Holiday traditions make Christmas special, even when those traditions are large projects that require a bit of extra work.
One such tradition persists in Winterberg, Germany, where the Blüggel company annually cranes in a massive Christmas tree for the community’s market square.
This year’s towering evergreen was 14 meters tall, weighing 4,189 pounds. Friedrich Blüggel, owner of the crane company, selected a Terex Challenger 3180 to bring the tree into Winterberg.
Blüggel operates the crane himself every year. "This is a job I really look forward to all year. I really love doing it myself,” he said of his holiday position.
The Blüggel company has been in charge of delivering the tree for years, but every year presents its own unique challenges. That’s why Blüggel went with the Challenger 3180 this year. "It wasn’t that simple, though,” he said. "This year, we had to use a narrow bike path.”
"I deliberately selected this crane because [the path is] only 2.55 meters wide. [The crane is] short and compact, and has a long boom, which definitely makes it stand out. It fit perfectly on the narrow bike path,” Blüggel said.
The Challenger got the team up the Züschen forest’s narrow path. Once they got there, they had to use an excavator to dig up space for the outriggers on the embankment. Then, they were ready for the tree.
However, with a tree, you can’t be sure of the weight in advance of the lift. Selecting the Challenger gave the team some leeway, fitted with a counterweight of 5.6 tons, and a boom that extended 34.9 meters.
"The tree was supposed to weigh 2.5 tons, but it ended up weighing 1.9 tons only. But it was also 26 meters away instead of 24,” Blüggel said, showing why the Challenger’s versatility was important. "Nothing that could spoil the season, though.”
He lifted the tree vertically, before swinging it around to load it onto the flatbed.
Once the tree was secured onto the flatbed, Blüggel and his team made their way back to Winterberg to install the tree at the market square. Still outfitted with a 5.6 ton counterweight, the tree was lifted with a 34.9 meter boom length, and a working radius of 16 meters. Blüggel easily moved the tree into an upright position, and guided it into a preset opening in the ground, where city employees fixed the tree into place.
"It couldn’t have gone any better. We’ve been working together with the Blüggel company for a long time now, and know that we can rely on the team and their Terex machine. They set it up and took it down quickly, and this year the weather cooperated as well – what more could you ask for?” said Alexander Vonnahme, director of the Winterberg municipal building operations.
Larry Collier Crane Parts and Service, dealer of factory-stocked Demag and Terex parts, congratulates the Blüggel company on another job well done, delivering a jolly Christmas to the residents of Winterberg, Germany with the help of their Terex Challenger 3180.