Now that's a crane

70-tonne Liebherr mobile crane arriving

It's time for step two of moving the pool shell into place (step one being already complete).

With a 50 meter telescopic boom, maximum hoist height of 65 meters and operating radius of 48 meters, the crane we're using is quiet a beast. With an 800 kg pool attached though, the maximum radius is closer to 40 meters, which is about exactly the distance from the center of the pool to the edge of the property out front.

It was therefore imperative to get it as close as possible to maximize the chances of a successful lift. Sacrificing a couple of plants and the top of the mailbox brought the back of the crane right to the property edge.

Once in position, the outriggers are extended and put down (on top of enormous amounts of wood to spread the load) and the crane body is lifted off the ground:

Magical levitating crane

With the crane on solid ground, the next step is to setup up the counterweights. The counterweights sit behind the boom and partially balance out the load. The mobile crane carries a lot of the counterweight itself, but more are required and are carried on a separate truck. These need to be lifted into place before the crane can attempt the lift.

Setting up the counterweights

Setup took an hour or so, and after that, it's time to lift.

I hope that cable is strong

Once off the ground, it's a very short trip over the house to the pool site.

Closing in on the destination!

Trying to maneuver the shell into place with millimeter precision when it's dangling on the end of a 50 meter boom is anything but easy. Tiny movements by the crane operator are delayed and amplified at ground level. Complicating matters further is the fact that the shell is quite flexible and contorts when suspended by the four ropes. What appears to be the correct position is often far from it once the full load is released.

Despite the challenges, with some firm shoulders and quick measurements, we managed to get the shell where we wanted it within a few minutes. With much relief I also quickly determined that the top was level.

Shell and sunset

A preview of the sunset view from the shallow end of the pool