International, Projects

Mònica is back home: LTC 1050-3.1 mounts restored bell in La Seu Vella Cathedral

She rings again! Eight years ago, Mònica, one of the two original 15th century bells at La Seu Vella Cathedral in Lérida (Catalonia), was dismantled for restoration at the specialist workshop of Grassmayr in Innsbruck (Austria). A Liebherr LTC 1050-3.1 compact crane owned by the Spanish crane company Grúas Minguella has now lifted it back into its former position.

Challenge of work route

“One of the main challenges for this manoeuvre was providing access to the work site for the crane. In order to get to the construction site, the LTC 1050-3.1 had to pass through two stone arches that are only three metres high and offer extremely little space,” says Tomás Minguella, Managing Director of Grúas Minguella. The Liebherr LTC 1050-3.1 compact crane was a good choice for this job due to its compact dimensions, especially in terms of its height and manoeuvrability. “To ensure the highest level of safety due to the historical value of the Mònica bell, we carried out a simulation of the lift in advance and worked out a special lifting plan,” Minguella continues.

528 years at home – return after eight years

On 7 May 2014, Mònica left her location for the first time since her installation in 1486. Due to a crack that could have caused it to break apart, the bell was transported to the Grassmayr workshop in Innsbruck (Austria) for repair. It wasn’t until eight years later that it was finally returned to the top of the bell tower due to various bureaucratic hurdles – the tower is a listed building. “For Grúas Minguella, it was a great honour to be able to support this project, because it allowed us to contribute to the history and development of our region,” concludes Tomás Minguella.

Grúas Minguella already active at La Seu Vella 25 years ago

Raising the bell was not Grúas Minguella’s first assignment at La Seu Vella Cathedral. Twenty-five years ago, the company used a Liebherr LTM 1030 mobile crane to carry out maintenance work on Mònica. However, since the boom of the LTM 1030 was shorter than that of the current LTC 1050-3.1, the 30-tonne crane was supported on stacked timber at the time, which allowed it to be raised by almost two metres to reach the required height.

Grúas Minguella has relied on Liebherr machines since day one due to the latter’s high-quality products and excellent customer service. The company has a fleet of 13 cranes, all built by Liebherr. Grúas Minguella was also one of the first companies in Spain to procure the Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1 mobile crane. The 450-tonne machine is currently the largest crane in its fleet.

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