Grove GMK5250XL-1 Extends Helping Hand to German Soccer Club VfB Stuttgart

Photo courtesy of Manitowoc Cranes
Using a crane with a telescopic boom was the only way to lift heavy components into place below the overhanging stadium roof.

Tue January 16, 2024

A Grove GMK5250XL-1 belonging to German lifting service provider Gräser-Eschbach has completed its final lifts on the reconstruction of the MHP Arena soccer stadium in Stuttgart, Germany.

Home to Bundesliga team VfB Stuttgart, the stadium has been undergoing redevelopment since 2018, although the erection of temporary sections has allowed it to remain operational during this time.

Gräser-Eschbach, based in Bad Schönborn, Germany, had previously used other cranes, but restrictions on this part of the project meant structural components had to be placed underneath the existing 98 ft.-high roof.

The GMK5250XL-1 was the ideal solution for the unique jobsite demands, due to a design that combines the longest telescopic boom (257.5 ft.) on five axles with a small footprint and superb maneuverability, the manufacturer said.

In addition, space restrictions on the job also meant the crane could only be configured with 55 tons of counterweight to maintain a normal vehicle width. But again, this proved no problem, and the crane was set up to deliver the 3.8 tons concrete parts to the top of the stadium, at a radius of 177 ft. In addition, it was used to place 18.7 ton stair sections at an 85 ft. radius.

Photo courtesy of Manitowoc Cranes

Jens Seim, operator of the GMK5250XL-1 at Gräser-Eschbach, said, "We had to avoid any risk of damaging the pitch, so we could only extend the outriggers on one side to three-quarters of their full length. However, because of MAXbase, Grove's variable outrigger positioning system, we were able to maintain maximum capacity even with an asymmetric outrigger positioning.

"We also used MAXbase to enhance operational security while telescoping those [3.8 ton] sections. It made the whole task really simple."

The GMK5250XL-1 was designed to push the boundaries of mobile cranes. This crane's 257.5 ft. boom is the longest in its class and includes TWIN-LOCK boom pinning. Its long boom and high capacities are balanced against a small footprint and stellar maneuverability. The crane's single-engine design utilizes fuel saver technology, which can lower costs by up to 30 percent compared to previous Grove five-axle cranes.

The redevelopment at MHP Arena is expected to have a stadium capacity of around 60,000 spectators. It also will add new media and event areas, fan shops, offices and more.

The Grove GMK5250XL-1 was delivered to Gräser-Eschbach by KranAgentur Werner, which also sold the same company a GMK5120L in 2023. Gräser-Eschbach previously received GMK4090-1, GMK5250XL-1, GMK5150XL and GMK5120L additions to its fleet between 2022 and 2023.

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Photo courtesy of Manitowoc Cranes