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Frana Companies reaped the benefits of deploying a Potain Igo T 85 A self-erecting crane to build multi-unit apartment complexes. On a project in Minnesota this summer, the company used the crane to lift large pieces of prefabricated flooring and entire wall sections and place them exactly where they were needed within the building structure. Working diligently, the Potain Igo T 85 A significantly increased the speed of construction compared to projects done with mobile cranes or other equipment. “Self-erecting cranes are easy to set up and dismantle. You place them right on the jobsite, and you get the swing radius that can cover most or all of the building area,” said Kelly Anderson, equipment manager at Frana Companies.
Reduced labor, multiple uses
Using this type of crane enabled Frana Companies to prefabricate both the flooring and wall sections offsite in advance of the job, and then bring those pieces to the construction site. Previous methods would have forced the company to assemble the pieces onsite, which is more costly, time-consuming and prone to weather conditions. Frana Companies used the 1.5 USt capacity at 164 ft radius crane to lift floor joists directly into place and support them while they were being installed. This step reduced the amount of labor typically needed for the operation. Similarly, the crew used the crane to move other materials to their final locations throughout the building.
Drive efficiency and increase communication
Crane operators were also able to help drive efficiency on the job by having their machine ready to perform lifts at any time, as the crane was always at the site and ready to work. At the same time, since the crane is remote-controlled, operators were able to work right next to colleagues and subcontractors, which helped them communicate better. “The crane makes our job a lot simpler because I don’t have to sit right next to the unit all day long and can interact with other crew members more easily,” said Paul Neeley, crane operator at Frana Companies. “And because of its easy setup, I can go rig it up and land it whenever, and I don’t have to have somebody else to do that for me.” The remote-control operation also enabled better jobsite visibility. “With this crane, I don’t have to worry about anything I can’t see. It helps us quite a bit,” Neeley added. Anderson agreed: “When you’re working with a conventional city crane, once you’re up there, you can’t be running up and down all day. With a self-erecting crane, operators can see what’s actually going on at the jobsite the whole time. You’re a little more on your feet, but it’s a much more efficient way to build.”
Based in Hopkins, Minnesota, Frana Companies rented its Potain Igo T 85 A from RMS Rentals, a certified Potain dealer. The businesses have been partners for 22 years. “RMS is there for us throughout the entire process,” Anderson added. “They help us dismantle cranes, move them to our next job, and put them back up. Anywhere in our area, within a 30-mile radius, we can dismantle and have a crane back up in just an eight- to 10-hour period. Whenever we’ve had issues, RMS’ response time to get them up and running again has been phenomenal. And that’s why we work with them.”