 295 tower cranes helping build Birmingham's tallest office building (Picture 1)
Potain MR 295 tower cranes helping build Birmingham's tallest office building (Picture 3)