Connector - Summer 2021

Page 1



Common Challenges Erectors manage project costs, coordinate teams

18 The Role of Company Culture in Worker Retention


24 Partners in Cranes 30 Special Focus: Convention Preview







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Management The Role of Company Culture in Worker Retention Leaders set the tone for long-term workforce development. By Mary Lee Shalvoy


In the Field

Partners in Cranes Rental providers deliver more than equipment. By Tracy Bennett


Special Focus Convention Preview Adventure awaits. Register by August 31 for Action-Packed Networking in Orlando. ONLINE HIGHLIGHTS Q SEAA Provides SMEs for Structural & Reinforcing Ironworker, and Welding Training Q One Solution for Three Common Steel Erection Fall Protection Problems Q SEAA Members Get Behind OSHA's Stand-Down Q Convention Early Bird Registration Discounts End August 31

Check out our latest social media feeds.


32 Cover Story Overcoming Common Challenges Erectors manage project costs, coordinate teams in winning Projects of the Year. By Tina Cauller On the cover: One way FM Steel's ironworkers were able to access work in the rafters of an NBA arena renovation was from a Nisso Angel's Wing platform distributed by Marr Scaffolding Co. These baskets are extremely useful in hard to reach places, reported the company's director of operations. To reach the top chord of trusses, the company used 150 and 180 ft. boom lifts.

DEPARTMENTS 8 Perspective 10 Association News 12 Product Focus 40 Business Operations 42 Topping Out Connector received Superstar Award from Construction Marketing Association. The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) is dedicated to advancing the common interests and needs of all engaged in building with steel. The Association’s objectives in achieving this goal include the promotion of safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades, development and promotion of standards and cooperation with others in activities which impact the commercial construction business.


Membership in Steel Erectors Association of America provides Safety, Education, and Productivity benefits for its members. As a trade association representing Steel Erectors, Fabricators, General Contractors, and Vendors, businesses with complementary interests gain invaluable opportunities to learn from each other.

SEAA is the only national trade association representing the interests of steel erectors, fabricators, and related service providers. Connector reaches both small and large contractors working in union and open labor markets. Steel Erectors Association of America

Your Industry No other national association represents the unique interests of all steel erectors and fabricators. Members are experts in construction of commercial buildings, arenas, bridges, and highway structures. Members enhoy opportunities to network with other industry professionals at the Anuual Covention, golf tournaments, member events and training classes.

Improve Safety and Productivity Members have access to custom Ironworker Craft Training Curriculum. Studies show 24% of businesses experience lower productivity due to the lack of skilled ironworkers and welders. A better trained workforce delivers lower accidents rates, higher productivity, and increased profits.

Accredited Credentials at Reduced Cost SEAA’s NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) sponsorship means that member companies can provide industry-recognized credentials to your employees with the benefit of SEAA adminstrative support and at a lower cost to members than going direct through NCCER.

Competitive Advantage SEAA’s U.S. Department of Labor-approved Ironworker Apprenticeship Program allows members to create formal training that meets standards recognized by Federal and State governments. Pariticipation allows merit shop contractors to utilize government approved apprenticeship rates on Davis Bacon Wage Projects.

Influence Industry Standards SEAA strategic partnerships with industry groups provide member companies with industry representation with American Institute of Steel Construction, Steel Joist Institute, Steel Deck Institute, National Institute of Steel Detailing, and others.

Piedmont Leaf Lofts 401 E. 4th Street, #204 Winston-Salem, NC 27101-4171 336-294-8880 OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE STAFF Geoff Kress, President Carrie Sopuch-Gulajan, Associate Member Vice President David Deem, Industry Member Vice President Greg Phillips, Treasurer Chris Legnon, Secretary and Media Committee Chairman PUBLISHING PARTNER Chris Harrison, Publisher Phone 660-287-7660 Tracy Bennett, Managing Editor Phone 816-536-7903 Eileen Kwiatkowski, Art Director MEDIA ADVISORY COMMITTEE Chris Legnon, Fabricators, Cooper Steel David Deem, Erectors, Deem Structural Services Kris McLean, High Plains Steel Services Glen Pisani, Erectors, MAS Building & Bridge Jim Simonson, Fabricators, Steel Service Ed Valencia, Derr & Gruenewald Construction Connector™ is published quarterly by the Steel Erectors Association of America, 3447 Robinhood Road, Suite 315 Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Join by calling the SEAA office 336-294-8880 or visit Discover why a SEAA Membership is a good investment for your business.


Copyright 2021 by the Steel Erectors Association of America. No material may be reprinted without permission from the Executive Director. While the information and recommendations contained in this publication have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable, the Steel Erectors Association of America, its affiliates, employees, contributors, writers, editors, designers, photographers, and media advisory committee, makes no guarantee as to, and assumes no responsibility for, the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations and cannot be held responsible for the outcome of any action or decision based on the information contained in this publication or claims made by advertisers. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the Publisher. Permission is only deemed valid if approval is in writing.


By Geoff Kress

Members Highly Recommend SEAA to Friends and Colleagues


ast year was a transformational year for many organizations that were forced to find new ways to do business. The same was true for SEAA, however, I predict that 2021 will be even more so as the current board seeks to infuse greater value into your membership. Since the beginning of the year, we have undertaken several projects and we are evaluating strategies to attract new members. First, in January we surveyed members to identify what they value about SEAA and to identify gaps in services. More than 43% of you responded to the Member Value Survey. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. That information is already being used to impact change within the organization. One noteworthy result of the survey—a whopping 74% of members who responded say they would recommend SEAA to a friend or colleague. That’s good news, but we know based on our member retention rates that we could do better. Members want more help with hiring, training, and networking, which aligns with the biggest challenges your companies are facing.


What is the biggest challenge in your business right now? What do you believe will be your biggest challenge in the next 3 years? 2021


+ 3 Years



+ 3 Years 2021


+ 3 Years

+ 3 Years 2021


2021 + 3 Years








+ 3 Years

Cash Flow


Craft Training

+ 3 Years


2021 SEAA Member Value Survey Second, we received and reviewed a comprehensive Membership Value Report, which we hired a third-party consultant to prepare. This report revealed that SEAA needs to revisit what its values, vision, and purpose is— which will then direct development of new programs that are more in alignment with what members need. Geoff Kress is President of the Steel Erectors Association of America, and Vice President and majority owner of Gardner-Watson Decking, Inc., Oldsmar, Fla. Contact him at 8 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

