15 t telescopic crawler crane , SENNEBOGEN 613, Swiss Alps, microtunneling
Structural Engineering Stunning job at an altitude of more than 2,500 m
16.02.2022 | Wallis, Switzerland | Author: Franziska Limbrunner

15 t telescopic crawler crane assits with microtunneling

Working where others go on vacation: this is how you could describe this job of the SENNEBOGEN 613 crawler on an alpine construction site in Switzerland. Accompanied by a picturesque mountain panorama, the telescopic crawler crane overcame more than 700 meters in altitude with its own travel drive – including steep slopes and narrow mountain roads – in order to be able to take on the crane work needed for modernizing the snow-making facilities at the mountain lake Lac des Vaux.

Over a period of at least 15 years, the 4 Vallées ski area in the southwest of Switzerland is to be further developed and made fit for the future. The snowmaking system in Verbier is considered the heart of the ski area and will be equipped with the latest artificial snow technology as part of this major project. The modernization work is not only about being able to guarantee snow reliability on the slopes in general, but also to produce high-quality snow according to the latest environmental standards, i.e. with as little water and energy consumption as possible. For the necessary crane work, the Swiss crane rental company Consensa Rental AG provides exactly the right compact crane in the form of the SENNEBOGEN 613 crawler, which copes excellently with the challenging construction site environment. 

Hard to reach construction site in the mountains

The journey to the construction site alone is more than unusual at this site in the mountains, as the compact telescopic crane could only be transported by low-loader to the Les Ruinettes gondola station at an altitude of approx. 2,000 m. From this point on, it was a case of "Self-reliance is the thing!", and the 613 had to overcome the remaining elevation gain to Lac des Vaux independently with its all-terrain crawler tracks. The climb took a good four hours, in part over mountain roads less than 3 m wide and various ski slopes with gradients of more than 20 degrees, to the summit of Les Attelas at 2,726 meters. From here, it was finally possible to approach the construction site at the mountain lake at 2,543 m above sea level.        

15 t telescopic crawler crane , SENNEBOGEN 613, Swiss Alps, microtunneling

Complete modernization of the snowmaking system

15 t telescopic crawler crane , SENNEBOGEN 613, Swiss Alps, microtunneling
The compact 15 t telescopic crawler crane from SENNEBOGEN handles all crane work at the 2,500 m high construction site.

Once on site, the telescopic crawler crane with its 18.8 m long main boom takes over all the necessary lifting work around the modernization project of the facilities there. The site conditions are also very tight here, but by operating the machine via radio remote control, the crane operators remain flexible at all times. The 613 crawler provides support primarily for microtunneling through the lake, because in addition to the pumping station at Lac des Vaux, the connected pipeline network of the snowmaking system is also to be renewed. The crane supplies the construction site with the drilling pipes and also lifts the 4.5-ton microtunneling machine out of the pit every evening. It is also being used for the formwork and concrete work of the completely new built pump station building.  "With such narrow and steep environmental conditions as it is the case at this mountain site, there is virtually no alternative to the SENNEBOGEN 613 R for crane work. The transport or rather the “climb” to the construction site would also have been much more complicated with other cranes. Therefore, the choice quickly fell on the 15 t telescopic crawler crane," explains Philipp von Dach, Product Manager at Consensa Rental AG.

With the first snow, the construction site is now also resting for the coming winter months. The major project will be continued again in the spring.  ­­

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