Anthony O’Connor Dismantles Quays Iconic Structure

AOC Services: News

Appointed by Urban Vision following a successful tendering process, Anthony O’Connor & Sons Ltd (AOC), a demolition and excavation specialist based in Salford, have recently completed the challenging project, safely dismantling Salford Quays’ iconic Dock Cranes.

Originally erected on South Dock 6 in 1966, the 16m high Stothert & Pitt DD2 type travelling Dock Cranes weighing circa 80 tonnes each, were subsequently relocated to what is now known as Ontario Basin in 1988, and have since had the main Metrolink line built around them. Last year, Salford City Council, the owners of the structures, commissioned an inspection to gain an up-to-date understanding of the condition of the cranes, which identified a range of issues associated with deterioration through exposure to the elements. It was therefore decided that although iconic, the Dock Cranes needed to be dismantled as a matter of urgency.

Whilst the design of the structures presented a challenge in themselves, AOC had a further hurdle to overcome with time restraints applied to minimise disruption to road and tram users, as well as predictions of wind speeds in excess of the Cranes’ safe limits during the weekend on which the work was to be carried out. The firm had a full weekend in October 2013, during which road and Metrolink closures were implemented from 02:00am on Saturday to 04:00am on Monday.

Planning started as soon as AOC won the tender as main contractors and specialist demolition engineers, with planning for safe lifts (Lift Plans), CDM 2007 compliance including risk assessments and method statements, as well as obtaining a MET Office 5 day forecast.

AOC’s highly intricate work process ensured that the Dock Cranes were dismantled successfully in just 6 heavy lifts using a 500 tonne main crane and 70 tonne service crane manoeuvred safely over the Metrolink avoiding the overhead cables and onto prepared bases for size reducing. The in-house machinery included the new AOC Komatsu 360LC fitted with a large steel shear which swiftly removed the Jib and A frame from each of the Dock Cranes, before being loaded onto the AOC (STGO 3) Low Loader for transporting back to their depot in Salford for recycling – environmental care being something the business takes very seriously as part of their regular work.

On behalf of the client, Paul Hirst (Team Leader, Bridges) of Urban Vision, comments: “The whole project was successfully completed without incident or damage to infrastructure, despite worsening weather conditions which resulted in several winded-off periods. We were extremely impressed by the team from AOC who completed the project before our deadline, ensuring the road was re-opened earlier than expected, and the trams were able to start running normally on schedule on the Monday morning.

Luke Roche, Contracts Director from AOC concludes: “It was a proud moment for us to be appointed as main contractor for this project working on such an iconic structure on our very own Salford soil. We were very confident in our abilities to successfully dismantle the Dock Cranes, and to do our part for the environment by recycling the steel that came from the site”.


Notes to Editors:

  • Anthony O’Connor & Sons Ltd (AOC) was established over 30 years ago by Anthony O’Connor, as a demolition business. The company has since gone from strength to strength providing services in:
    • Demolition
    • Bulk Excavation and Earthworks
    • Ground Remediation
    • Heavy Haulage and Transportation
    • Vehicle Maintenance
    • Recycled Aggregates
    • Plant and Equipment Hire
  • Clients include those in the construction and property sectors, industrial contractors and local authorities with long-standing relationships developed with companies such as BAM Construction Ltd, Willmott Dixon Ltd and Urban Vision.
  • For further information please visit
  • Additional information relating to this press release can be obtained from Rina Bharath, Marketing & PR Consultant for Anthony O’Connor & Sons Ltd, on 07515 403 811 or