Tilt is where the action is

Playing with cranes
The difference between men and boys is the size of their toys, and playing with these cranes needs a bloody big sand pit. The 30 to 40 tonne panels lifted by Tilt Action in Parkinson Queensland were anything but playthings. Unusually shaped, multiple large penetrations, and ranging in size from 10 x 6m to 14 x 8m, Tilt Action's Shane Thomson readily admitted this to be the most difficult project he had been involved in from a construction perspective in over 20 years in Tilt Up.

Located on the Gold Coast, Tilt Action specialize in commercial and residential tilt panel construction, delivering high quality projects with their reliable team of qualified trades people. With such large panels required, tilt up becomes the more cost effective building method owing to the restrictions placed on transporting such panels by road from a precast plant. Further efficiencies are achieved through a reduced number of concrete pours, fewer panel lifts and placements, less crane time and connection points, and shorter lengths of jointing to caulk. Having dealt with Reid for almost seven years, Shane said "The support from Petar and Daniel (Reid Lift Design engineers) was second to none. The lift design was amazing. I first thought that a lot of the panels would have been 16 point lifts, but there ended up being only three. I cannot fault the support from Reid, both on site and from their Lift Design Team. There is no other company that can offer what Reid does."

The Tilt Action team

The sheer size and weight of the panels was always going to make lifting design an engineering challenge. The length of panels results in greater spans during lifting, increasing the stresses exerted on the panel during lifting with consequences ranging from unsightly cracks to a catastrophic break. Some panels were particularly flexible due to very narrow areas of concrete between the many large penetrations. Playing with cranes becomes deadly serious when such loads are involved. In addition, the larger size of the panels increases the resultant suction forces as the panel is lifted and "pops" from the casting bed.

This last point, suction, is a critical factor in panel lift design. Shane commented that he had used the solvent based bond breaker Seal & TiltTM for years prior to switching to Silcoseal Select about four projects ago. "Justin (Reid Account Manager, Justin Guilfoyle) came to me with Silcoseal and I was hesitant to use it as I had always heard water based bond breakers don't work. Justin brought Jeff Linn from Nox-crete out to site and after a long discussion, I decided to give it a try. Since then, I haven't looked back, using only 260lt on my past three projects (Tennyson, Byron Bay and Parkinson) to produce 3200sqm of panels. This has given me 50% higher coverage rate, and the reduced suction has saved me a bucket load in crane costs. Panel #18 in this project was 37 tonne. The crane could only position itself on one side because of the panel's length, and I was amazed that the crane operator only had to put 14 tonne on it to break the suction." The Reid Lift Design team now specifies the use of Silcoseal Select to minimise suction and reduce the loads a panel must withstand.

Continuing, Shane remarked: "The plastic slides on the RFL and Ramset Tilt-up Assemblies makes tying them into place a hell of a lot easier. When the boys walk across the mesh, the lifter doesn't move and can only go up and down with the mesh. This is perfect."

And on Reid's new Stiletto Ferrule Chairing System: "I only have to drill one hole saving me 50% in labour, the Locator (SCL - Stiletto Chair Locator) system locks into the panels and has next to no movement in the ferrule. This gives me peace of mind knowing that I will not have "out of place" ferrules as long as I install it correctly. I'm also impressed with the SCM Antenna Cap, which makes a smooth round crack in the concrete above it when you tap it with a hammer. Getting the concrete out from around the ferrule has never been easier, the boys don't have to chip away at it."

Reid Account Manager Justin Guifoyle was on site to witness the lifts of a number of panels, and see this Community Hall take shape. The images included here show some of the large unusual shapes and many penetrations in the panels produced by Tilt Action. The results are truly impressive.

*Note the strongback used as a support leg or "crutch" for the panel.