National Lift Truck, a material-handling equipment rental and sales specialist based in Franklin Park, Ill., was entrusted by the Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio to load, transport and unload the “Alma Mater”, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s 84-year-old historic landmark. The 13-foot, 10,000-pound statue spent more than 600 days in restoration after almost a century of exposure to the elements left it corroded and weakened.
The Alma Mater sculpture, which served as the campus’ most recognizable symbol since its installation in 1929, had never left the Urbana campus before. Transporting the statue took hours and was a delicate operation requiring patience and attention to detail, using National Lift Truck’s special application forklifts and a customized Elite Fleet platform.
Not only is the Alma Mater of great historic value to the university, but the final cost of the conservation work was $359,212. Therefore being able to haul the statue successfully was of great importance to the university, and National Lift Truck has a decades-old reputation in the Chicago area.
The transport was conducted by Neil McAleer, an experienced National Lift Truck driver, and supervised by National Specialized Elite Fleet manager Tony Cannata.
For more information about the transport, please go to: http://galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com/chi-alma-mater-statue-university-illinois-photos-20140317/