Articles tagged with: rental

09July

Crane Service gets Socorro rodeo underway

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steel erection crane rental "US-based Crane Service has completed the erection of steel girders and roof materials for the new rodeo arena located on the fairgrounds in Socorro, New Mexico.

The operated crane rental firm took just three days to complete the project, using its new Link-Belt ATC3210 210-ton (190-tonne) crane and its Link-Belt AT3200 200-ton (180-tonne) crane to hoist and set the 20,000 lb to 24,000 lb (9 to 10.8 tonne) steel girders and roof material." Courtesy of KHL Group - American Crane and Transport July 3rd, 2014

Posted in Crane Rental Blog

09July

A Bright Idea...

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Paseo del Norte Bridge beams
Today, highway construction in urban areas is almost always performed at night. State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) around the country have discovered that night jobsites are safer and more efficient for a number of reasons.

Roadways can be closed at night without major public inconvenience. Traffic is not an issue. Worksites can be expanded. Cranes have more space in which to operate and swing.

OSHA and DOTs have developed comprehensive safety measures for nighttime jobsites, and modern construction lighting systems create a work environment that is as luminous as working in daylight. Crane-owning companies are adjusting to the increase in nighttime work, and crane manufacturers are looking for ways to adapt cranes to these conditions.

At ConExpo in March 2014, Link-Belt introduced its first crane with a standard lighting package, the 210-ton capacity ATC-3210. The lighting package on the new all-terrain crane makes it easier to set up and rig the crane in the dark hours of the early morning or dusk. There are high intensity LED lights on the front of the operator’s cab and at the outriggers. The engine bay now has lighting as do the ground control stations for outriggers and suspension. Other optional lighting includes high intensity work lights above the operator’s cab, lights that illuminate the walkways on the upper, a right-side, forward-facing high intensity work light and left and right high-intensity work lights mounted atop the upper to illuminate the swing area. Plus, remote-controlled single and dual boom floodlight options are available.

Albuquerque, NM-based Crane Service Inc. recently took delivery of a new Link-Belt ATC-3210 and has already seen the value in the new lighting package, according to Bob Warianka, business development manager.

While his company doesn’t do that much night work, he said it is becoming more prevalent. Warianka pointed to a recent job that involved the company’s ATC-3210 and ATC-3275 setting bridge girders at night.

“The contractor had the job lit up really well, with four light plants illuminating the work area of each crane,” he said.

While the crane’s lighting package isn’t really a factor in lighting up the worksite, it’s still a great convenience for rigging the crane.

Rigging asset
“The lights are really an asset when you are rigging the crane or setting it up in the early morning hours, or sometimes we will assemble a crane at night,” Warianka said. “We envision more crane companies offering better lighting packages in the future. I can see them being used on rough terrain cranes too.”

He said crawlers cranes would be the least likely cranes to be equipped with comprehensive lighting packages because the type of work they do at night generally involves a well-lit jobsite, and rigging a crawler is different than rigging a mobile crane.

“Tower cranes have lights on them,” said Warianka. “Tower cranes are sometimes on a job working 24 hours a day and two shifts. With mobile cranes, we can see a need for a lighting package for the short days of winter or when you want to keep working at dusk or during cloudy weather. These lights will also come in handy when doing concrete pours, like on a high-rise job. Sometimes concrete pours go into the night or start early in the morning. The lights you use on a crane will be job specific.”

Remote controls
In a few cases, Crane Service has provided lighting equipment, for instance when the crane might be grabbing on and needs to be tied to the load for a while.

He has been impressed with the remote-controlled lights on the new ATC-3210.

“The light on the boom can be operated by remote control so that you can actually rotate the light and spotlight something below the crane,” he said.

Courtesy of KHL Group - American Crane and Transport Magazine - July 3rd, 2014

Posted in Crane Rental Blog

09July

By the Numbers...

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Bridge beam hoisting
"Crane Service specializes in heavy hoisting, and heavy hauling in the southwestern United States and has been in business for over 54 years. These photos show the company installing the massive bridge beams over Jefferson NE in late May as part of the Paseo del Norte/I-25 makeover. The national company has operations in Albuquerque, and Bloomfield in New Mexico. Crane Services' fleet serves a wide spectrum of clientele, handling 8.5 tons to 550 tons." Courtesy of the Business Outlook in the Albuquerque Journal - June 16, 2014.

Posted in Crane Rental Blog

08July

"Carrying their weight"

Check out our company profile in Gas Oil and Mining Contractor Magazine.
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When a customer in a jam sought help on short notice to install a slug catcher at a Texas petroleum compressor station, Crane Service Inc. employees swung into action. In just two weeks, the company mobilized to generate detailed engineering drawings, transport 36 semi-trailers of equipment from a satellite facility and assemble a giant Manitowoc 2250 crawler crane — a four-day job in itself.

Then crews lifted the high-pressure gas vessel — all 341,845 pounds of it, including rigging — atop a roughly five-foot-tall, 20- by 20-foot concrete foundation and secured it on anchor bolts.

