Lifting in the dark

23 February 2012

German crane hire company Breuer and Wasel has debuted their latest acquisition, a Liebherr LR 1600/2 crawler crane, on a nighttime lift replacing an outdated railway bridge in Hürth-Fischenich, Germany.

Breuer and Wasel are ardent advocates of Liebherr cranes, having purchased over 90 Liebherr mobile cranes along with 340 Liebherr tower cranes over the years.

Established in 1970, the firm has developed from a small operation based in Bergheim, Germany into a pan-European concern with eight locations and around 300 employees.

Now run by the second generation of the Wasel family, namely Matthias Wasel Jr and Thomas Wasel, the company has grown its mobile crane fleet from 14 to 115 units.

Having developed a fleet of mobile cranes over the last few decades that are now 80% Liebherr, it comes as no surprise that the firm’s crawler crane fleet of five prior to the new purchase consists entirely of Liebherrs, including another LR 1600/2 crawler.

And the firm has now put its newest addition to good use on a night lifting project for a railway bridge replacement in Hürth-Fischenich, only a few kilometers from Breuer and Wasel’s depot in Cologne.

Dating back to 1903, the old bridge is no longer fit for use and needs to be replaced to keep the areas rail network running without any problems. But due to the vital position of the bridge on the railway network—as it also crosses over another busy line— the work had to be done quickly to reduce any disruption to railway traffic.

Several lifts were performed to remove the original bridge in sections, before the new railway bridge, measuring 46m in length and weighing a substantial 454t, could be installed in its place.

The LR 1600/2 was configured with a 42m main boom along with a derrick boom. This required the superstructure to be equipped with 150t of ballast and 65t of central ballast, while 320t of derrick ballast was also used for the lift.

The first lift for the crane was to position it in the pre-assembly area in preparation for final placement.

Once the final preparations had been made to the rigging, which now meant that the total weight of the lift would be 470t, the LR 1600/2 raised the load from ground level before slewing 180° andtravelling the 20m distance to the new bridge’s final set-down position.

Then the lift was completed once the bridge was moved into its final resting position on the abutments, while being held at a 17m outreach.

Breuer and Wasel said the entire operation went off without a hitch, on time and according to the schedule.