Floating five-axle crane

4 December 2020

Crane contractor Movitram GrĂșas delivered an LTM 1220-5.2 to the mountainous and forested coffee region in Colombia to install a bridge, with the 220t Liebherr all terrain crane travelling 8km on the Rio Cauca on a barge.

‘Autopista pacifico 2’ is a motorway, tunnel and bridge construction project in the remote, high altitude coffee region of Colombia. But the only access route by land included a bridge which the crane could not cross due to its 72t operating weight.

Looking at different options, Movitram Gruas decided to transport the LTM 1220-5.2 to the site by water. This required extensive calculations and safety precautions as well as obtaining a series of permits.

“First of all, it was a major challenge to get the crane on the water at all.

There was no road, which meant we had to make several modifications to off-road routes,” said Carlos Enrique Parra Ibagon, managing director of Movitram Gruas. “Precise levelling and perfect securing for the cargo were essential. There has never been a job like this one. It was an extraordinary project.”

The LTM 1220-5.2 reached the site after a journey time of three hours while low loaders transported the equipment and ballast weights. On site, the 220t five-axle crane completed several jobs including erecting a tower crane and installing 25 reinforced concrete box channels, each weighing 20t.

“Transporting the crane on the water has many benefits and there is a great deal of potential for it.

In some cases, the distances are significantly shorter. The road network in Colombia is pretty poor and permits are expensive. Transporting cranes by water could take heavy haulage vehicles off the crumbling roads,” concluded Ibagon.