The original tower at the Church of Saint Jakub in Szczecin, Poland, was destroyed in 1943 during the Second World War. More than 60 years later Kran Warylo had the task of replacing it using its 500 tonne capacity Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 telescopic wheeled mobile crane.
Michal Tudek, Kran Warylo project manager, says the building requirements led contractor Kosnart building works to construct the spire on site, rather than in a factory.
Tudek adds that the nature of the job meant the crane had to be set up in a “highly complicated" configuration in the limited working area.
Boom length for the job was 57.7 m, with a 63 m lattice jib. Some 165 tonnes of counterweight was also used.
“The problem was the unsettled wind conditions prevailing in the high-altitude construction area," comments Tudek.
Once the job had been finalised, the lift took just 15 minutes to complete and was witnessed by thousands of spectators, Tudek says. “It was an exceptionally spectacular event," he adds.
Concerning the crane market in Poland, Tudek says there has been “dynamic growth" since the country joined the European Union in 2004, which has prompted rental companies to invest in new cranes.
Advances in construction technology also means higher lifting capacity cranes are used, which means more companies are choosing to use large-scale prefabricated sections, explains Tudek. These, Tudek adds, are carried from the factory using specialized transport and erected in a relatively short time, in one piece. This is in favour of the more traditional onsite construction techniques.
“Therefore, a company such as ours has to be an active market player, and has to be continuously focused on the purchase of the new, bigger equipment. As a result, Polish companies have become technologically competitive in relation to their biggest international competitors, such as Mammoet or Nolte," says Tudek.
Tudek adds that the relatively young wind energy market in the country has also created an increase in demand for crane services and specialized transport. In response Kran Warylo bought the 750 tonne capacity lattice boom Liebherr LG 1750 wheeled mobile crane, plus a range of specialized transport equipment, to carry wind turbine sections.
Kran Warylo has a fleet of 50 cranes and 18 trucks.