Construction equipment

Erecting a tight tower crane sees a boost from technology

Creative Lifting Services (CLS) conducted a trial with Vita Industrial to test the company’s Load Navigator on a recent tower crane construction in Colorado.

The Brighton-based company was looking for a way to increase the efficiency and safety of erecting a tower crane in a crowded town center with multiple obstacles on the construction site.

CLS managed the lifting work for the construction of a new upscale hotel in a vibrant area of ​​downtown Boulder. As with most projects in high-traffic city centers, the project featured tight working spaces on the site with vehicular and foot traffic, nearby buildings, and other obstructions.

The Vita Load Navigator has allowed CLS to eliminate the use of rigging lines on site, making erection of the tower crane more efficient, more accurate and much safer. It uses load stabilization technology, which includes powerful thrusters that eliminate load movement during crane lifts, allowing riggers to stabilize loads from a distance and place them precisely via remote control.

“One of the biggest challenges we encounter when erecting a tower crane is running long outrigger lines across a congested job site. Using Vita’s system can eliminate that,” said Josiah Rausch, Crane Technical Manager at CLS “We also usually try to install the crane sections as close to the base of the tower as possible, but for this job we were unable, due to the cramped site work.”

CLS staged sections of the tower crane on an adjacent street. The loads were then picked up behind the crane using a mobile crane equipped with the Load Navigator. The loads were then tipped to the job site to be added to the tower crane assembly. Loads were guided and placed via the Load Navigator’s remote control system, which features a “handshake” feature allowing team members to pass control of a load based on where it is on the construction site. The Load Navigator can position and reorient loads with a degree of precision, providing precise placement, and it can handle loads up to 40 tons.

Rausch said the precision with which the Load Navigator was able to guide and place loads was especially helpful when constructing the tower crane’s T-sections and counter-deck.

“Thanks to the Vita Load Navigator, we didn’t have to go through an obstacle course, which makes it much more efficient and safer for the crew,” he explained. “The guys at the top of the crane were happy with the process. Instead of coordinating with two stabilizer line operators on the ground, the team was able to guide it via remote control. Communication can be a major problem on construction sites. Heavy machinery and busy operating environments make a lot of noise. The remote function has really solved this problem.

CLS used the Load Navigator on site for two days and considers the trial a complete success. Rausch said the company looks forward to using the proceeds in future operations.

“On jobs where we’re working in tight spaces, this technology is incredibly helpful,” he said. “We really see terrific application for panel lifts, precast concrete, or any other job with repetitive peaks.”

Source: Vita Industrial

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