If you have not seen it yet BBC’s Top Gear programme carried out a bungee jump off the top of a large dam – with a car and its occupant, show host and ex-cricketer, Freddie Flintoff.
The crane, a five axle Liebherr from the Sabesa fleet in Switzerland, was set up on the narrow curved track on top of the 165 metre Diga di Luzzone dam due north of Lugano.
According to the organisers the total load imposed on the crane when the car and its occupant hit maximum bungee extension - at a force of 7G - was seven tonnes. The crew calculated everything, from the rigging to the bungee to safely handle at least 16 tonnes and used five specially made bungee ropes when two would have met the specified safety margin.
While the exercise was an excellent example of lift planning, risk management and rigging etc.. Many take the view that such exploits are unnecessary and poor practice – a Death Wish if you like. In fact looking at the video footage it is clear that Flintoff thinks that this might be the case as he was manoeuvred around on the end of a crane hook for almost 45 minutes.
Sabesa is based in Riazzino and rents out both cranes and aerial lifts from two locations in the Italian speaking Ticino region of Switzerland. It runs two Liebherr five axle All Terrain cranes – a 100 tonne LTM 1100-5.2 and a 220 tonne LTM 1220-5.2 – which we think is the one used here? UPDATE - we are reliably informed that it is a 250 tonne LTM 1250-5.1.