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News Release

Grove RT765E-2 relocates historic Viking ship


A Grove RT765E-2 rough-terrain crane has relocated an 87-year-old Viking ship in Duluth, Minn. The ship was located in a park that sits directly over an interstate. With strict size and weight limitations, uneven terrain and an irreplaceable load, the 65 USt capacity crane had much to contend with. But the complex project was completed successfully – and at no cost.

Wisconsin-based Viant Crane supplied the RT765E-2 to the complex project. After funding fell through, Viant was pleased to overcome the many challenges of the unique project at no charge, as Nick Minardi, director of operations, explains:

“We believe in giving back to the community and we didn’t want to see this project canceled because of lack of funding,” Minardi said. “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.”

The RT765E-2 lifted the 4.65 USt vessel three times. First, the ship was raised 65 ft into the air so it could be swung 180° over nearby trees to avoid damaging them. Then, it was placed on a light pickup trailer to keep the total weight within the park’s limits before being moved about 600 yards. Finally, the ship was lifted onto a third trailer that met highway weight and clearance regulations.

Because the park sits on top of Interstate 35, Viant had to use a crane that fit within the park’s 11 ft wide boardwalk. Viant initially planned to use an 80 USt crane from its fleet, but its footprint was too large. So, the company bought a new RT765E-2, which measures only 10 ft 6 in wide and fits within the park’s weight limit.

Grove’s RT765E-2 offers a 110 ft four-section, full power Megaform boom, which easily handled the 4.65 USt ship. It’s an extremely mobile crane with four-wheel, multi-mode steering and Full Vision cab – all of which helped Viant’s crane operator navigate the tight job site.

In all, the complicated endeavor was a complete success, thanks to months of careful planning and precision picks from experienced operators.

“The RT765E-2 performed outstandingly,” Minardi said. “There was very rough terrain on the job site, but because of the crane’s physical size and four-way steering capability, we were able to execute the project flawlessly.”

Viant opened in January of 2011 with 13 cranes. Only three years later, its fleet has grown to 38 cranes, ranging from 15 USt to 300 USt. The company offers crane rentals, and specialty rigging and transportation, among other services.

“We have 38 Grove and Manitowoc cranes in our fleet,” Minardi said. “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.”

Viant purchases its Grove and Manitowoc cranes from Milwaukee, Wisc.-based American State Equipment.

“We’re honored to have Viant’s business,” adds Carston Larson, vice president at the company. “Our two companies make for good partners.”

The Leif Erikson Viking ship set sail for North America in 1926. Commanded by 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 Boston, Mass., the ship came to rest in Duluth, where it fell into a state of disrepair. Once restoration work is complete, the ship will be displayed in Duluth museum.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 117-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2019 net sales were approximately $1.83 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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