Christian Niederwolfsgruber is a Liftinghero with a really interesting story; one that we have already shared ( read his story here). He and his colleagues Tobias, Damian & Bernd from Unionbau AG, were keen to take a look around our site in Biberach and we were happy to make this happen. There was of course time to talk about Christian's special remote control as well and he also told us about a recent big crane operator meet-up.

The four colleagues are passionate crane operators at Unionbau AG and are currently working with several EC-B cranes, including a 340 EC-B, as well as an 81 K.1, in South Tyrol.

“Operating a crane involves a lot of practice. Each day and each project is different. That’s a great challenge. Enjoying the job makes all the difference because if you're happy you do things well,” says Tobias, describing his enthusiasm for crane work.

The crane operators particularly value the high quality, advanced technology, and efficiency associated with Liebherr cranes. Speed of operation, precision control, and the Load Plus function are all features that make Liebherr cranes stand out from the crowd.

But the crane operators also recognise how important reliable partners like our dealer Niederstätter are, “Because even the best crane isn’t much use if you don’t have a good partner,” they explain.

Christian’s remote control

After the factory tour, Christian talked about his special remote control.

An accident a few years back left him with limited use of one of his arms and it seemed that driving a crane with just one arm wasn't possible.

But he persevered with his passion and practised every Saturday with his colleague and friend Tobias. When it became clear that he couldn't use the controls anymore, Tobias came up with the saving idea of having the controls modified.

A radio remote control was developed together with partner Niederstätter and HBC, with which he can operate the EC-B flat-top crane with just one hand.

Christian often comes across sceptics on construction sites who can't believe he can operate a crane successfully with just one hand. He sees this as a further incentive to give his all and prove how well he can operate a crane. “Anyone watching me can’t tell whether I’m working with one hand or two.”

Liebherr’s assistance systems, such as Micromove, have proved very helpful and are frequently used by Christian and his colleagues. During their visit, product manager Stefan Brenner introduced them to the latest operator assistance systems, which are gradually being rolled out across our fast-erecting cranes from 2024 onwards. This kind of dialogue is really valuable for both sides, as we always take user perspective into account when developing our machines.

Great crane operator meet-up in South Tyrol

Christian also told us about a large crane operator get-together that he organised last year in South Tyrol. He put together quite an event with his colleagues from Unionbau AG and our dealer Niederstätter.

What initially started out as a small get-together with fifteen of Christian's and Tobias' friends and acquaintances quickly evolved into a larger event. Over fifty enthusiastic crane operators from Austria, South Tyrol and Italy ended up taking part. “We crane operators are part of a big community. I'm connected with other Liftingheros from all over the world via social media,” explains Liftinghero Christian. The focus was on sharing ideas and experiences, “The whole day revolved around cranes. We got the chance to talk at length about our machines with like-minded people.”

Barbecue specialities and chilled drinks from a wheel loader bucket were also provided, and there was a prize draw with a training course hosted by Niederstätter as the main prize. The day was rounded off with rides in an access cage, beer served by a crane, and a presentation featuring Niederstätter’s various construction machines.

There was also a 65 K.1, an L1-32 and a 280 EC-H on display in the Niederstätter yard. “There was something for everyone and everyone had a chance to try out the different cranes. For some, it was their first time experiencing a larger crane,” says Tobias Innerbichler happily. Not surprisingly after such a successful event, a follow-up for next year is already being thought about.

Become a lifinghero!

What is a liftinghero in our opinion:

Tower cranes shape the image of every construction site. And what about the people who assemble, maintain, operate and work with the cranes? Whether crane operators, service technicians, fitters or construction site workers - you are the heroes of the construction site!

Only through you is the lifting of loads on the construction sites of this world possible.

Show us your workplace and tell us why your job is your passion.

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