When the organization was formed in 1972, members were focused on improving work processes between erectors, fabricators, and GCs, and representing interests of erectors in contracts. In the 1990s, advocacy was a high priority as OSHA began writing Subpart R regulations. Since then, the biggest challenge our companies face relates to hiring. There are not enough skilled craft workers, which directly impacts business growth. Training is a key piece of this, which SEAA has championed over the last eight years with its Ironworker Craft Training program. To complement this curriculum, we have started adding training videos that align with SEAA/NCCER ironworker training. Find them by logging into your member account. Other strategies are also needed when it comes to the labor shortage. We already offer a Job Board. Standard listings are free for SEAA members. Our company uses it to post job listings by city, state and duration of the project. I encourage other members to participate. In addition, we plan to launch a career fair in Houston in January 2022 with the idea of supporting more of this kind of programming in the future. One other recommendation that came out of the Membership Value Report was the need to create more peer group networking. We know how important our Convention & Trade Show is to you, which is why we prioritized getting an event on the calendar this year as COVID-19 vaccinations have become available. (Visit for more on what’s happening in October in Orlando.) We are also undergoing a renovation of our committee process to expand opportunities for members to get engaged. We are actively seeking between 10 to 12 new people to serve on most of our committees. Call-in meetings will take place about once per month. Contact for more info. Meanwhile, the board has launched its search for a new Executive Director. We drafted a comprehensive job description that aligns with the recommendations from the Member Value Report. For the first time in SEAA’s history, we are looking for an association management professional who will help us achieve our goals for increasing member value while improving member retention and recruitment. We often hear from members who are actively engaged with SEAA that this association is one of the “best kept secrets” in the industry. Benefits of membership should not be illusive to anyone. If you don’t how to access the materials or programs mentioned here, let us know. If you have ideas for other services, email me or the office at


Dave Schulz Memorial Golf Tournament Indoor/Outdoor Trade Show

Networking Live Exhibitor Demos

OCTOBER 12-14, 2021 4 Education Sessions DoubleTree by Hilton

at entrance to Universal Awards & Receptions

48th CONVENTION & TRADE SHOW Orlando, Florida

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 9


■ Steel Erectors Contribute to Community Revitalization Projects

S EVENTS & ACTIVITIES Summer Board of Directors Meeting July 7, 2021 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Summer Meet & Greet July 7, 2021 6-8 pm Renaissance Hotel Pittsburgh, Pa.

Annual Membership Meeting August 26, 2021 11am EST Virtual For login:

even steel erection companies have been named as award recipients in SEAA’s 2021 Project of the Year. One winner was selected in each of four categories based on the dollar amount of the erection contract. In addition, three companies received Honorable Mention. Categories are Class I up to $500,000; Class II $500,000 to $1 million; Class III $1-2.5 million; and Class IV over $2.5 million. Three projects were part of broader redevelopment plans in the local communities where they were built, and five of them house centers for cultural expression—including performing arts, sports, and a museum. Projects were topped out in either 2019 or 2020. They are selected by an independent panel of judges. Read more about Class I and II winners on page 32. Watch the Fall 2021 issue for coverage of Class III and IV winners. Find photos from all projects in the Photo Gallery at ,

Class I: Hodges Erectors Inc., for Turnberry Ocean Club, condo entrance, Sunny Isles, Fla.

Hodges Erectors navigated three primary challenges constructing the condominium tower entrance. Large girders had to be connected inside the existing building below a cantilevered pool deck above; multiple mobilizations were required including a tower crane and a 450-ton mobile crane; and three stories of underground parking had to be shored to allow the mobile crane to set up above the garage.

Class II: FM Steel LLC, for Talking Stick Resort, arena renovations, Phoenix, Ariz. Steel erection for the interior upgrade to the existing arena had to be scheduled between home games of NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury basketball teams. FM Steel had zero headroom for cranes and had to perform mid-air transfers of steel from the cranes to bull rigging installed in the arena roof. In addition, over 1,300 linear feet of field weld was installed above cloth seating to prevent damage to arena furnishings.

Class III: United Steel Inc., for Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, Bridgeport, Conn.

Dave Schulz Memorial Golf Tournament

Part of a larger economic redevelopment plan, this one-of-a-kind structure required extensive planning and coordination utilizing three cranes working in unison. The hallmark of the ballpark conversion to amphitheater is a 125 ft high tensile roof and 107 ft high pavilion entrance. A 135-foot diameter trussed ring supports a 60,000 lb. cable-supported center mast and several cable-supported “flying masts.”

October 12, 2021 MetroWest Golf Club Orlando, Fla.

SEAA’s 48th Convention & Trade Show October 13-14, 2021 Doubletree Entrance to Universal Orlando, Fla.

Class IV: Deem Structural Services for Buddy Holly Hall, performing arts center, Lubbock, Texas Like many Performing Arts Centers, this structure was inherently complex. Deem Structural Services overcame numerous challenges, including complicated sequencing, limited site space, monitoring major truss deflections (especially the 14' deep x 160' long Truss T6), and steel connection design for trusses, bracing, moment connections, etc. In addition, a project-within-a-project was the erection of the 13 ton, 60' tall “hurricane stair” comprised of double-axis rolled HSS tubing, supported only by cantilevered steel at each floor level.


■ Members Committed to Ironworker Safety and Training ■ Project of the Year

Honorable Mention

SEAA announces the recipients of the 2021 Safety Excellence Award and Craft Training Recognition Award. “These companies demonstrated a strong commitment to the safety and health of their employees,” said Bryan McClure, Chairman of SEAA’s Safety and Education Committee. World Class is issued to the highest achieving companies. Premier is the second level, followed by Gold.

Safety Excellence Recipients were selected based on evaluations of their EMR ratings, OSHA 300A statistics, and safety program processes over the last three years. Scoring was based on points assigned to a multi-criteria analysis, conducted in blind review by SEAA’s Safety & Education Committee. High Plains Steel Services LLC, for Hunters Overlook Bridge, Windsor, Colo. (Class I)

World Class



Cooper Steel Shelbyville, Tenn.

Black Cat, LLC Cheyenne, Wyo.

Pro Steel Erectors Glendale, Ariz.

Derr & Gruenewald Construction, LLC Brighton, Colo.

Gardner-Watson Decking Oldsmar, Fla.

Shelby Erectors Davie, Fla.

FM Steel, LLC Gilbert, Ariz.

Quality Steel Services Loveland, Colo. Company Size Categories

High Plains Steel Services Windsor, Colo.

Category 6 = 1-30 employees

Craft Training Recognition CAS Steel Erectors Inc., for International African American Museum, Charleston, S.C. (Class III)

Cooper Steel for Belmont University Performing Arts Center, Nashville, Tenn. (Class IV)

Category 3 = 91-120 employees

Category 5 = 31-60 employees Category 2 = 121-149 employees Category 4 = 61-90 employees Category 1 = 150+ employees

Applicants were evaluated on the portability of credentials, availability of apprenticeship programs, training, and recruitment efforts. Evaluations are made in comparison to other companies of similar size, based on the number of ironworkers employed from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. Note that there were not submissions by employers in all size categories for 2020. World Class



Category 1: Derr & Gruenewald Construction, LLC Brighton, Colo.

Category 1: Shelby Erectors Davie, Fla.

Category 3: Gardner-Watson Decking Oldsmar, Fla.

Category 6: High Plains Steel Services, LLC Windsor, Colo.

Category 6: Ironworker Skills Institute Pell City, Ala.

