Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO), located in the mountains of New Mexico, sits at an altitude of 3,200 m. The facility now benefits from a new telescope, which had to be moved atop the mountain range with the utmost precision.

“The steep, unpaved tracks and remote location made this project extremely dangerous,” said MRO, which contracted ML Crane Group’s Alternative Movement Division (AMD) to transport and position the 36-ton (32.7-tonne) telescope.

During the planning phase, it quickly became apparent that the final 500 m of the route would be particularly treacherous.

To conquer this last stretch, AMD utilised Faymonville self-propelled PowerMAX APMC with 4 axle lines and a power pack unit (PPU). “Thanks to the combination of the hydraulic axle compensation and 60-degree steering angle, the APMC was able to keep the telescope within an inclination of 5 degrees. This was consistent with the express instructions of the manufacturer,” said Jeremy Aslaksen, sales and marketing coordinator at AMD.

The semi-circular telescope was loaded onto the trailer combination by means of a 100-ton (90.7-tonne) capacity Terex off-road crane. The APMC, which had been fitted with a special mounting device that boosted stability, then set off at walking pace over unpaved terrain.

The telescope was set atop a pre-prepared foundation.