A lift for Austria’s largest cathedral
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Mariä-Empfängnis-Dom) in Linz, also known as St. Mary's Cathedral (Mariendom) or New Cathedral (Neuer Dom), is undergoing extensive renovation work expected to last until 2030 – a Liebherr MK 140 mobile construction crane, from the crane service provider Felbermayr, added its own small contribution to the project in March 2019.
In order to install a second construction elevator at the cathedral, which is the largest in Austria in terms of surface area, several girders as well as a lift cabin weighing over one tonne needed to be hoisted onto a platform at a height of 75 metres. As construction progresses, the elevator will reach a height of 115 metres to enable assembly of further scaffolding at the nearly 135-metre high bell tower.
It was thanks to the crane's VarioJib concept that Felbermayr Transport- und Hebetechnik GmbH & Co. KG made the MK 140 their first choice for this project: On the one hand because the mobile construction crane can be transported, assembled and operated by just one person and on the other, because it can reach hook heights of up to 94.4 metres in luffing mode, lifting up to 1.4 tonnes – which was the case in Linz. These factors make the MK 140 unique in its crane class.
“It was the MK 140’s very simple, fast and cost-effective assembly that especially spoke in its favour. However, choosing where to position the crane wasn’t easy: Space was extremely tight on the cathedral square, between a residential building, a tree and the bell tower. We needed to be close to the tower, otherwise we wouldn’t have reached the necessary load capacity without a jib extension. But the reduced radius at a 65-degree jib position ultimately decided the crane’s location,” explains Wolfgang Brunner, Operations Manager at Felbermayr. Only the increasing strength of the wind as the day progressed, which could easily have become gale force at this height, affected the time the installation took. All in all, everything went smoothly and the job was finished in just under eight hours – including arrival and departure as well as the erection and dismantling of the mobile construction crane.
The VarioJib concept enables two modes when the Liebherr MK 140 is in action: standard trolley mode and luffing mode. In trolley mode, the crane has a lifting capacity of 1,900 kilogrammes at its tip with a maximum radius of 58.5 metres. Luffing mode enables the luffed jib position to be adjusted infinitely when loaded between -20° and 70°. With a transport dimension of only 16 metres, it has a jib length of 60 metres on board – extremely compact for such a large crane.