■ SEAA Provides SMEs for Structural & Reinforcing Ironworker, and Welding Training Six SEAA member companies are providing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to work with NCCER to revise curriculum for Ironworker, Reinforcing Ironworker, and Welding. In addition, the organizations are exploring the interest level for possible future development of a Steel Fabrication curriculum. “SEAA’s relationship with NCCER goes back many years and continues to evolve as training needs change,” said Geoff Kress, President of SEAA. “We value the opportunity to contribute to curriculum development to meet the specific needs of our members,” he said. Among the SMEs representing SEAA working on these projects are: Mike Adams, Gulf Coast Rebar Inc. | John Garrison, Garrison Steel Erectors Inc. | Greg MacLiver, All Things Metal | Bryan McClure, Trivent Safety Consulting | Jack Nix, Shelby Erectors Inc. | Scott Wilson, Steel Fabricators, LLC. Jack Nix, Vice President of Operations, Shelby Erectors Inc., is acting as an SME for the Reinforcing Ironworker curriculum. “Rodbusters require somewhat different skills than structural ironworkers. I am glad NCCER has decided to update this training to acknowledge those differences,” said Nix. In addition, several SEAA members include steel fabricators who have been seeking training for fabrication personnel for skills such as blueprint reading, math and measuring, in addition to cutting and welding techniques. NCCER is actively exploring the interest level for development of this type of curriculum. Provide input by completing the NCCER Steel Fabrication Training Survey, found at Participation in the SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Craft Training Program gives SEAA members access to dozens of other materials, including crane operator, rigger, and signalperson. More than 30 SEAA members across the country currently participate. For more information, visit .

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 11


■ Tie-Off Options for Loading

and Unloading Materials

When steel erection contractors receive materials for laydown yards at job sites, often personnel must work from an elevated location on the trailer. Tie-off regulations vary by industry for loading and unloading. The X500 is a new Free-Standing Anchor from Malta Dynamics, Malta, Ohio, that provides an overhead fall protection anchor point for up to five workers that can be positioned where needed. Part of the XSERIES Mobile Grabber product line, the X500 has a 360-degree rotatable arm with a 20 ft. high overhead anchor point. The X500 can be towed to the job site. Field assembly is simple with bolt-together components. Other features include leveling jacks and forklift pockets.

X500 Free-Standing Anchor from Malta Dynamics

■ ArcReach Offers Field Solution for Weld Preheating

and Bakeout

Miller Electric, Appleton, Wis., introduces the ArcReach Heating System, which is designed for jobsite weld preheating and bakeout in construction and pipe applications. The system delivers temperature maximums of 600° F/315° C. This induction heating system is faster, safer and less expensive than open-flame or resistance methods. ArcReach Heating Systems use electricity from heating tools placed on or around magnetic metal surfaces, such as iron or steel, to create currents in the metal. Induction results in temperatures that are consistent and evenly controlled throughout the weld, which can save hours and hundreds of dollars per weld joint. ArcReach Heating System

■ TNA® Fastening System Receives RCSC Approval LeJeune Bolt Company, Burnsville, Minn., announced the approval and inclusion of their TNA Fastening System in the 2020 Edition of the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC) Specification for Structural Joints Using High-Strength Bolts. Users can now specify ASTM F3148 TNA® bolts and the RCSC combined method on future projects. The Combined Method uses torque for the snug tightening process and then employs angle (degree of nut rotation) for final tensioning. The method is the first to establish a minimum snug tight tension, and LeJeune’s Torque + Angle Fastening System is the first system on the market to utilize the combined method. 12 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

TNA Fastening System


300 Scarlet Blvd. Oldsmar, FL 34677 Phone: 813.891.9849 Fax: 813.891.4105 Duke Perry, VP of Sales/Operations 404-808-0504

GTH-1056 telescopic handler

■ Genie 10,000 lb. Telehandler Designed

for Durability

The new GTH-1056 telescopic handler from Genie, Redmond, Wash., has a stronger design and proven performance following extensive field testing. It is able to lift 5,000 lbs. at a max height of 56 ft. 7 in and 3,000 lbs. at max reach. A simple boom configuration, combined with wider, stiffer horsehead efficiently transfers loads in applications imposing high stress on the boom, such as pipe handling or suspended loads. Enduro A/T tires, with a hybrid tread pattern for rough-terrain applications, are standard. Limited slip differential on front and rear axles automatically shifts torque to wheels that are slipping to improve traction. Powertrain options include 120 HP Deutz engine with 4-speed powershift transmission and 74 HP Deutz Tier 4f engine with 3-speed powershift transmission or with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The 74 HP, DEF-free engine option is a low-maintenance solution. CVT delivers performance on par with the 120 HP engine, but with a lower purchase cost and better fuel efficiency.

■ Combination Hammer Drill Delivers Faster

Heavy-Duty Concrete Drilling

Hilti North America, Plano, Texas, is expanding its rotary and combination hammer tool portfolio with the next generation TE 70-ATC/AVR. The SDS-Max combination hammer can drill 40% faster in reinforced concrete. It incorporates Hilti’s Active Torque Control (ATC) technology, which stops the tool body from spinning uncontrollably if the drill bit jams, and includes Hilti’s Active Vibration Reduction (AVR) technology that makes the combination hammer less tiring to use. It can be used with TE-YX bits and new self-sharpening TE-YPX flat and pointed chisels. The TE-ATC/AVR has a 20-year warranty for repair or replacement of defective parts; two-year no cost repair, including wear and tear; and guaranteed one-day repair center turnaround.


Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 15

Skyjack Boom Lifts with SMARTORQUE™ Technology

■ Skyjack Launches

Four Boom Lifts with SMARTORQUE

Skyjack, Guelph, Ontario, has launched four new 40 ft and 60 ft boom lifts leveraging its SMARTORQUE™ technology. SMARTORQUE optimizes the gearing of the axle-based system, along with a simplified, high efficiency hydraulics package so that the new boom lifts can use 25 HP or smaller engines. The new models—ST40T, SJ45T, SJ45AJ, and SJ60AJ—offer significantly less sensor and emission regulation components to minimize associated downtime. Use of smaller engines also cuts fuel costs and eliminates downtime associated with after treatment components, active regen issues, and maintenance or replacement of Diesel Oxidization Catalyst or Diesel Particulate Filter.

■ GRIPPS Tethering Solutions

Now Available in North America

GRIPPS Global, Victoria, Australia, manufacturer of tool tethering solutions, has partnered with P&I Supply to distribute their products in North America. GRIPPS product line includes bags and pouches, drop mats, scaffold component tethering, tether-ready tools, tool belts and holsters, and more. GRIPPS products can also be purchased online through


Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 17


By Mary Lee Shalvoy

The Role of Company Culture in Worker Retention Leaders set the tone for long-term workforce development

Deem Structural Services is an employee stock-owned business.


n the list of the biggest concerns affecting business today, right after finding workers, is how to keep them as employees. It’s tough out there, and worker retention is not just a skilled trades problem. According to a September 2020 survey by the Associated General Contractors and Autodesk, more than 80 percent of contractors say it is difficult to find supervisors or project managers. Further exasperating the issue, 75 percent of U.S. employees across all industries do not stay at their jobs for more than five years, reports staffing agency iHire in its 2019 Talent Retention Report. That’s about as long as it takes to recruit, train, and develop a journey-level craftsperson, who then is no longer in your pipeline to develop for manager positions. To keep workers from leaving, companies must cultivate a culture with a focus on employee engagement. Those that do so achieve 59 percent less turnover, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. Mary Lee Shalvoy, managing partner with Okos Partners LLC, is a business, training, and marketing consultant. She also acts as project manager for TradeUp, a skilled trades workforce development program. For more info visit or

Successful workforce development strategies plan for the long-term growth and careers of the company’s workers. A clear succession path starts with recruitment and extends through training, with opportunities for both personal and organizational growth. Positive company culture is equally important to recruiting and placement, training, and safety.

