Two all-terrain cranes from Manitowoc’s Grove brand are working to rebuild the central Italian city of L’Aquila, which means “the eagle”, after it suffered extensive damage from an earthquake in early 2009. High performing GMK5220 cranes have been recruited for the delicate resurrection of the prestigious San Massimo cathedral and the historic Piazza del Duomo both of which were severely damaged when the earthquake, which measured 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale, devastated the capital of Abruzzo on April 6, 2009.
Enrico Angiolini, export sales director at Manitowoc Cranes, said delicate handling of the ruins is critical as they are hundreds of years old and weigh over 1 t each.
The five-axle GMK5220 cranes offer a maximum lift capacity of 220 t with a 68 m main boom. When working with jib extensions the cranes can reach a tip height of 108 m. The smooth control and lifting precision come from Grove’s unique ECOS system which gives the operator optimum control and lift performance, while also providing on-screen feedback to the cab to ensure each job is managed according to plan.
One Grove arrived at the ancient site in May, and the other followed in June. They were supplied on rental contracts by two Italian family-owned firms, Di Stefano and F.lli Pergamo. The companies purchased their cranes from Manitowoc with the help of local dealer FIMI Spa. The two cranes will remain on the restoration project until at least the end of the year. Work to rebuild the damaged structures and to remove rubble littering the main square is under the charge of the local council and the Italian Ministry of Cultural and Historical Monuments. Enrico Angiolini said using Grove’s technology would speed up recovery work. “L’Aquila is situated on a seismic lake-bed, and the Duomo Cathedral was last destroyed by an earthquake in the early 18th century, ” he said. “But the advanced Manitowoc technology in our Grove cranes means reconstruction will be much easier now. Our cranes will allow the work to continue at a good pace, allowing the thousands of people displaced by the earthquake to return home soon.” The G8 summit for the world’s heads of government this July was moved from Sardinia to L’Aquila at the last minute to bring much needed funds to the area.