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Terex Challenger 3180 Crane Sets Up a 14 Meter High Christmas Tree in Winterberg

The annual task had some unusual challenges this year.

Wed December 09, 2015 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

For the Blüggel company, it has long become a routine job: This year as well, the Eslohe-based crane service provider has once again set up the Christmas tree for the town of Winterberg. To do this, the company decided to use a Terex Challenger 3180 all terrain crane.

Before the tree could be set up, it first had to be “plucked” from the forest, as Friedrich Blüggel, owner of the crane company in the Sauerland region, jokingly calls it. This year it took them to a forest in nearby Züschen, where a 14 m high, magnificent specimen of a Christmas tree weighing nearly two tonnes had been selected.

Out in the Woods...

However, the tree did not make things all that easy for the Blüggel team: For one thing, the drive in with the crane was over a narrow bike path. “That’s why we chose our Challenger 3180 for this job. I deliberately selected this crane because it’s only 2.55 meters wide. It’s short and compact and has a long boom, which definitely makes it stand out. It fit perfectly on the narrow bike path,” explains Friedrich Blüggel, who traditionally performs this job himself: “I don’t let anyone else take this job away from me – I always do it myself.”

After reaching the site of the tree, suitable locations first had to be dug out for the crane outriggers in the embankment of the path. Once the crane had been provided with sufficient stability in this way, it was ready for the tree. With trees, the exact weight often cannot be determined before lifting them, which is why it is important to plan enough leeway. “Originally we were told that the tree would weigh 2.5 tonnes, but in actuality it was only 1.9 tonnes. However, the required working radius was longer than planned – 26 meters instead of 24. Nothing that could spoil the season, though,” reports Friedrich Blüggel. For the lift, the crane was fitted with a counterweight of 5.6 tonnes, and the boom was extended to 34.90 m. Equipped in this way, the Challenger 3180 crane was able to raise the Christmas tree vertically and swivel it over to load it on the waiting heavy flatbed trailer.

Routine Setup

Then the whole entourage made its way to Winterberg with its Christmas delivery. What happened there was purely routine: Fitted with a counterweight of 5.6 tonnes, the Challenger 3180 crane lifted the Christmas tree off of the flatbed trailer with a boom length of 34.90 m, and brought it to a height of 28 m into an upright position. With a working radius of 16 m, Friedrich Blüggel then swiveled the fir tree over a prepared opening in the ground of the market square, where three Winterberg city employees securely anchored the tree in 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?” adds Alexander Vonnahme, director of the Winterberg municipal building operations, satisfied with how the lifting procedure went.

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