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No location too challenging for Potain and Grove cranes

In Positano, on Italy’s picturesque Amalfi Coast, a Grove GMK4100L-1 all-terrain crane helped erect a Potain MDT 189 tower crane to construct a multi-story parking lot into the side of a cliff.

Gemar’s Potain MDT 189 tower crane overlooks the steep, narrow streets of Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast and the glittering Mediterranean Sea.

The Amalfi Coast is known for its breathtaking views and enchanting landscapes, but the steep slopes and winding roads do not favor transport and access for building and infrastructure projects. Real estate developer Gemar’s ongoing construction of a 160-space multi-story parking lot into a rockface surrounded by houses in Positano is a case in point.

“For this specific project, the terrain and the fact that the site was on two levels led us to choose the Potain MDT 189. The work would not have been possible without a crane that could cover the 60 m height difference between the two levels,” explained the architect Fabrizio Gargiulo from Gemar.

A Grove GMK4100L-1 all-terrain crane is assembling the Potain MDT 189 tower crane to help construct a multi-story parking lot and elevator into the rockface.

The MDT 189 was configured on site with an 80 m height under hook and 45 m jib length. The crane was equipped with two trolleys and the Top Site Zone Control System, which creates no-go areas for jobsite operation.

This was one of the features that helped convince Gemar that the MDT 189 was the right crane for the project, along with the CCS (Crane Control System), which increases accuracy and productivity and allows remote monitoring and diagnostics.

“The remote monitoring and diagnostics is a very useful feature for managing assistance, especially on small sites such as that in Positano,” said Luigi Russo, General Manager of Edilcom Gru. “It is essential to check any malfunctions remotely and to promptly send the technicians to the construction site with the spare parts needed to fix the problem.”

Dealer Edilcom Gru meticulously planned the assembly considering the restrictions on heavy vehicles between Sorrento and Amalfi and the limited space to unload the components.

Reliable service and careful logistics planning

Piano di Sorrento-based Gemar was founded in 1958 and has been a longstanding Manitowoc customer across its construction projects, from public to private and from infrastructure to renovations. Edilcom Gru, meanwhile, was founded in 1971 and has been a committed Manitowoc partner since the 1980s, specializing in the sale, service, and rental of construction cranes.

“In addition to the technical and performance characteristics of the MDT 189, we chose the Potain brand due to the excellent relationship we have established for years with Edilcom Gru, from which we have purchased and rented many other cranes in the past,” Fabrizio Gargiulo said.

“On this project, Edilcom Gru was a valuable ally in the transport and assembly phases of the organization. We had to design it down to the smallest detail with the works taking place at the first light of dawn to cause minimal disruptions and avoid the traffic,” he continued.

The Grove GMK4100L-1 all-terrain crane’s best-in-class load charts and compact dimensions are ideal for assembling tower cranes on sites such as this where access and space are extremely limited.

Luigi Russo, who has led Edilcom Gru since 2013, added: “The construction site is particularly tiny, and it was extremely difficult to find a place to unload the material and place the trucks and cranes. Furthermore, from Sorrento to Amalfi the transit of heavy vehicles is forbidden so we had to coordinate the work in such a way that as soon as the material arrived it was immediately assembled.”

The perfect partner

Keeping it in the Manitowoc family, a four-axle Grove GMK4100L-1 all-terrain crane was the ideal machine to assemble the Potain MDT 189. The GMK4100L-1 has a powerful 60 m MEGAFORM main boom and a vehicle width of just 2.55 m. This means the that narrow roads leading to the jobsite on the cliff could be easily passed.

In taxi configuration, the GMK4100L-1 can carry up to 6.7 t of counterweight within 12 t per axle. The all-wheel steering ensures superior steering both on- and off-road when terrain becomes more challenging, eliminating tire wear and stress on the non-steered axles. 

The Potain MDT 189 tower crane’s Ultra View Cab is lifted into place.

A model for future projects

So far, the assembly and operation of the Potain MDT 189 has proved a success and Gemar looks forward to deploying it on other projects in the future.

“We decided to buy the MDT 189 because we plan to also use it on other jobs. The crane is excellent and technically flawless. The entire Amalfi Coast is built in terraces, so we believe this could be a pilot project for neighboring towns, which are watching with attention and interest at what we are doing in Positano,” Gargiulo concluded.

Gemar expects the project to serve as a model for similar jobs in other towns alongside the rocky coastline.

Please visit the Manitowoc website to learn more about the Potain MDT 189 tower crane or the Grove GMK4100L-1 all-terrain crane.

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