Culture is a Leadership Issue Culture often gets overlooked or dismissed because it’s so difficult to define. A company’s culture begins the moment its doors open for business, set by the founders and initial leadership teams. Culture continues through financial and organizational growth, with additional layers of management and leaders resulting in a number of internal subcultures. Culture is developed by the leaders in your company, or anyone who manages anything— from the CEO, VP of finance and director of safety, to the superintendent, supervisor, and foreman. Leaders who understand the significance of workers’ priorities, and who also realize they can encourage performance by creating the conditions for employees to thrive, are far more successful in building a culture of engagement, safety, and growth. If you are a manager of people, you are a creator of culture because you are the boss.


A culture of engagement means performance with fulfillment. It can enhance your brand, improve business results and fulfill your organization's purpose. According to Gallup, when leaders and managers create a clear, consistent, aligned culture, it inspires high commitment, and employees believe in and live out the organization's purpose in their daily work. They feel respected, valued, and invested. On the flip side, it’s the unspoken beliefs and ideas, and the steadfast “that’s the way we’ve always done things around here” attitude that causes the most trouble. In another series of studies, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) reported a workplace with a poor culture often suffers from high turnover, disengaged employees, lower production quality, higher incidents of accidents, and has difficulty hiring.

Making Culture about Your People Company culture is paramount, according to David Deem, president of SEAA member company Deem Structural Services, Longview, Texas, which provides large-scale steel erection projects in the education, healthcare, and government markets in the Southwest. Its 175-employee strong company is an employee stock-owned business. There are

benefits of building tenure and “owning a piece of the rock,” said Deem. “We are a skilled labor company. When you talk about labor shortages, it’s really important to us because that’s what we sell in the field,” Deem said. “Our product is our performance in the field and it’s a people business.” “The key is first finding an applicant that wants to do this [kind of work], then training them correctly, and that is an incentive to stay,” he said. To that end, Deem Structural Services publishes a clear career path within the company that all employees have access to. But the biggest factor is the ability to actually work. “No one wants to go to work and three months later get laid off.”

Construction Career Path Level 1 $34,000 Per Year

Middle School Career Awareness

High School or Technical Center

Level 2 $38,000 Per Year

Level 1 $42,000 Per Year

Journeyman/ Ironworker Certified Welder $51,000 Per Year

Community or Technical College

University Degree +/- $60,000 Tuition

Making Safety the Culture Just because a company offers a worker a job and provides training in a skill, it does not ensure loyalty from the worker, especially if the work environment does not keep them alive and thriving. When an internal career pathway is clear, when team members have input on decisions, and when everyone is afforded the respect to which they are entitled, only then will finding and

Journeyman/ Ironworker Foreman $60,000+ Per Year

Superintendent $85,000 Per Year

Senior Management $100,000+ Per Year

Assistant Project Manager $60,000+ Per Year

CEO, Executive or Owner

Project Manager $85,000 to $100,000 Per Year

Example of a corporate career pathway, which Deem Structural Services makes available to employees. keeping people willing and able to do the difficult work of trades succeed. When it comes to steel erection businesses, it’s a given that safety is a vital part of every day on the job. Julia Kunlo, vice president

of safety consultation firm Evolution Safety Resources, based in Raleigh, N.C., acknowledged that when it comes to developing a culture of safety, “management understanding the importance of every employee at every


Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 19


Julia Kunlo of Evolution Safety Resources says of a company’s attitude toward safety: “Your company has a reputation whether you think about it or not. That reputation matters and it is powerful.”

level of the organization speaks volumes. It says: ‘We care about you and we want you to return home safely.’ When employees understand that, productivity skyrockets.” When it comes to retention, Kunlo noted that workers want to stay working for a company that considers the employee’s safety first. “When employees feel that they are taken care of, they don’t want to go elsewhere, because that culture is such a rarity.” Kunlo reports that clients she has worked with report fewer incidents, and those incidents that happen are reported quickly, because workers know the employer has their backs. This creates a culture of unity and teamwork, instead of the employer versus employee during the case management process. “It works best to make someone solely dedicated to safety efforts,” Kunlo explained, “instead of just adding safety as a slash in their title-like production manager slash safety coordinator.” When a person or a team is not dedicated to the safety role, it’s a sign that safety is not a true part of the organizational culture. Kunlo said that a true culture of safety becomes a recruiting tool. “Workers talk to each other, they are on multi-employer work sites, and they make connections out in the field,” she explained. “Your company has a reputation whether you think about it or not. That reputation matters and it is powerful.”



What’s Next? It’s incredibly difficult to make a culture change, especially if the culture has been in place for years. However, change starts with awareness. Here are some questions to honestly assess your own culture and how your leaders represent it. ] What do we offer to our team that the competition cannot?


] What is the career path in our organization? Is it clear to all employees? PROUD MEMBER

] Why would someone want to build a career in my company? ] What is our attitude towards new team members who join?




] Do we accept high turnover as “normal” and a cost of doing business? As an employer and a leader, when you consider your culture and ensure that it is the right one, people are far more likely to join your company and stick around to help build a successful and lasting business.

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 21




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By Tracy Bennett

Partners in Cranes

Rental providers deliver more than equipment

Buckner Heavylift provided a variety of cranes for construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Included were some of the largest crawlers in their fleet—1,430-ton Liebherr LR 11000s as well as several 440-ton Liebherr LR 1400s.


ne of the first decisions a steel erection contractor must make when bidding a job is to consider how many and what types of cranes may be needed. The right crane can improve productivity, safety, and potentially increase profit margins. Tracy Bennett is Managing Editor of Connector and Principal Partner of Mighty Mo Media Partners, a marketing consulting firm. Her technical expertise is in construction, lifting equipment, and workforce development.

Many erectors maintain their own certified crane operators and may even manage their own crane fleets. Sentry Steel Service Co., Inc., Hendersonville, Tenn., also has a crane and rigging division which rents cranes rated up to 150 tons. “One of the first things our steel estimators do when pricing a job is consult with someone in our crane division,” said Chris Hopper, VP Steel Operations. “Even if we don’t have the crane that’s needed for a project, we are able to partner with other local crane suppliers,” he said. That in-house crane expertise is an added


value that steel erection customers of Sentry Steel Service receive when they need cranes. “Numerous factors go into sizing and selecting the right crane for the project,” said Hopper. Important considerations include identifying the heaviest pick, where the crane will be setup and whether it is inside or outside of the building footprint, minimum and maximum lifting distances, and whether there are underground utilities or overhead obstructions. It’s also helpful to know whether other trades are going to need crane services, which might mean that they could share some of the cost. Along with partnering with a reputable crane supplier, Hopper of Sentry Steel Service recommends erectors take a look at some readily available resources for initial planning and crane selection. “There are definitely some good online resources out there from crane manufacturers, and we utilize A1A Software’s 3D Lift plan,” he said. Mark MeHaffey, Account Manager for Buckner Heavylift Cranes, Graham, N.C., agrees that lift planning at the earliest stages is critical to crane selection. “Instead of renting two cranes, it might be better to rent a single, larger crawler crane that can be repositioned for multiple lifts.” He gave an example in which a 440-ton Liebherr LR-1400 crawler

crane was overkill for one of the primary lifts that an erector customer needed. However, it was more cost effective to rent this one crane for the time needed to do both lifts rather than mobilize a second smaller crane out to the job for a short turn-around. "Some sites are completely green field and others are in the middle of a downtown surrounded by buildings. Each can provide a unique set of challenges for the erector," added Sarah Perez, Director of Sales for Buckner Heavylift. That’s when working with a crane specialist that can provide lift planning and logistics may be beneficial.

