Installation of an Organ with the Trailer Crane AHK 30 KS

In the Wiblingen Basilica, the crane transported a total of 20 t of material for the new main organ to the gallery.

Extraordinary working sites are an exciting challenge for the cranes of Böcker Maschinenwerke GmbH. Here, the machines can prove their strengths, as the ambient conditions are complex and not quite common.

Such a special site is the Basilica St. Martin in Ulm-Wiblingen. Here, the Black Forest organ builder Claudius Winterhalter and his team erected a new main organ consisting of over 2,500 pipes on behalf of the Wiblingen Catholic Church parish. During the installation of the organ, all building materials and components of the instrument had to be transported to the west gallery of the church. A strong helper was needed that could fit into the central aisle of the church without any modifications. The choice fell on the Böcker trailer crane AHK 30 KS, which convinced above all with its performance data and a small footprint.

During the installation works, the AHK 30 KS was standing in the central nave of the basilica between the pews and transported a total of about 20 t of material to a height of up to 18 m. At the beginning of the construction works, mainly components for a static reinforcement of the gallery were hanging on the crane hook, in particular steel girders and floor slats for a wooden platform. This was followed by the installation of the organ with its tin and wooden pipes, whose dimensions varied from "pencil size" to a length of 630 cm. Smaller pipes were lifted by the crane together as a package, while the larger pipes were transported individually. Though it was not only the organ pipes, but also the case, the console and the wind supply with fan and bellows that the crane brought safely up to the gallery.

Powerful assistant for up to 400 kg

The demands on the crane during the construction of the organ were manifold. It had to lift the largest organ pipes, weighing about 150 kg, as well as the heavy building materials for the gallery reinforcement. The heaviest single weight required a lifting capacity of 350 kg to 400 kg. A task that the AHK 30 KS mastered perfectly as it can transport loads of 350 kg up to a height of 20 m at a range of up to 17 m. The trailer crane can even carry loads of up to 1,500 kg and reach extension lengths of up to 30 m. The aluminium mast package erects itself hydraulically and is telescoped out by a telescopic cylinder and flyer chains. The jib can also be extended to a length of up to 9.10 m.

Emission-free drive technology

During the entire construction phase, the crane had to operate emission-free and at a low noise level, as a combustion engine could not be used in the church interior. With its 13 kW electric motor, the AHK 30 KS also met this selection criterion and performed its work in the interior of the Wiblingen Basilica completely free of exhaust gases and in an environmentally friendly manner.

Flexible outrigger positioning in the narrow church aisle

Another decisive advantage of the Böcker trailer crane AHK 30 KS for the use in the basilica were its space-saving design and flexible outrigger positioning. Due to the individual positioning of each foldable swivelling outrigger, the AHK 30 KS can be erected safely even in the narrowest space. Thanks to a minimum footprint width of only 2.42 m, the crane easily found space in the central aisle of the church, and a time-consuming removal of the pews was not necessary.

The site managers were also very satisfied with the crane's powerful manoeuvring drive, which is operated via radio control. This made it easy to manoeuvre the trailer crane and bring it quickly to the site of operation in the nave. The AHK 30 KS also has got a swivel drawbar, which allows another significant reduction in the manoeuvring length if required. Thanks to the standard option “automatic levelling of the outriggers”, the crane was then erected comfortably and in a short time.

Sensitive operation and intelligent control

The AHK 30 KS also scored with its colour radio remote control and intuitive operation. As early as during the crane erection, it provided support with a constantly updated range indicator so that the crane could be optimally positioned between the pews. Then during the crane job itself, the BICS (Böcker Intelligent Computer-based Safety) control ensured the low-vibration lifting and exact placement of the organ components at their installation site. The large organ pipes were directly inserted with the help of the crane and thus installed in an extremely efficient and time-saving manner. The intelligent control system supported the crane operator by automatically releasing the maximum working range and outreach depending on the outrigger positions as well as the suspended load. This ensured a safe working at all times.

Looking back, Franz Barth of the Wiblingen Catholic Church parish is enthusiastic about the use of the AHK 30 KS trailer crane: "The organ building company and all the companies involved in the construction evaluated the scope of application of the crane in our basilica extremely positively. Our requirements to a light, slim crane with a high load capacity and a long range were excellently met by the crane. All components of the organ and even the heaviest parts of the static reinforcement were reliably transported to the gallery. Böcker's advice and service before and during the entire construction works are as well particularly noteworthy.

More Information about Böcker Trailer Cranes


Inside the basilica, the AHK worked emission-free and at a low noise level thanks to the electric motor.


Thanks to the precise control, the large pipes could be inserted directly with the crane.

Im Innenraum der Basilika arbeitete der AHK dank Elektromotor emissionsfrei und geräuscharm.

Dank präziser Steuerung konnten die großen Pfeifen direkt mit dem Kran eingesetzt werden.

Convincing even for organ building - the trailer crane AHK 30 KS with electric drive

Thanks to variable support technology and compact dimensions, the trailer crane could be positioned in the centre aisle between the rows of seats.