A new hydraulic cassette type torque wrench saved hours of work during repairs to a storm damaged, heritage listed retaining wall, which dates back to 1842.
Ground engineering and construction company, Retaining Specialists, hired the wrench from Kennards Lift & Shift for the project at James Fletcher Hospital in Newcastle.
In June 2007, damaging storms smashed the city, flooding hundreds of homes and forcing the 76,741 tonne bulk carrier Pasha Bulker aground on Nobbys Beach.
Repairs to the 150 metre long sandstone and brick retaining wall at James Fletcher Hospital – originally a military barracks – were preceded by substantial geotechnical investigations, heritage consultation and detailed design work.
Retaining Specialists secured the structure with 300 anchors, which were driven through the wall and grouted into the ground behind.
The nuts securing the anchors were torqued to 9 tonne (2400psi) in the bottom section of the wall, and to 6 tonne (1500psi) in the upper section.
Retaining Specialists operations manager Kim Dellosta said the torque wrench was excellent for securing and calibrating the required tension.
"A hollow core jack would have achieved the same result, but the work would have been slow and tedious," he said.
"By using the torque wrench, which is 240V and easy to operate, we were able to do up to 15 an hour, instead of two or three the other way.
"Also, the Kennards Lift & Shift wrench came to us fully tested and certified.
"We used one on a previous project in Melbourne, so we were aware of the benefits.
"They are not cheap to buy – all up about $15,000 – so it is a better option for us to hire when the need arises."
The cassette model is more compact than the standard square drive torque wrenches, which Kennards Lift & Shift also hires.
It does not involve the use of bulky sockets, but instead operates via a link that is altered to the size bolt in the application which is particularly good in tight access areas.
Kennards Lift & Shift has hire centres in Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.