The Crane Gang

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[edit] General Information

Technology Documentary hosted by John Thomson, published by BBC in 2013 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: The-Crane-Gang-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

Following the men and women of the UK's largest mobile crane company.

[edit] Heavies

This episode features the 'heavies' - the huge machines challenged with carrying the biggest lifts of all, from boats to buildings and trains. In the millionaire's playground of Poole Harbour, the 'heavies' are tasked with lifting a luxury yacht safely into dry dock. At the former Olympic Park, technical problems threaten to throw the dismantling of the Aquatic Centre into disarray. However the biggest challenge of all comes when a freight train derails and crane riggers Dave and Lea put their bodies on the line to ensure it is safely lifted from the track. Away from the heavy lifting, the cameras reveal the demands the 'heavies' face. Life on the road sees them eating and sleeping in their vans and the drivers often find it hard to deal with the distance from their families.

[edit] Pressure

This episode sees the pressure mounting for the UK's largest mobile crane company. Lifting a hugely expensive sculpture into a private home in Somerset proves to be a logistical nightmare as an important client watches. In East London, the removal of an old railway bridge turns to angst and argument when the job falls 12 hours behind schedule. For crane driver teams like Leigh and Lee, it all means a relentless and frustrating 24/7 schedule as they criss-cross the country in their 2-berth transit van, rarely seeing their homes. It is not just the workers who are feeling the heat either, as commercial director Gareth Jones sees balance sheets hit hard when high winds lead to jobs being cancelled across the country. To make matters worse, his new purchase of a £4m state-of the art crane has yet to lead to a job for the firm.

[edit] Future

This episode sees the company looking to the future. Their teams of drivers, riggers and slingers are working on the front line of new energy projects. However the installation of a wind turbine in Cornwall is brought to a halt by too much wind. In London, the crane drivers are given cycle awareness training to help cut the risk of their HGVs to vulnerable road users. The team also face a delicate job as they are tasked with lifting the HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Meanwhile, two of the company's most trusted employees are looking for a change. Driver Andy Surridge gives up working 6 days a week on a crane floating in the Firth of Forth estuary so that he can see more of his wife. Paul Gilpin, the company's oldest employee, is retiring - but not before he has one last go in a crane.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 19 (~3540Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps ABR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 59 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 1.56 GB (average)
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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