A Grove GMK5165-2 was used to remove the main statue from the façade of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, Chile, damaged by the massive February earthquake rated 8.8 on the Richter scale. The bronze statue of the Virgin Mary was in danger of falling.
Raul Burger, owner of Burger Gruas, a leading crane rental company in Chile, donated the labor and use of his Grove all-terrain crane for the project.
“Chileans will feel the aftermath of the earthquake for quite some time,” Burger said. “Repairing this great national monument is just one sign of recovery and our company is honored to play a role.”
Hundreds of onlookers watched as a fire truck hoisted a rigger in a man basket to the roof of the cathedral, where a worker carefully secured and rigged the statue for lifting. The statue was then lifted slowly down to the bed of a nearby truck. The crane was configured with 54 meters of boom and the radius was 28 meters. The outriggers were fully extended and used substantial cribbing because the crane was positioned over a subway tunnel.
Maximum capacity for the crane in this configuration was between 9 and 10 tonnes, more than enough for the statue that weighed between 3 and 4 tonnes. Burger said his company was confident in the crane even though it was large for the job.
“This was such a high-profile project,” he said. “We did not want to take any chances with our choice of crane, in either capacity or technology. And we are very happy with how the job went. The crane performed very smoothly.”
The Grove GMK5165-2 has 13 counterweight configurations that allow versatility and a maximum capacity of 165 U.S. tons. Outside the U.S., the crane is called the GMK5130-2 and has a maximum capacity of 130 tonnes. The maximum boom length is 60 meters.
The metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago became a National Monument of Chile in 1951. Its location dates from the city’s original layout from 1541 and the current church was constructed in 1745.