Ongoing communication Crane suppliers with engineering and lift planning expertise are good partners to have as the project evolves because sometimes plans change. “Maybe the erector had planned to use the tower crane on site, but as the project progresses the tower crane is no longer available,” said MeHaffey. That’s just what happened to Hodges Erectors on the award-wining Turnberry Ocean Club. (See page 32.) The erector had to mobilize a 450-ton mobile crane after the tower crane on site was taken down. Other times, the laydown area becomes congested, altering plans for crane setup. “Site size is a common pain point for erectors,” said J.C. Everett, Vice President of Superior Cranes, Inc., Rockingham, N.C. “Most steel erection projects take up the entire work area, leaving little to no room for a laydown yard or crane. This requires the crane supplier to become creative in their assembly and movement on site,” he said. “It is critical to have open communication with the erector and to stay informed on timelines and changes. We know how long it will take to assemble/disassemble the crane, and what’s involved with moving the crane to multiple locations on site,” continued Everett. Superior Cranes provides specialized hauling and all types of cranes from small carry deck cranes to a 1,320-ton Terex AC 1000 all-terrain crane. “Keeping an open mind, and an open line of communication [with the crane supplier] is key to everyone’s success—from safety, efficiency, and financial standpoints,” said Hopper.

Creative equipment options “While erectors generally have good crane operation expertise, it’s when they get into a

Superior Cranes provided a Demag AT crane for an overhead crane installation at a facility expansion.

crane classification they may not be as familiar with that they may need more engineering and planning assistance,” said MeHaffey. Buckner’s fleet includes crawler cranes up to 2,000 tons. Utilizing attachments and less common configurations to maximize reach or capacity is one example where a crane supplier can help an erector get the most versatility out of their crane rental. “We recently added a mini crawler crane from Spydercrane to our fleet,” said Hopper. “We are using it in certain applications, such as hoisting elevator beams, bent plate, stairs. We see this as a safer and more efficient alternative to manual hoisting methods, such as using a chain fall. It also frees up the project crane for larger picks.” (See more examples of mini-crane applications, Spring 2020, page 22, in Connector Archives at Other times the best equipment may not


be a crane. High Plains Steel Services worked with their crane supplier to plan a two-crane pick of an assembled bridge component, but during the build-out used a Genie telehandler in combination with a Liebherr AT crane, which cut project costs. (See page 38.) In another example, Carver Construction lifted 11,000 lb. beams using Magni rotating telehandlers instead of cranes for a 180,000 sq. ft pre-engineered steel structure. (See Fall 2020, page 12.) “Successful steel erection jobs hinge on the trust shared between the erector and crane provider,” said Everett. “It is not always about who has the lowest number on a piece of paper, but about trusting that the crane provider is supplying you with the correct size crane that will safely handle the job. We are all in this together and true partnerships want successful outcomes for all involved.”

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Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 27 | 904-430-0355

Software-Assisted Selection

Oct. 12, 2021

Brent Genseke says that using 3D Lift Plan helps keep projects on schedule and budgets on track. “Although some erectors may not have their own cranes, they can still build in 3D by working with vendors who have access to 3D Lift Plan,” he says. Illinois-based Area Erectors was recognized for its role in setting a shop-assembled truss over an existing walkway in A1A Software’s 2020 3D Lift Plan of the Year contest. For this job, crane placement options were limited at the school in a residential neighborhood. Area Erectors initially used 3D Lift Plan for crane selection with the vendor and in determining crane placement. Later it was used again to review the rigging and lifting scenario, which required offloading the truss, standing it up, and then laying it over to rig.

MetroWest Golf Club 2100 S. Hiawassee Rd. Orlando, FL 32835 Open to Members and Non-Members Captain’s Choice Tournament Awards and Prizes Visit for registration and sponsorship info

“This was not a heavy lift by any means, but crane access, transportation of the truss to the site, and rotating the truss once it was offloaded added some degrees of difficulty to the lift,” said Brent Genseke, Project Manager and Structural Steel Estimator. “We regularly use 3D Lift Plan in the planning stages to size a crane, but we also rely on it after the project is awarded to help lay out crane locations for different stages of the project and determine whether to complete the job in-house or outsource.” “3D Lift Plan includes a crane selection tool with a search feature that helps to instantly identify the most economical crane configuration based on the available cranes that can handle the lift so you don’t have to search manually through a long list,” he explains. Area Erectors coordinated crane selection with Nichols Crane Rental, Joliet, Illinois, because the steel erector did not have the ideal crane for the project in its fleet. In this case, a 130-ton Liebherr LTM 1130 5.1 AT equipped with a jib fit the bill. “3D Lift Plan was a big help in making that determination,” he said.


SPECIAL FOCUS: Convention Preview

Adventure Awaits Register by August 31 for Action-Packed Networking in Orlando










The Convention & Trade Show is preceded by the Dave Schulz Memorial Golf Tournament at the MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando on October 12, 2021. SEAA renamed the annual Education Fundraiser Golf Tournament in memory of Dave Schulz, SEAA past president, who was instrumental in organizing the event for many years. The Captain’s Choice style tournament is open to members and non- members. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams, longest drive, closest to the pin, and more. Separate registration is required. Fees include green fee, cart, range balls, lunch, and beverages. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.


Golf for Safety & Training



teel erectors are getting real in Orlando this year for SEAA’s 48th Convention and Trade Show on October 13-14, 2021. The convention and trade show will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the entrance to Universal Studios. This year’s event will include dedicated trade show time, three education sessions for managers and owners, and a panel discussion with the 2021 Project of the Year winners. The Project of the Year Panel Discussion is slated for 3 pm on Oct. 13, giving any travelers not in town for the golf tournament time to arrive before meetings begin. Thursday, Oct. 14 starts with dedicated trade show time and concludes with three education sessions on management focused topics.

Don’t delay. Early Bird Registration Discounts for both Members and Guests ends August 31.

Project of the Year Panel Discussion 2021 Project of the Year winning teams will explore common themes and best practices that other erectors may apply to planning, logistics, safety, and other challenges. The session is moderated by Bob Beckner, former SEAA President and Board Member. Beckner, who recently retired from his role as Sr. Vice President of Peterson Beckner Industries, will bring nearly 50 years of experience to the panel discussion. 30 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Bob Beckner

Demos and Dedicated Trade Show This year there will be three hours of dedicated trade show time at indoor and outdoor booths, with hands-on presentations from exhibitors. On the schedule for live demonstrations are Simpson Strong-Tie, Genie, Skyjack, SDS2, and more. To accommodate social distancing and small group engagement, attendees will be split into two groups. Half will visit indoor booths, while half will visit outdoor booths. Groups will rotate at the mid-point in the schedule, and the live demonstrations will be staggered between two time slots.

