06/28/2016 Precision dome hoist near the Eiffel Tower by Liebherr LTM 1350-6.1 mobile crane

  • Liebherr LTM 1350-6.1 mobile crane positions the largest of five golden domes on a new church in Paris
  • Set-up and hoist work in difficult conditions with high security requirements
  • Crane operator Montagrues impresses with its precise, smooth operation

A new-build Russian Orthodox church is being built in the centre of Paris not far from the Eiffel Tower. A total of five domes covered with gold leaf will crown the structure on its completion. The hoist of the largest dome by a Liebherr mobile crane drew a host of prominent personalities from the worlds of politics and religion in France and Russia. A crane job with high security requirements.

Trial hoist at night: The golden dome has a diameter of 12 metres and weighs eight tonnes.

Trial hoist at night: The golden dome has a diameter of 12 metres and weighs eight tonnes.

The order for this extraordinary crane job was awarded to Montagrues. The crane operator, based in the Paris area, sent its Liebherr LTM 1350-6.1 mobile crane to the site near the Eiffel Tower to hoist the eight-tonne main dome onto the new church.

Since Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and a Secretary of State from the French government were to be present at the event, all the work and the site access were subject to very strict security precautions. Nothing was left to chance to ensure that the celebratory installation of the golden dome in the presence of people from the worlds of religion, politics and the press went smoothly. The highlight of the preparations was a trial hoist of the glistening dome during the previous night.

Set-up work: The LTM 1350-6.1 was fitted with a total of 140 tonnes of ballast.

Set-up work: The LTM 1350-6.1 was fitted with a total of 140 tonnes of ballast.

Little space for set-up work and Y guying

Despite the fact that the road was closed, the Montagrues team had very little space available to deliver the six-axle mobile crane and its accessories. In addition, several large plane trees on the sides of the road also made for major restrictions for the crane during its set-up work. The tops of the mighty trees were a hindrance to the telescopic boom and Y guying and some of them had to be shortened for the slewing process during the dome hoist.

It was not possible to transport the central dome as it measures twelve metres in both diameter and height. The dome, which is completely covered with gold, was therefore manufactured on the site of a neighbouring new-build. The onion-shaped dome had to be hoisted from there and placed on the new church around 30 metres away.

The tops of the plane trees on both sides of the road made the job more difficult.

The tops of the plane trees on both sides of the road made the job more difficult.

The Montagrues team impressed everybody on site by the precision and smooth way in which they completed the job. Everything went to plan during the night-time practice which meant that the actual installation of the dome the next day was almost routine. With the applause of the state guests and spectators around the fence, the mobile crane placed its bulky load precisely on the small tower of the church with a radius of around 45 metres.

Montagrues is a major crane contractor based in Gennevilliers, a town on the north-east border of Paris, and has been a regular customer of Liebherr for many years. Its latest acquisition is an MK140 mobile construction crane from the Liebherr Plant in Biberach. Montagrues' Managing Director Pierre Chauffour was on site throughout the job to supervise the work. “Our fleet currently comprises 30 cranes”, says Chauffour, “and with the exception of one, they are all from Liebherr.”