Case Studies

Universal Cranes news and events from around Australia.

Big Prawn Relocation

Ballina’s iconic Big Prawn on the move

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De Luca Corporation

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The Big Prawn Relocation

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September 2012

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Manitowoc M12000 Crawler Cranes


  • Lift engineering and autocad lift studies
  • Mobilisation and Rigging of two 120t M12000s
  • Freeing the Big Prawn from current foundations
  • Procurement of certified boilermakers
  • Execution of the relocations


Universal Cranes was one of very few crane companies willing to take on the relocation of the iconic Big Prawn in Ballina. There were concerns the nearly twenty five year old structure would not survive relocation, and this made for a unique and challenging lifting scenario. The structure was originally marked for demolition, but after campaigning by locals to save the icon, Bunnings elected to preserve and relocate it.

Universal Cranes was contracted to relocate the 33T Big Prawn 100m down the road onto new foundations constructed by De Luca, to clear the existing site for a Bunning’s development. Boilermakers were engaged to cut four incisions in the 50mm concrete and weld certified lifting lugs into the main steel structure to evenly distribute the weight of the structure and prevent it collapsing.

Two 110T M12000 cranes then lifted the structure while boilermakers cut the eight steel legs to free the Big Prawn from its existing foundations. The M12000 cranes then slowly moved the Big Prawn to its new resting place in around 30 minutes.

The Big Prawn received absolutely no damage in the move, but did receive a lot of attention from local residents who gathered to watch Ballina’s icon move to its new home.


  • Manitowoc M12000 Crawler Cranes

Click here to see the Big Prawn relocation in the media