LR 11350 lifts a dome roof weighing 218 tonne. At the beginning of July, a convoy of low loaders pulled out of the Liebherr plant at Ehingen, Germany, carrying the components of an LR 11350 crawler crane. The destination was the Basque city of Vitoria Gasteiz in northern Spain, where the new crane, belonging to the heavy haulage company Usabiaga, was to make its debut lift something really challenging and really spectacular.The crawler crane was to lift the entire latticework structure of the domed roof of the city’s sports arena, and move it about 200 m onto columns especially erected for this purpose. This extraordinary crane manoeuvre was an event Spain was really looking forward to.An air-photo airship, a remote-controlled camera helicopter, and half a dozen radio and television teams recorded the moving of the giant stadium roof. Andrés Guerra, driver of the Liebherr LR 11350, had certainly never before had so many spectators on a building site as when he climbed into the cab of his brand new crawler crane to set about this monumental lift. Originally built in 1975 as a cattle market and converted to a sports area in the early 90s, the circular hall with its impressive lattice dome visible from the inside, has now become too small for the sports events scheduled for the venue. The main user is the local basketball club, which plays in the top Spanish league. In order to increase the capacity from 9,900 to over 15,000 spectators, the lattice dome had to give way to a wider spectator stand and arena ring arrangement. The great lift was at its most exciting in the first phase. The crane mast, totalling 130 m in length, first lifted the dome and then had to align itself by a few degrees so that the suspended latticework structure could be drawn over the level of the stadium columns. A gross load of 218 tonne at an outreach of more than 70 m, hung on the mighty hook of the LR 11350, giving the visual impression of a flying saucer hovering in space. To meet the challenge, the crawler crane had been equipped with 830 tonne of counter weight, and the suspended ballast alone, held at a distance of 30 m from the slewing ring, weighed in at 600 tonne.Almost imperceptibly, the fine latticework structure, with its impressive 81 m diameter and a surface area of more than 5,600 sq m, lifted off from the building. And when the load was at last hanging over the arena, the crawler tracks were slowly set in motion and Andrés Guerra carefully put the crane into slewing movement.It took just one-and-a-half hours for the LR 11350 to cover the 80 m needed, during which it slewed through 180o, and then set its delicate load carefully down, precisely in place to the last centimetre. A circular column structure had been especially set up so that the dome, which is a true work of art, could be used again later. Project Manager Julio Herrero was relieved and at the same time delighted at how well things had gone: “After the dome had been moved, we found only minimal deformation of the lattice structure.” The day after, the Liebherr crawler crane was heralded in the Spanish newspapers as the `Hero of the day.` However, the statics experts involved should also be given their due respect. The dome was under pressure, and was also inclined to deformation when subjected to traction force, so, when it came to the lift, it was attached by steel cables at 24 points. The compact load traverse element, 2 m in diameter, was designed and made especially for this lift. The technically less demanding option of relocating the roof structure by way of partial disassembly, had been excluded from the outset. This would effectively have destroyed the masterpiece created 37 years ago, which had become a symbol of the city and had been awarded prestigious international prizes for architecture.Originally, however, it had been planned for the lattice dome, weighing just 200 tonne, to be moved by two crawler cranes by way of a tandem lift. But doing this would have needed considerably more space, and the compaction of the subsoil required for the cranes to move safely would have resulted in a considerable area of the carpark being destroyed.A total distance of 320 m would have had to have been prepared for the move, while using the LR 11350 only needed some 80 m of asphalt to be taken up, excavated, and compacted. The calculations for a tandem lift also came to nothing because no symmetrical load distribution arrangement could be found for attaching two cranes. It took just one and a half hours for the LR 11350 to cover the 80 m needed, during which it slewed through 180o, and then set its delicate load carefully down, precisely in place to the last centimetre.