Like The Men from Marr’s, Sundrop Farms are passionate about solving problems. When John Holland was contracted as the construction partner for their first commercial greenhouse facility in South Australia, they turned to The Men from Marr’s to do the heavy lifting on this revolutionary sustainable agriculture project.

Sector Renewable energy
1 x M1280D
Engineers 3
Installation crew 4


At the time John Holland contacted us they were considering using a CC6800 crawler crane, but as a big machine it left no room on the ground for it to be assembled and do the work concurrently, required extensive ground preparation and relied on favourable wind conditions.

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Using a M2480D and M1280D we developed a series of critical lift plans that included installing the 100t steam drum on top of the 116-metre solar tower using a tag line system developed by our onsite rigging team.


Our solution required a smaller area to set up the tower crane without the need for extensive groundworks in comparison to alternative crane options, resulting in a shorter set-up time and lower costs.

Located in remote, arid lands in South Australia, Sundrop Farms Port Augusta uses revolutionary technology to draw seawater from the Spencer Gulf – turning it into fresh water to irrigate a vast greenhouse system with the capacity to grow 15 million kilograms of fruit and vegetables every year.

In 2014, John Holland contacted the Men from Marr’s to review proposed craneage solutions for construction of the AU$200 million project. Our recommendation was to use a tower crane solution instead of the proposed crawler crane.

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We used 3D computer modelling to check our solution and assist with the development of the install methodology and critical lift plans. (Image of 3D modelling against final lift).

We engineered a solution that allowed the crane to free-stand without the need for counter-weight ballast at the base of the crane. This solution saved the client the expense of having to transport any counter-weight ballast to and from site.

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Capacity of the Liebherr LR 1280 erection crane meant that the boom had to be lifted in two pieces. The first half was hung off the erection pendants with the second half lifted into position and held while the crane luffing system was reeved.

Part of our crane install rigging team stayed onsite to operate the crane, complete all the critical lifts and the rigging works associated with installation of the solar tower.

For the final lift to install the drum on the top of the tower, John Holland and our rigging team developed a system of taglines attached to winches to prevent the load from spinning as it was lifted 100-metres off the ground.

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Let's talk about how we could add value to your project

We work with our clients to find a solution that works – no matter how big or complex the job is. And if the right crane doesn’t already exist, we’ll build one to suit the needs of your project.