The construction of Camp Hill, a new five-story hotel near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the latest in a line of projects undertaken by contractor Cedar Run Construction. It’s also the most recent project to highlight the benefits of using a Potain Igo T 85 A self-erecting tower crane in place of a fleet of telehandlers.
Creating an efficient, streamlined jobsite by reducing the volume of equipment activity while maximizing the laydown area for use by other subcontractors are just two of the additional benefits the Potain Igo T 85 A has brought to the Camp Hill project, carried out on behalf of Benchmark Construction.
“The footprint of the hotel project is a long, thin rectangle with limited perimeter space, so with the crane on one side of the building and our staging area on the other, we’re able to allow other machines to go in a full circle around it,” Brent Droege, financial director at Cedar Run, said. “Without the crane, one of these sides would be completely impassable.”
The Lititz, Pennsylvania-based company acquired the Igo T 85 A two years ago, as its focus shifted from providing labor on smaller residential builds to offering turnkey wood framing packages to general contractors on commercial projects.
“As our projects grew larger, it became obvious rotating telehandlers were no longer providing the efficiencies they once had,” Droege said. “So, we decided to look for machinery that could handle our increased demands.”
Chad Jacobs, self-erecting tower crane specialist at local Potain dealer Stephenson Equipment, suggested the crane to Cedar Run. His experience in helping contractors calculate their return on investment with self-erecting cranes persuaded Droege to trial a rented Igo for use on a congested apartment build in the Philadelphia metro region.
“There were restrictions like power lines, roads, and railway tracks almost completely around the building, so the general contractor had given them pretty strict rules on avoiding those areas,” Jacobs explained. “But we were able to show, using print and 3D drawings, how we could make that project work for them. After its successful conclusion, Cedar Run bought its first crane, and we set about drawing up plans for using it on their next job, too.”
Aside from the financial savings stemming from reducing the amount of equipment Cedar Run needs on a jobsite, additional economic and operational advantages are generated by replacing telehandlers and their limited reach with a self-erecting crane that can lift 13,228 lbs. up to the eighth floor.
“When you use an Igo, you are putting material right where you need it,” Jacobs said. “You’re able to stockpile material near the crane before hoisting it and placing it anywhere from 10 ft. to 148 ft. away. It has a wireless remote control, so the operator doesn’t need to be in the cab. They can even stand right next to where the load is being set down. So, the labor savings is another of the huge benefits of this machine."
The Igo further promotes good operating practice by allowing for clearer communication on the ground. It also streamlines jobsites by maximizing the laydown area for use by other subcontractors. The crane is electric, so there are zero emissions and noise is reduced down to the level of a passing car.
“Probably the coolest thing about the crane is the way it folds into itself and basically becomes a tractor-trailer,” Droege said. “It's pretty amazing how quickly it can be disassembled, transported a few hours away, and be up and running again.”
In fact, the Igo T 85 A’s sub-50,000 lbs. highway axle packages can be hauled at highway speeds. It was at the Camp Hill jobsite and ready to lift within 48 hours of leaving its previous project. With another apartments project on the horizon for Cedar Run, the crane will be on the road again soon.
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