“It was a challenge,” says Scott Wilson, company president, noting the project’s compressed timeline. “Another company’s crane wasn’t available at the 11th hour, and there aren’t many cranes around with that capability. Plus the company that transported the slug catcher was on a tight schedule, so we couldn’t just leave it parked there.

“In the end, it was just another day in the life of a crane-and-rigging company — Mach 5 with your hair on fire.”

A modest beginning

Providing that level of customer service, combined with a strong emphasis on employee safety and a $45-million, ever-expanding fleet of equipment, goes a long way toward explaining Crane Service’s substantial growth. Emmet Storks started the company in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1960 with just two cranes. Now a subsidiary of M-L Holdings Inc., the company generated $33 million in gross revenue in 2011, and serves customers in four major sectors: energy (primarily gas, oil and coal), mining, general construction and government.

“But energy is by far our largest market,” Wilson says. “It’s the lifeblood of what we do.”

Aside from its headquarters in Albuquerque, the company operates facilities in Bloomfield, N.M., and El Paso and Sweetwater, Texas. It serves customers in a large geographic area encompassing Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. It may sound counter-intuitive, but most of the geographic expansion of facilities occurred during the recent recession; after the Bloomfield office opened in the mid-1990s, Sweetwater opened in 2007 and El Paso in 2009.

“During a downturn, you can have excess equipment and downtime, so sometimes it’s a good time to make a transition … you have more freedom,” Wilson explains. “I attribute our success to the employees in those branches and that we’ve been able to carve out niches in new markets. In Sweetwater, for example, we started out with a couple cranes and a shed, and now we have 22 cranes and 56 employees.”

The company performs a wide variety of work. One day, crews might hoist an articulating walking arm for a giant dragline at a mine, or lift compressor skids for energy companies. Another day, crews might hoist haul-truck beds and loaders for mining companies, or lift giant transformers, conveyors and shunt reactors at power plants. Or they may help erect wind generators and lift giant beams for bridges.

Safety matters

A lot hangs in the balance during lifts of extremely heavy loads. To give an idea of what’s involved, it’s not uncommon for a Crane Service operator to lift a load that weighs hundreds of tons 300 feet high, then set it down on a space with less than a half-inch tolerance in all directions. Or the load might be extended 280 feet out from the crane with the same minute tolerances required, Wilson explains.

“And many times, the crane operator can’t see where the load is going, which we call ‘working in the blind,’ ” he says. “So you need a skilled, trained operator with enough finesse and who knows the crane’s functions well enough to know what’s going on. Depth perception and hand-eye coordination are all important. Sometimes they’re using both of their feet and both hands to make the crane function correctly.”

As such, Crane Service emphasizes employee safety and comprehensive job planning. First and foremost, the company values employees’ health and welfare. But safety is also critical to business fortunes; just one accident could bar Crane Service from bidding lists, or prompt a customer to never use the company again, Wilson says.

A typical crane operator spends two to four years in an apprenticeship program, working around the cranes as an “oiler,” or assistant, to learn and understand best practices within the industry. While doing that, they’re also educated about safety regulations, which are updated regularly.

Years ago, crane operators started out on small rigs and moved their way up to bigger units. But during the last 10 years, a new trend has emerged, with new operators starting their training on larger cranes.

“That’s because larger cranes need so many people to operate them, as opposed to your typical 25- or 40-ton boom truck crane, which one person can run,” Wilson says. “Now an employee might train or apprentice on a 400- or 500-ton crane and go straight to operating that size crane. For a 550-ton crane, you need a minimum of three employees at all times, and sometimes up to 16 people for mobilization, disassembly and assembly.”

Related: Manitou Americas and Gehl welcome Kirby-Smith to dealer network

Big fleet for big jobs

Crane Service offers a huge fleet of cranes over multiple locations. Having many types of cranes at different locations gives the company flexibility in scheduling, and because equipment is newer and well maintained, there’s less downtime.

“In addition, with newer equipment, we’re less prone to things like oil leaks on job sites, which can cause environmental issues,” he says. “And newer cranes have greater boom lengths than older cranes, so we might be able to do a job faster and easier.”

Overall, the company owns about 90 different cranes. That includes about seven crawler and truck lattice-boom cranes — ranging from 70- to 300-ton lifting capacities — made by Manitowoc Co. Inc., Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., American Truck Crane Inc. and Harnischfeger Corp., and the defunct Lima Locomotive Works. Wilson says the company’s five American 8460 truck cranes represents the largest fleet of such units in the southwestern United States.

