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Viking ship relocated with Grove RT765E-2 crane

Grove all-terrain crane used to relocate 87-year-old Viking ship in US

NEWS, PMV, All-terrain cranes, Crane, Grove, Lift, Ship, Viking
NEWS, PMV, All-terrain cranes, Crane, Grove, Lift, Ship, Viking

A Grove RT765E-2 rough-terrain crane has been used to relocate an 87-year-old Viking ship in Duluth, Minnesota.

Wisconsin-based company Viant Crane supplied the Grove unit free of charge after funding for the move fell through.

The Leif Erikson Viking ship was located in a Duluth park directly over Interstate 35. As such, operators had to work within strict size and weight limitations. The Grove crane also had to contend with uneven ground when lifting the irreplaceable load.

The RT76E5-2 lifted the 4.65-ton vessel three times. During the first phase of the move, the ship was raised 65ft into the air and swung 180° above nearby trees to avoid damaging them. It was then placed on a light pickup trailer to keep the total weight within the park’s limits. After being transported 600yd, the Leif Erikson was lifted onto a third trailer that was selected to meet highway weight and clearance regulations.

Viant had to choose a crane that would fit within the park’s 11ft-wide boardwalk. The firm had originally planned to use an 80t unit from its fleet, but this crane’s footprint was too large. To overcome the problem, Viant purchased a new RT765E-2, which is 10.5ft wide and adheres to the park’s weight regulations.

The work was conducted by Viant at no cost, in line with company’s philosophy of social responsibility.

“We believe in giving back to the community and we didn’t want to see this project cancelled because of lack of funding,” Said Nick Minardi, director of operations at Viant. “We chose the Grove RT765E-2 for the job because we knew that Grove cranes give you smooth, constant operation and controls that are immediately responsive. We were confident that our operator would feel comfortable and be in total control of this fragile load.

“We have 38 Grove and Manitowoc cranes in our fleet,” he added. “We don’t operate anything else. We believe and know – and our customers know – that it’s the best product line. They are the most reliable cranes on the market.”

The Leif Erikson originally set sail for North America in 1926 under the command of Gerhard Folgero. The trip replicated the voyage of Leif Erikson, who was the first European to land on the continent some 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

After stops in Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Massachusetts, the ship eventually came to rest in Minnesota, where it fell into a state of disrepair. Once restoration work is complete, the Leif Erikson will be displayed in a local museum.

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