EXHIBITORS As of May 31, 2021, these companies have registered as exhibitors. About 40 indoor and 12 outdoor exhibitors expected.

Managing AISC Certifications Systems There have been continuous changes to AISC Certification requirements, which can leave companies scrambling to keep up with Quality and Safety Management Systems. Lee Pieleat of Pioneer Steel Services, will provide best practices for effectively managing and updating your company's AISC Certifications systems. Lee Pieleat

Overcoming Complex Support Conditions Often times, the support conditions for a steel structure are obvious to the erector, but what if a condition exists in which the vertical support for a given area is not evident? This session will explore planning methods to ensure a project’s structure is erected safely. James Byrum, Estimator and Project Manager for Peterson Beckner Industries, will discuss careful sequencing, temporary shoring, detailed erection planning, and collaboration with the design team.


The Maverick Foreman: Defending OSHA Citations Involving Supervisor Misconduct

Columbia Safety Connector Magazine CraneTrader General Equipment & Supply Genie - A Terex Brand, DEMO GWY LLC Hilti IMPACT

James Byrum

Stephen Safran

In order to establish an OSHA violation, the agency must prove the employer had knowledge of the alleged violation. If a foreman or supervisor witnesses an employee making a violation, OSHA uses that to establish that the employer also had knowledge. Stephen Safran, of Safran Law Offices, will focus on how to build a supervisor misconduct defense, where the employer can argue that the foreman or supervisor engaged in unforeseeable or unpreventable misconduct.

LeJeune Bolt Company, DEMO Liebherr USA Co. Lindapter USA Magni Telescopic Handlers Miller Electric Mfg, LLC NISD- National Institute of Steel Detailing Pewag Chain & Terrier Lifting Clamps SDS/2, DEMO SEAA Craft Training, Educational Services Unlimited Simpson Strong-Tie, DEMO Skyjack, DEMO Speak Easy Communications, LLC St. Louis Screw & Bolt Co. Superior Cranes, Inc. Wurth Construction Services

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 31


By Tina Cauller


Common Challenges

Turnberry Ocean Club, Condo Entrance, Sunny Isles, Fla.

Erectors manage project costs, coordinate teams

Class I (up to $500,000) Erector: Hodges Erectors, Inc Fabricator and Detailer: George’s Welding Services, Inc. Architect: Swedroe Architecture Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers GC: Turnberry Contract Value: $282,350 Tons of Steel: 198

Talking Stick Resort, Arena Renovation, Phoenix, Ariz. Class II (Over $500,000 to $1 million) Erector: FM Steel Construction, LLC Fabricator: Schuff Steel Management Company Detailer: CSD Services Architect: HOK Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti GC: Okland Construction Company, Inc. Contract Value: $935,997 Tons of Steel: 125

Hunters Overlook Bridge, Windsor, Colo. Class I Honorable Mention Erector: High Plains Steel Services, LLC Fabricator, Detailer, Architect, and Structural Engineer: Contech Engineered Solutions, LLC GC: Crow Creek Construction, LLC Contract Value: $80,433 Tons of Steel: 129 More photos in Photo Gallery at

A 450-ton mobile crane had to be set up directly over an underground parking garage, requiring extra shoring as support.


rectors often work in close collaboration with other teams and trades, and sometimes the customer. Challenges frequently deal with logistics, crane selection and rigging methods, and difficult to access work locations. The three projects presented here are prime examples of these common challenges.

The 2021 Class I winning entry (for projects up to $500,000 steel erection contract value) was for the entrance to the Turnberry Ocean Club. This oceanfront condominium tower was built to provide a luxury lifestyle for residents, which starts with a grand entrance composed of a free spanning structure. One of the main challenges was the number of mobilizations required due to sequencing. Hodges Erectors used a tower crane for unloading and erection for about half of the project, but had to bring in a 450-ton mobile crane, properly shored, to set up on a parking garage to complete the job. Arena renovations, which were part of a larger $230 million project to redevelop a venue for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s

Phoenix Mercury, also required multiple mobilizations in order to work around the basketball teams’ home game schedules. FM Steel Construction, LLC, the Class II Project of the Year (over $500,000 to $1 million) had limited headroom for using a crane, which meant that some steel was transferred in mid-air from the crane using bull rigging techniques. Meanwhile, High Plains Steel Services, LLC, received Honorable Mention, for its residential bridge project. The erector was brought into the project when the customer realized the initial plan was not feasible. High Plains Steel worked with the customer’s crane supplier to devise an alternative construction method that saved tens of thousands in costs.

Tina Cauller is a graphic designer and freelance writer with 30 years of experience reporting for trade and technical publications in building construction and real estate markets. She can be reached at tinacauller@

■ Multiple mobilizations


Hodges Erectors, Inc., Miami, Fla., delivered outstanding performance on the Turnberry Ocean Club in Sunny Isles, Florida, earning Project of the Year for Class I. The 54-story

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The tops of the beams had to be placed partially inside an existing building.

glass tower is 649 feet tall and features cantilevered sunrise and sunset pools that float above a pristine white sand beach. The owner's vision for the condominium was to create a signature building with a grand entrance composed of a free spanning structure. This entrance was made of galvanized built-up plate girders and tube steel framing that spanned over 150 feet from the building façade to a cascading waterfall feature. The structure was engineered to be under compression at both ends, which allowed it to be erected without any intermediate columns for support, thus achieving its signature look. These long, heavy beams are curved and create a covered porte cochère entrance to protect residents upon arrival and departure. The porte cochère is cladded with aluminum panels and spandrel glass covering the top of the structure to protect residents from any weather. “Multiple mobilizations were necessary due to the design and construction sequencing of the project,” recalls Hodges’ President, Jorge Amador. “However, most of our erection challenges were a result of the location of the garage structure directly beneath our steel framing footprint.” After using the tower crane for unloading and erecting half of the structure, the rest of the steel was out of reach due to the plate girders weighing more than 70,000 lbs. “Once the tower crane was taken down, we had to bring in a 450-ton mobile crane

to set the rest of the structure. Our crane had to set up directly over the top of three stories of an underground parking garage, so we hired a shoring engineer to design shoring towers in the garage to support the crane,” he said. Working on a main thoroughfare and avoiding the pool deck above added to the challenging space constraints at the site. The tops of the beams had to be placed partially inside an existing building and laydown space was limited to the small area near the balcony that would ultimately be home to the cantilevered pool. “We had to hoist material up and then get it into place as fast as possible, because the roofer was coming along right behind us,” said Amador. Shortly after construction began, the coronavirus pandemic struck, which required new safety protocols. “We exercised every precaution we could think of, meticulously sanitized work areas, and spaced workers apart. We continually drove the point home that everyone needed to be as cautious as possible when off site as well so we could keep our workers healthy and keep the project moving forward,” said Amador. Throughout the project, the Hodges team met every challenge and finished on time. Amador notes, “Despite all the issues that arose during the project, the porte cochère is a striking and iconic feature in the city of Sunny Isles and we are proud of our involvement and our work.”


