Crane Relocates Viking Ship

January 22, 2014

A Grove RT765E-2 rough-terrain crane recently relocated an 87-year-old Viking ship in Duluth, Minn. The crane lifted the ship from its resting place in a park that sits above Interstate 35 and relocated it to a trailer so it could be transported for restoration.

Wisconsin-based Viant Crane supplied the machine for the project at no cost.

“We believe in giving back to the community and we didn’t want to see this project canceled because of lack of funding,” said Nick Minardi, director of operations for Viant. “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 4.65-ton ship was first raised 65 feet in the air to swing 180° above nearby trees. 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.

“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.”

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, 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.