What is the big deal about Spider Cranes?

Spider cranes have taken the region by storm. Why is that? What is it about a spider crane that makes it so popular that rental companies are trying to get their hands on them? What has made contractors in The Middle East include them in their planning schedules and architects look at their diversified applications during building designs? Who are benefitting from them and why? These are some of the questions that are permeating throughout the region.

Let’s analyze these and see how we can answer these and other pertinent questions.

Spider cranes have become known as tough work-horses. Some units, like UNIC’s URW245 can lift more in weight than the cranes own total Laden weight. This little monster only weighs 1500kgs, but can lift a whopping 2400kgs. There are other examples as well, for instance the URW295, which has an unladen weight of 1850kgs, but can lift 2900kgs. Spider Cranes are designed to fit in and execute lifting operations, that otherwise would not have been done, or alternatively, dangerous methods would have been employed to execute these.

URW295 Crane in action inside a building.

Spider cranes are extensively used in building projects where upgrades are required. A good example of this is during the upgrades of The Dubai Mall recently, wherein the contractor had to convert 17000m2 of parking lot into useable mall area. Part of the job entailed lifting beams into position that weighed in excess of 1T each. No chance for the use of Mobile cranes and winches have become so slow in that they have to be installed and moved every so often, depending on where the lift should occur.

Unic’s URW706 was extensively used for this mall upgrade as the beams were placed at heights varying between 15 – 19m high. The contractor acknowledged this spider crane as “being the best piece of lifting equipment he has ever used in executing a job.” For more pictures and details on this exciting job, please read the article published in the magazine called “ME Construction News” –

Dubai mall extensions using the URW706 Spider Crane

UNIC Mini Spider Crane Range

What does the range of cranes comprise of. UNIC’s extensive range, covers crane capacities from 1T up to 10T lifting capacity. Some cranes are small enough that they can enter through a normal single door, making access very easy. Outriggers can be placed at multiple positions (max, mid and min-extension) allowing the cranes to work in almost all locations. These cranes are more often than not used inside buildings, between floors, to install glass or façade panels on the outside of the building. The cranes can work below their own position from 60m below up to 128m below, depending on the size of crane used.

This is the reason many façade companies use Spider cranes in between tower floors, lifting unitized panels and/or plain glass panels from a point below, and installing them. Many people have heard about the construction of the Tower known as Dubai Uptown Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Here 2 x URW376 cranes were used to install all unitized façade panels on this impressive building.

Dubai Uptown Tower with semi- Completed unitized Façade panels
URW376 Crane positioned in between floors for the installation

What can be done if I need to use a spider crane at a level or position where the crane cannot crawl to the desired position?

This has proven to be some of the more exciting solutions we have worked on. Firstly, there is the ability of using other cranes, such as mobile or even tower cranes to lift and position spider cranes into position. At times we have used larger spider cranes where access has been more difficult, to lift smaller spider crane into position. See some of these wonderful solutions in action.
URW 547 lifting a URW095 indoors
URW376 being lifted by mobile Crane
URW547 being lifted by Tower Crane

One of the most exciting jobs we have been involved in, was the time that the larger URW706 was required to work in a location where access for the crane was not passible at all. We came up with the ingenious idea to dismantle the URW706, lift all the dismantled components, piece by piece, using another URW706. Once all items were in place, we reassembled the crane, had the crane fully tested and certified, then successfully finalized the installation required.

URW706 crane fully dismantled

URW 706 individual components being lifted by another URW706 to where it is required to operate.

URW 706 individual components being lifted by another URW706 to where it is required to operate.

After reassembly, testing and certificating, the unit was ready to lift. See the short time lapse video below
and enjoy.

Project awareness

Some of the most prestigious projects throughout Dubai, have benefitted from the unique abilities of spider cranes. These projects include EXPO2020, Royal Atlantis, Dubai Opera House, Museum of the Future and Dubai Uptown Tower, to mention but a few.

In conclusion, it is clear what all the “buzz” is about and why spider cranes should be in your planning schedule for any of your projects. Spider Plus Construction Equipment Rentals LLC are the sole representative and distributors of UNIC Europe. Our team are highly skilled lifting solution providers and we are not just another rental outfit. Please send us an email at enquiries@spiderplus.ae for any lifting solutions you may be concerned about or other lifting solutions where any one or more of the full range of UNIC cranes may be required.

Look forward to hear from you.