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By Lucy Perry

Boom Selection Renting the right crane or aerial lift starts with your equipment provider


electing the right cranes and personnel access equipment for a steel construction project can be a complicated process, even for a veteran equipment manager. When renting equipment, it’s critical to work with a provider who knows your business and understands the jobsite on which you’ll be using the equipment. Many structural steel erection companies maintain their own fleets of cranes and aerial lift equipment, reports Kyle Belkoski, director of sales for Superior Cranes Inc., Rockingham, N.C. But often these fleets must be supplemented with rentals. “Everything is getting bigger, fancier, taller, wider, heavier. When they call on us it’s a project above and beyond the norm,” he says. “It’s more cost-effective to have a fleet in-house and operate and maintain it as opposed to renting every time you need one. But our rental customers don’t typically carry high-capacity cranes in Lucy Perry operates WordSkills Editorial Services in Kansas City, Missouri. She has spent 25 years following the North American construction industry. She can be reached at

Often capacity and boom length is determined by how far back from the construction the crane must be set. At this project at the Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, S.C., 4,000pound steel beams were placed at a 225-foot lift radius. To do so required a 350-ton Grove GMK6300L all-terrain crane, supplied by Superior Cranes.

their fleets. So, we handle crane rentals for big steel projects, like a football stadium, or a downtown skyscraper.” The same is true for mobile elevating work platforms, such as boom lifts or scissor lifts. The type and scope of the job dictates the type of lifts that might be most productive and the quantity needed. “If you buy 300, 120-foot booms because you’re building a Boeing plant they may sit in your yard for a year when the job’s done. It’s better to rent the equipment,” says Dave Brown, Regional Sales Manager of the Southeast Region for Stamford, Connecticut-based United Rentals. Some 90 percent of the construction industry in America rents aerial access equipment, because of the variety of applications that call for this type of equipment, he continues. When you call up your rental equipment provider, you should have some idea of the scope of the work and your equipment needs.


But don’t discount the equipment provider’s expertise. Have a representative perform a walkaround of the jobsite to align your scope of work with the right material handling and access equipment.

Specifying the right crane The assessment should take into account the size of the site and the ability to house particular cranes; ground conditions; an analysis of load charts to determine capabilities, strengths, and exact dimensions of the required crane, including boom length; the rated capacity of the crane to assess the size and weight of the material being lifted, distance and radius to be covered with the crane, the anticipated scale of the project, and the time required to complete it. SEAA member company Superior Cranes Inc., has eight branch locations in North and South Carolina. When the call comes in from an equipment manager, a member of the

Profile for The SEAA Connector

Connector - Summer 2019  

In the Summer 2019 issue of Connector: Product Focus: Trade Show Demos; Rent the Right Equipment for your Job; Redefining Welding Training

Connector - Summer 2019  

In the Summer 2019 issue of Connector: Product Focus: Trade Show Demos; Rent the Right Equipment for your Job; Redefining Welding Training