Crane job for world’s biggest church bell
Gabriel Puscoiu, Felbermayr’s Head of Operations on site, began to prepare for the job as early as one month before the actual date. “Using computer-aided planning, we found out that the lifting job can be achieved using a 500-tonne class mobile crane,” Puscoiu explains and adds that this was not clear from the beginning as the distance from the crane to the belfry was quite large due to the conditions on the construction site. It turned out, however, that the lift job could also be done using an LTM 1500 with a 84-metre main telescopic boom and 135 tonnes of ballast. “We not only made sure that we provide excellent work but also that the cost factor was satisfactory for the customer,” says Puscoiu and adds that a crawler crane with a higher load capacity would have been the alternative.
Despite all technical possibilities, the job remained exciting to the very end. “In advance, you never know whether the practical application matches the theory,” says Puscoiu. On top of that, one always has to take into account and prioritise the safety of one’s employees. Thanks to meticulous preparation and the experiences of all those involved the team nonetheless managed to perform the lift job with a hook height of 80 metres according to the simulation. Lifting the other four bells into place was ‘bell’s play’ compared to their big brother. Together with the largest one, they weigh in at some 33 tonnes, creating a monumental chime.
Next on the agenda was the lifting in of the 96-tonne dome with a hook height of 102 metres. This time, there was no getting around the use of a crawler crane with a higher load capacity. “We used an LR 1600 with a maximum load capacity of 600 tonnes and a total of 550 tonnes of ballast,” says Puscoiu. The crane was equipped with a 66-metre main boom and a 48-metre luffing fly jib to overcome an interfering edge. “This setup was not least necessary because of the 48.6-metre outreach of the cantilever arm,” Puscoiu explains.
The bell will chime for the first time when the Church with the official name Catedrala Măntuirii Neamului (Cathedral of the People’s Redemption) is officially dedicated.