The structure was engineered to be under compression at both ends, which allowed it to be erected without any intermediate columns for support.

Details matter.


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The only access to the top chord of trusses was from 150 and 180 ft. boom lifts, which required careful sequencing. "The goal was to make one clockwise rotation around the bowl," said Mulsow.

■ Tricky bull rigging For its role in Project 201: PHX Reimagined, FM Steel Construction, LLC, Gilbert, Ariz., has been recognized as the Class II Project of the Year winner. To transform a small, dated professional basketball arena at Talking Stick Resort into a cutting edge sports and entertainment venue required 125 tons of steel to be “stuffed into the existing roof structure,” said Michael Mulsow, FM Steel’s Director of Operations. The renovation improves the facility’s infrastructure with theater lighting and sound technology and new amenities, including a sports bar with an 8,500-squarefoot video wall, bunker suites, new clubs with cushioned seating, and gathering spaces. Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury fans will enjoy a flashy new center-hung video scoreboard with 3,100 square feet of LED space and two new LED ribbon boards that stretches more than 1,700 feet. To support the new visual displays, FM Steel had to install stiffener plates which included more than 1,300 linear feet of weld while working above existing seating that had to be protected with fire blankets. The site’s dim overhead event lighting—which the team fondly referred to as “mood lighting”—made clear visualization of the workspace a constant challenge. Tight quarters also included limited head room for cranes. Mulsow explains, “Our crane only had enough head room to get the steel to within 3-4 feet of its final setting elevation. We would have to do mid-air transfers of the steel from the crane using bull rigging situated in the roof of the arena.” The project began just before the Covid19 pandemic started, so the active schedule of events in the arena necessitated multiple mobilizations. “We had to bring in all our cranes, equipment, and ironworkers and install steel in between the home games. We would have a 5-day window to work, then put everything on hold for an event, then another 4- or 5-day window of opportunity before the next event on the calendar. There was

a Disney on Ice® show planned in the arena in early March, so for a time, we were working over an ice arena,” said Mulsow. Then, suddenly, all the activity came to an abrupt stop. “Once the coronavirus outbreak became a concern, the events were all put on hold, which was a silver lining for us because we could make faster progress without having to accommodate the events,” Mulsow notes. While “working in the bowl”, the FM Steel team coordinated with other trades so construction could progress without interference. “We conducted frequent planning meetings and kept everyone apprised of which quadrant we owned that day. Connector Don Isaacson and foreman Uryan Gray were key players and deserve a lot of credit for the success of the project,” praised Mulsow. “Considering the logistics involved with all the mobilizations, we are proud that we were able to deliver this project on time to


Tool lanyards were used for all hand tools and the teams created a "nest" inside work platforms with fire blankets to prevent welding sparks from raining down to the work area below.

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A service catwalk provided convenient access for ironworkers to get on the steel at the bottom chord. the owner. We’re also proud of the project’s perfect safety record, considering all the manual bull rigging and work in tight quarters. Our ironworkers did a phenomenal job of working safely and we had zero injuries or lost time, which is a tremendous accomplishment.”

■ Creative cost savings High Plains Steel Services, LLC, Windsor, Colo., received Honorable Mention for a Class I category project involving the erection of a private bridge. The vehicular bridge provided access over a reservoir to a residential property in the company’s hometown. The homeowner wanted to create a classic-looking 168 ft. clear span truss bridge, which he had purchased from supplier Contech Engineered Solutions. The homeowner intended to have the residential contractor complete the project. The construction method recommended by the supplier (traditional shoring, stick building with two cranes) sent erection costs drastically over budget. Lacking experience with civil bridges, commercial construction, or structural steel, the homebuilder turned to High Plains Steel for a solution not long before the bridge was due to be delivered.

The bridge floor was built on the ground in the (then dry) reservoir using only a telescopic handler.

The bridge had to be built with camber in it. The High Plains team determined that a more cost-effective approach was to build the bridge floor on the ground in the (then dry) reservoir using only a telescopic handler, and one crane for unloading trusses and standing them for Equipment costs were dramatically reduced by using one crane and one telehandler for the duration of the connection. Meanwhile, timbers were project. A second crane was brought in for one day to lift the bridge in place (see photo, below.) cut on site as dunnage that was shot in to elevation of the camber. This allowed the steel floor and truss erection to bolt up seamlessly. Once assembled, the entire bridge was picked in one piece by two cranes and set on the bridge abutments. The two-crane pick only took eight hours, including setup and tear down. “Tens of thousands of dollars in crane costs were saved” with this equipment plan, said Kris McLean, President of High Plains Steel Services.


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By Charlotte Larin

Pre-Planning Helps Erectors Rent the Right MEWP for the Job

The Genie S-45 XC features dual lift capacity—600 lb. or 1,000 lb. platform capacity with work envelopes that are managed automatically. This 44'6" boom lift is equipped with Lift Power, a welder ready system that puts 240v/12 kW power directly in the platform. It is rated for 100% duty cycle for TIG and Stick welding and 55% duty cycle for flux core arc welding at 280 amps and 360 amps.


t goes without saying that the primary consideration is and always should be how to get work done safely. But beyond that, each project and jobsite will have its own unique needs. Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP), such as scissor lifts and boom lifts, can increase efficiency and productivity when working at height. But knowing which MEWP to use when, and what accessories can be added on or used with that lift, can help ensure you’re getting the most out of the equipment you’re renting. The first thing to consider is the location of the work you need to perform. For instance, if the work will be done indoors, you’ll need to make sure your lift can make it through doorways and around any obstacles. Emissions may be a consideration. For indoor, emission-free areas, all-electric or hybrid booms such as Genie DC or FE fuel-electric hybrid articulating booms combine the power and performance of a typical 4WD diesel machine with the quiet, clean efficiency of 100% electric-power units. A benefit of an FE hybrid boom is the flexibility to turn the engine on when moving to outdoor work, delivering the rough terrain performance expected from a diesel boom in either electric or hybrid mode. For work outdoors, the type of terrain makes a difference in your MEWP selection. Has the jobsite been improved, or will you require a lift with full rough terrain capability? Charlotte Larin, Genie Marketing Manager, has more than a decade of experience in the aerials industry. Her experience in product marketing and brand strategy at Genie have given her insight and understanding into the unique needs of equipment operators and owners in a variety of industries and applications. Contact her at


The next consideration is platform reach. If you have direct vertical access, you can choose from a wide variety of scissor lifts for your access needs. However, if you need to reach up, over or around obstacles, an articulating boom lift or a straight boom with a jib is likely to be a better fit.

