Grove cranes tandem demo job in Sicily

Grove cranes tandem demo job in Sicily

Almost 50 years after being set up at a port in Sicily, Italy, an old 100 t capacity dockside crane is finally disassembled along with another crane. In charge of the work are two of the newest Grove all-terrain cranes: a GMK6400-1 and a GMK6450-1.

It is 1974. The 12-year-old Michele Albamonte is very excited about his after-school plans with his father, an engineer at the well-known Italian construction company Ceretti & Tanfani and owner of his own independent business that works alongside Ceretti & Tanfani on industrial assembly projects. Passionate about lifting and transport equipment, the young Albamonte is headed to a jobsite in Palermo, Sicily, to see a 100 t capacity mobile dockside crane with a lattice boom being set up. He cannot take his eyes off the huge machine.

“They needed that crane, really big for that time, to do some work at a port in Sicily, so they brought it all the way from Rome. When I heard about it, I immediately asked my father if I could see the crane, so he took me there”, Albamonte recalled. “That’s why now, almost 50 years later, to have participated in the dismantling of that very same crane at that shipyard made me especially emotional.”

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A 1974 photo shows the 100 t capacity mobile dockside crane with a lattice boom being set up at the Palermo, Sicily, port.

Following in his father’s footsteps, today Albamonte also works in the construction industry. He is the general manager of SAE Italia, a crane rental company based in Piacenza, Northern Italy which operates in the construction, iron and steel, shipyard, and transport sectors. One of his company’s mobile cranes, a Grove GMK6450-1, participated in the dismantling operation of that old crane in Palermo together with a Grove GMK6400-1, owned by Sicily-based rental company Mandalá Noleggi. The two Grove models worked in tandem to disassemble the old dockside crane, plus another crane, at the shipyard.

Despite the challenges presented by the constrained jobsite, the double disassembly job took just two weeks. In the first phase, the two Grove cranes worked in tandem to dismantle the crane’s old booms, of 45 m and 60 m each, and the ballast, which was mounted at a height of over 30 m, and which weighed 153 t. The GMK6450-1 also removed the 65 t winches.

“The compact dimensions of the Grove cranes and their MAXbase™ variable outrigger positioning system were crucial for working in the very tight space,” Albamonte explained. “We were happy with the cranes’ performances and so was the client, who watched the operations closely. The client really appreciated the power and versatility of the Grove cranes.”

Two young and powerful machines

SAE Italia purchased the GMK6450-1 earlier this year, taking the company’s Grove fleet to 14 units. Both the GMK6400-1 and the GMK6450-1 feature five-section 60 m MEGAFORM® main booms that deliver impressive 136 m tip heights when fitted with the optional 25 – 79 m luffing jibs.

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Two Grove GMK cranes worked in tandem to dismantle a 50-year-old dockside crane in Palermo, Sicily. The challenging job was completed in just two weeks.

Mandalà Noleggi’s GMK6400-1 was the first crane of its type to arrive in Italy. The rental company has been running cranes for more than 40 years and has a strong reputation for supplying high-quality equipment to construction sites, shipyards, industrial facilities, and renewable energy projects. The 400 t capacity GMK6400-1 is expected to find plenty of work on the many wind farm projects in Sicily.

“We were really impressed with the GMK6400-1, and especially the upgrades it offers over the previous GMK6400, like the Crane Control System (CCS) and the MAXbase™ variable outrigger system,” said Giuseppe Mandalà, general manager, Mandalà Noleggi. “These additional features mean increased capacities on the main boom, and it’s a crane that is fast and easy to set up, so we can get through more work in a day.”

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