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Terex Tower Crane Reaches High Altitude

A Terex FC 6.24H crane, mounted using a helicopter, is at work on the renovation and expansion of the Principe Pass Refuge, at an altitude of 2,601 metres above sea level in the Dolomites.

Situated on the pass of the same name, the Principe Pass Refuge is located in the Catinaccio Group, at the bottom of the highest summit in the range, the Catinaccio d'Antermoia – Kesselkogel. For those who love and explore the mountains, the high-altitude refuge is a point of landing and refreshment with the added bonus of the silence and majesty of sunset and sunrise seen from its unique location. After hours of walking, hikers are greeted by simple, restorative dishes, shared over wooden tables with other walkers and their tales of alpine exploits—the awareness of having experienced the same feat and toil to get there provides common ground. 

The refuge was first built by Francesco Kofler of Campitello di Fassa in 1952. The first construction was made in the valley, disassembled and carried up to altitude and reassembled. Sergio and Daniele Rosi (father and son and both mountain guides) bought it and completely renovated it in 20006-07. The structure - one of the most beautiful and frequented places during the summer months - preserves the authenticity of the refuge, with its small size, greyish wood that blends in with the Dolomite stone, and warm hospitality: a bar-restaurant with a delicious menu and home-made dishes, and 25 beds. 

Since June 2023, a Terex FC 6.24H crane, commissioned by the construction company Pollini Andrea of Pelugo (TN) is supporting an extension of the refuge, due for completion at the end of 2024. The project involves a refreshment area and accommodation for service personnel, while maintaining the current aesthetics and blending into the surrounding landscape.

The ideal solution for the most inaccessible sites

Since the Passo Principe Refuge can only be reached by foot, material must be manually carried to the site, or for heavier goods, via a small wheelbarrow. Pollini opted for the Terex FC 6.24H crane, renting it from Tecnoedil Noleggi of Trento, since its parts are light, quick to assemble, and ideal for being transported and precisely assembled by helicopter (supplied by Elikos Helicopterservice of Laion (BZ). 

The Terex FC 6.24H has a boom constructed in modules with an overall length from 12.6 m to 24 m and offers a maximum capacity of 1.5 t, with a maximum tip capacity of 0.6 t at 24 m. The tower reaches a maximum height of 26 m but can reach greater heights (of up to 43.1 m) when anchored to buildings. The crane is also distinguished by its simple cabling, as well as its flexibility and ease of use: its components are light and small, and can also be transported easily using pallet trucks or small vans. Thanks to the boom's autonomous assembly system (patented), no auxiliary support is needed: the boom is lifted vertically along the tower and then rotated at height by means of a hydraulic cylinder, performing these operations even in congested environments. While the ballasted carriage has dimensions of 2.5 x 2.5 m, the crane can also be mounted on a 1.2 x 1.2 m plinth, occupying very little floor space.

The Terex FC 6.24H began its ascent at a hut further down the valley, which was reachable by truck. Before liftoff, the crane components were pre-assembled and carefully weighed by Tecnoedil Noleggi's technicians to compose pre-assemblies of a weight suitable for the helicopter's capacity. To minimise the number of aerial trips and allow the crane to be assembled at height as quickly as possible, these pre-assemblies were carefully tied, and their exact balance checked so that they could be picked up by the helicopter in the shortest possible time. The latter transported them to altitude and directly positioned them in place so that the technicians could immediately assemble them. Following careful coordination between the skilled assembly technicians and the helicopter operator, the assembly of the components was completed, and the crane made available for use within one hour. 

Luca Zanut, Self-Erecting Product Specialist at Terex said, “The Terex FC 6.24H crane is unique in the market and features a patented assembly system that makes it an effective and indispensable tool on construction sites in inaccessible areas, such as mountain huts or those with difficult access roads, as well as in historical centres between buildings and very narrow streets. Assembling the crane at Principe Pass Refuge was quick and easy, thanks to the various components being lightweight and easy to handle, alongside the support of highly skilled technicians. It is wonderful to see our Terex FC 6.24H crane performing in such a captivating location, and we look forward to continuing our support of this important project through to its completion next year.”

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