Input from your rental provider If you’re not sure what equipment would work best for a project or specific task, an option is to have a rental company come out to the jobsite. Will Cowan, Vice President of Projects at Schulz Iron Works in Raleigh, N.C., recently had his company’s rental provider, United Rentals, come out to a warehouse project site to help determine what equipment was needed. As a result, Schulz Iron Works rented a scissor lift that included some extra accessories that enabled them to get the job done safely and efficiently. Even if you decide not to have the rental company come out to your jobsite, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with them about your specific project needs and any challenges that will need addressed. For example, are there noise or emissions requirements? Do you need to work on sensitive terrain or flooring? Will you need to access power from the platform at height, or will you be lifting a large amount of heavy materials? What other special access challenges are you likely to face getting in place to do the work? Talking through these types of details before making any decisions about the equipment you’ll have onsite can help ensure you’re getting the right fit for your specific needs — not more or less than you need.

Accessories increase productivity Additionally, there may be accessories that can be added on to your rental that will allow you to work more efficiently, expanding the usefulness of the lift you’re paying for.

For example, if the rental company knows your application will “[We need] something that is simple to use, that does not take require you to access power from the platform, they might recom- long for people to get acclimated to,” said Heron. “Nothing is worse mend accessories like generators or weld kits, which can make a than having equipment show up, but everyone has to stop working big difference for steel erectors when it comes to getting a job done and take a class on how to use the equipment because it is vastly right and on time. different than anything else.” That applies not only to extra accessories or the newest features, “We have torn up plenty of extension cords running out of a lift,” but also to the fundamental function of equipment. said Drew Heron, Project Manager at Empire Steel in Humble, Texas. “It is a luxury to have a lift with power where all that is needed is to Understanding the fundamental function of equipment will make plug in the specific tool you are using. Same goes for welding leads.” sure you’re not losing productivity time, but it also is important to Power-to-the-platform systems, like the 12kW Genie® Lift Power™ safety. This is why training is so important. “welder-ready” system can reduce a jobsite hazard to machine staAll MEWP operators must be properly trained and be familiar bility and, at the same time, save time and money, eliminating an with the specific machine they’re operating, said Scott Owyen, Genie average of 50-100 ft of reinforced weld cable and saving time run- Director of Training. In the United States, ANSI A92 standards specify ning cable lines and spooling. Additionally, another optional add-on the types of training required for both Operators and Supervisors. In like the Lift Tools™ Access Deck can improve access to hard-to-reach Canada, the CSA B354 standards apply. areas while the Genie Fall Arrest Bar can enable safe exit from an Although becoming a trained MEWP operator isn’t something you elevated platform. can do in just 30 or 45 minutes before getting to work, the good news Next, after considering what accessories might be useful, a second is that some manufacturers, including Genie, do offer high-quality and equally important consideration is making sure the lift you’re operator training and train-the-trainer courses for MEWPs. Some of renting has the platform capacity to handle not only the accessory, this training can even be conducted online. And again, your rental company can be a great source for trainbut everything else you’ll need at height. ing, if needed. In many cases, these companies have been trained Understanding lift capacity is critical, Anything that will touch the platform has to be included in calculating the capacity that is by the manufacturers themselves on the equipment and accessories. needed. This includes the weight of people, but also the accessories, With all this in mind, it may seem like you’re adding extra work to as well as any and all materials and tools being used by the operators. your pre-planning process before you even get to the contract stage Again, having this conversation with the rental company will make with your rental company. But a little prep work can go a long way toward renting the right equipment for the best productivity, which sure they’re able to recommend the right lift for the job. Beyond productivity-enhancing accessories designed specifi- could ultimately save time, money, and improve safety. cally for boom and scissor lifts, there also are smaller accessories that may not be mandatory but are still extremely useful when you’re in the platform — and are something you should consider asking for when renting equipment. Even something as basic as a fire extinguisher in the platform can be added as an accessory to rental equipment that can make a big difference for erectors. When it comes to mag drills, there are “For ironworkers, you’re welding and many choices but there is only one grinding, and you can catch something on HMD904. The drill that has produced fire,” Cowan said. “That could become a big more holes and helped build & fabricate issue without it.” more than any other. The drill from which all others are judged. And now... Rental companies want to make sure It just keeps getting better. you’re happy with the performance of the equipment you’re renting and, generally, • NEW Hidden Motor Cord Now • NEW Ergonomic Design are more than willing to listen and help with Includes • Safer Product selection. For example, Empire Steel’s rental Two Year • Less Maintenance Warranty! company is “pretty aggressive about show• 1-1/2" 1-1/2" Dia. x 2" 2" Depth ing us the new trends as far as accessories • Pilot Light go,” Heron said. “If I’m not sure what to get • 100% Hougen Reliability or what I need, they’re usually helpful with finding a piece.”


Training requirements After you’ve determined the equipment you need and the accessories you want, the next step is to make sure you understand proper use.

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“Using proactive safety practices can reduce recordable incidents on construction jobsites by up to 85%.” — From Associated Builders and Contractors, 2021 Safety Performance Report

SEAA Members Get Behind OSHA’s Stand-Down

Meet New Members

Dozens of SEAA member jobsites held Safety Stand Downs in May, proudly displaying SEAA-branded banners and hard hat stickers. Others participated in a Fall Protection Awareness Class focused on issues specific to ironworkers. See more Stand Down Photos in the Photo Gallery at

Check out the Member Directory at

D&D Welding & Fabrication, LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a full-service structural steel and miscellaneous metals fabrication and erection company. They have two facilities, one in Fort Lauderdale and the other in Fort Pierce, both of which cater to general contractors and developers.

Shelby Erectors

Gardner-Watson Studs

Genie, A Terex Brand, Redmond, Wash is a global leader in customer-focused aerial products and services that deliver quality, productivity and value. Their product portfolio includes vertical and aluminum material lifts, telehandlers,and a complete lineup of scissor lifts and telescopic and articulating boom lifts. Key West Metal Industries, Inc., Crestwood, Ill., is an industrial metal fabrication and installation shop specializing in design, layout, machining, fabrication, and equipment installation. L&D Steel USA, Inc. Largo, Fla., is an AISC certified steel fabrication company that serves western Florida.

Gardner-Watson Studs

MAS Building & Bridge

MSI Structural Steel, South Gate, Calif., is an AISC certified metal fabrication company providing services to manufacturing, industrial and commercial construction, and plant maintenance industries. RedIron Construction LLC, Baton Rouge, La., is a construction group founded in 2011 and serves the Gulf South and Caribbean areas. Skyjack, Guelph, Ontario, provides quality engineered, simple, and reliable access and material handling equipment globally.

Cooper Steel

STF Iron Escalon, Calif., provides metal working solutions for the commercial, industrial, residential and manufacturing communities.

Gardner-Watson Studs


Würth Construction Services, Indianapolis, Ind., supplies and manufactures structural fastener components, and provides inventory management, engineering support, kitting solutions, quality assurance, MRO and tooling, and PPE solutions for erectors, fabricators, contractors, and beyond.

Project of the Year Winners Contracts & Liability Engineered Connection Points Digital Showcase: Fall Protection


Fall Edition: September 2021 Ad Deadline: August 20, 2021

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2021 | 43


our common interest

“We are large enough to meet all of your insurance needs, yet small enough to appreciate your business and provide personal service.”

Supporting the Steel Erectors Association of America and Promoting a Safe Work Culture! We offer the following coverages: General Liability, Property, Auto, Umbrella, Inland Marine (Equipment), Workers’ Compensation, Professional Liability, D&O, Health and Life Insurance.

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