When Wildson de Jesus, general director of Willift Lifting Engineering, received the task to plan the lifting of heavy metal parts at a 40 m (131 ft) height, at a lime plant in Vitoria, Brazil, his main concern was to find the right equipment to perform the job securely and efficiently. Jesus knew it would be a complex operation — six silos and their lids, each part weighing 22 tonnes and 4t respectively, had to be removed and some heavy metal parts connected to these barrels would need to be cut off during the dismantling process.
“There was just not enough room for us to go to the back side and lift the silos from there. We needed a high-capacity crane with a long boom that could reach the silos from the front part and remove them,” Jesus explained.
“The telescopic cranes we were looking into had a boom length of only 72 m, which would require the use of a swingaway extension to increase the tip height and reach at 20 m radius. But that was not ideal, because we needed the crane’s maximum capacity with its main boom for the job, to increase safety.”
Another concern was that the use of a boom extension could make things a little harder for the operator, as the crane would have to hold extremely heavy parts up while they were being cut off from the silos, at a 40 m height. And, finally, the use of a boom extension would require some extra time for assembling, which would affect the planned schedule for the job to be completed.
“When we came across the GMK5250XL-1 we realised that it was the only crane that could perform this work securely and efficiently. It’s a high-capacity crane easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces and, more importantly, its boom can extend up to 78.5 m, which was a perfect fit to remove those barrels,” Jesus said.
The dismantling job at the mining company started in February of last year and was scheduled to finish in September. The work ran very smoothly, and the workers were able to finish it within the schedule.
The Grove GMK5250XL-1 used on the jobsite was the first of its kind sold in Latin America. It belongs to the Brazilian lifting and cargo handling company Sistermi, which purchased the crane in 2021. The company’s fleet also includes Grove rough-terrain and compact industrial Carrydeck cranes.
“We have partnered with Manitowoc for many years, and we know that Grove cranes have the technology needed to perform challenging jobs with both precision and speed,” said Roberto Silva, commercial director for Sistermi.
“We were very happy with the excellent result that our new GMK5250XL-1 provided for this project,” he said.
One of the most powerful and versatile five-axle cranes on the market, the GMK5250XL-1 has the highest-rated capacity — 250t — and the quickest setup time in its class. Its cab is tiltable to approximately 20° and offers a commanding view of the jobsite. The operator’s seat has its own suspension and is fully adjustable with controls integrated into the armrest. Each control has been ergonomically arranged for ultimate comfort, accuracy and efficiency, while all crane movements are shown on the ideally positioned CCS (Crane Control System) graphic display. The load moment and independent anti-two block system with audio-visual warning and control lever lock-out also helps the operator stay in full control.
Jesus pointed out that the GMK5250XL-1’s CCS was essential to get the job done in the quickest, most efficient way possible, as it provided operators with all the information they needed to have a successful performance in such a complex operation.
“I was very impressed with how reliable this crane was, enduring numerous challenges we had in this project. Altogether we lifted and moved 920t of parts with no issues reported. We didn’t stop working one single day,” Jesus said.