The company also owns roughly 37 hydraulic truck cranes, with lift capacities ranging from 25 to 550 tons and manufactured by Grove (a brand owned by the Manitowoc Co.), Harnischfeger, The Liebherr Group, Link-Belt, Manitex International Inc. and Terex Corp. In addition, it relies on about 20 hydraulic rough-terrain cranes, with lift capacities ranging from 25 to 100 tons and manufactured by Grove, Harnischfeger, Link-Belt and Lorain (a brand owned by Terex). Other equipment includes numerous heavy-haul semi-tractors and trailers; industrial deck cranes made by Broderson Manufacturing Corp. and Grove; forklifts made by Caterpillar Inc. and the Gehl Co.; and Grove telescoping man-lifts.

Large cranes can cost upwards of $5 million. Transporting such large and heavy pieces of equipment is expensive, so Wilson says crane manufacturers now are using lighter steel that retains strength, reducing transportation costs for end-users like Crane Service. In addition, they’re striving to make crane assembly and disassembly easier and faster, which also helps end-users reduce operating costs.

Boosting efficiency

To that end, Crane Service has reduced crane-setup time by manufacturing a custom trailer system for large counterweights, and established dedicated assembly/disassembly directors for its crawlers and American 8460 cranes. These steps enhance efficiency and safety during crane assembly and disassembly.

Because cranes have long life cycles — ranging from 10 to 15 years up to 30 years — productivity gains are difficult to come by via technological advances in equipment. So to boost efficiency, Crane Service instead looks to computer software that allows employees to create engineering drawings faster, for example, or improve how equipment is scheduled and tracked. The latter is particularly important because the company’s facilities often “borrow” equipment from each other as needs dictate, Wilson notes.

“They keep making software easier to use, too,” he says. “Now a non-engineer can design a job, where before it took an auto-CAD engineer. The programs are more user-friendly, so we gain some efficiencies because more people can plan a lift. When I started in this business, we used an engineer’s scale ruler and drew plans. Now we can do three-dimensional drafting and see boom and building clearances a whole lot easier.”

Forward thinking

Wilson says Crane Service is strongly committed to growth, both internally via more geographic expansion and externally through acquisitions. He notes many second- and third-generation, family-owned companies in the industry don’t have another generation interested in running them, which should create acquisition opportunities.

“There still are a lot of needs to be met here in the United States,” he says. “Geography won’t hold us back. The only thing holding us back is getting enough people who want to work and get dirty out in the elements.”

Wysocky, Ken. "Carrying their weight." Gas Oil & Mining Contractor. July 2013. 14-18. Print. Published 2013.

Posted in Crane Rental Blog, Current Events

03October

Committed to Crane Safety with NCCCO

Committed to Crane Safety with NCCCO

Being in the crane rental industry is not easy. We have to rely solely on the qualifications, technical knowledge, and experience of everybody on our team. We know we have a strong and knowledgeable staff here at Crane Service, Inc. But how can we convey this to our clients, and the public at large? Well first by having our staff licensed and certified through credible companies, like the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, also known as NCCCO. Our operators are certified through the NCCCO organization.

To further our involvement we are applying to be a part of the NCCCO Employer Recognition program.

"The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is pleased to announce the introduction of its Committed to Crane Safety Employer Recognition Program. This program was created to recognize the time, effort, and dedication to safety that employers demonstrate by certifying their crane operators, signalpersons, and riggers through NCCCO.

Companies that participate in this recognition program enhance their standing by demonstrating to their clients, potential clients, and employees that safety through CCO certification is a priority. Companies that achieve recognition are nationally recognized for their commitment on the NCCCO website, in the CCO newsletter, and in other industry media."

This is a strong movement forward to help you become more credible for your clients, as well. To learn more follow this link the the NCCCO website.

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Published 2012.

Posted in Crane Rental Blog

17August

Crane Service, Inc. purchases 7 Link-Belt Cranes

Crane Service, Inc. is very proud to announce that we have purchased seven Link-Belt cranes all slated for delivery this year; two of the seven cranes are the revolutionary Link-Belt ATC3275 (275 ton). These cranes are the first All-Terrain cranes produced from the American manufacturer, Link-Belt Crane located in Lexington, KY.

The new ATC3275s (275 ton) cranes will provide much needed support for our customers industrial and commercial projects. The much awaited first ATC3275 we received, will have one week of PDI along with crane operator and crane technician training and then its immediately off to work. The crane is already scheduled for coal mine work, coal fired power plant work and commercial construction work. Our customers deserve the best equipment in the industry and we expect this crane to continue that for our customers. Crane Service is committed to purchase new cranes and maintain our fleet to the highest industry standards, thus providing our customers with best cranes in the industry. The other cranes purchased from Link Belt are four rough terrain cranes ranging from 30 tons to 65 tons along with a HTC 86100 100 ton hydraulic truck crane. All of the rough terrain cranes are headed straight from factory to rental projects and the hydraulic truck crane is headed to the Crane Service branch in El Paso, TX.

Crane Service Inc. is committed to providing our customers with newest best equipment available in the industry along with providing the safest quality service that exceeds customers expectations today and in the future, stated Scott Wilson, President at Crane Service, Inc.

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Published 2012.

Posted in Crane Rental Blog, Current Events