Lift and Shift meaning and process in the lifting services and crane hire industry

In the world of crane hire and lifting services, a lift and shift service refers to the process of moving heavy objects from one location to another using specialised lifting equipment such as cranes, hoists, and forklifts. 

You may be forgiven for thinking that this is not necessarily difficult to perform; a lift and shift involves picking up an object and putting it down somewhere else. You might acknowledge that this requires a skilled crane operator, but the process may seem straightforward at first glance. 

You could not be more wrong. 

Creativity is key

Appointed Person looking at a heavy object that is about to be moved on to a pallette of wood.

At its heart, a high-quality Lift and Shift service is about troubleshooting and thinking creatively. 

It is rare to be presented with a straightforward lift. Most times there are various obstacles to overcome, such as physical obstructions, distance, fragility or confined spaces. A highly skilled lifting specialist will see these issues as mere hindrances to be overcome, and apply experience, expertise and creativity to ensure the lift is successful. 

It may look like a simple process – but that’s because of the huge amount of thinking, expertise and creativity that has been put into its planning and execution. 

In this blog post, we aim to explain the process of a lift and shift, before moving to highlighting its benefits for industries such as construction, manufacturing and engineering. You will see that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than you first thought. 

The Process of Lift and Shift

1. Assessment and Planning 

The first step in the lift and shift process involves a thorough assessment of the object to be moved. Factors such as its weight, dimensions, shape, and fragility are considered to determine the most suitable lifting equipment and techniques for the job. This is conducted by the Appointed Person (AP). They are the person responsible for the safe execution of the lift. 

Based on the assessment, the AP selects the lifting equipment they think will be best. This may include cranes of various types and sizes, forklifts, or specialised lifting attachments. 

The AP now writes a detailed Lifting Plan. This contains all the details of the lift, including the specifications of the equipment that will be required. 

2. Rigging and Securement

Before the lift, the object is rigged and secured to the lifting equipment using appropriate slings, chains, straps, or clamps. A skilled Rigger will figure out the best attachment points and ensure that the load is balanced to prevent any instability during the lift.

3. Lifting and Shifting

With the object properly rigged, the lifting operation begins. The crane operator follows precise instructions from the Slinger/Signaller to lift the object smoothly and steadily, taking into account factors such as wind conditions, obstacles, and clearance requirements. 

4. Unloading and Placement 

Once the object reaches the destination laid out in the Lifting Plan, it is carefully unloaded from the lifting equipment. 

Benefits of Lift and Shift

There are numerous benefits of professional Lift and Shift services. Here are just three:

1. Safety

No one wants any injuries to take place on their site. The Lift and Shift process prioritises safety, ensuring that heavy objects are moved without causing harm to personnel or property. Proper planning, equipment selection, and execution minimise the risk of accidents or damage.

2. Efficiency 

By utilising specialised lifting equipment, a lift and shift service improves efficiency. Heavy objects can be moved quickly and accurately, reducing the time it takes to complete the move and ensuring projects are completed on time. This reduces downtime, which in turn ensures productivity is kept at optimal levels. 

3. Versatility

Lift and shift techniques are not just for those working in the construction industry. They can be applied to a wide range of objects in various industries, including engineering, manufacturing, logistics, and more. 

The process can also be applied to domestic services, such as hot tub installation.

This versatility makes it a valuable solution for different lifting and shifting requirements. Here at Fortis Heavy Lifting Group, we provide lift and shift services for various industries across the UK. 

Interested? Learn more

Lift and shift: it’s all in the planning

With careful planning, a lift and shift allows heavy objects to be moved safely and efficiently. The process involves detailed planning, and this really is the secret to its success. After equipment selection and setup, the object is rigged and secured, then lifted and shifted before placement takes place. 

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