During Montréal’s 375th birthday celebrations last year, two visitors to the city stood out among all others – a pair of 10-metre-tall marionettes called the Deep Sea Diver and the Little Girl Giant. The puppets come from the Royal-De-Luxe street performance troupe from Nantes, France.
Wages are at the heart of a strike that saw crane operators and other heavy machine operators set up picket lines at construction sites across much of Nova Scotia in late October.
Link-Belt Cranes hosted close to 1,000 people over five sessions during its triennial CraneFest event. Customers, dealers and media from around the world flocked to the company’s headquarters in Lexington, Ky. to check out the company’s latest and greatest technologies.
Tree cutters have long used truck-mounted knuckleboom cranes connected to saw-wielding felling grapples to do their work. It’s considered safer, generally, than using a lift bucket or climbing trees.
Work on Port Saint John’s modernization project is underway with the initial tenders for the project released this summer.
When it comes to hoisting HVAC and other heavy rooftop components onto downtown Toronto office towers, the lifts themselves take just a day or two. What makes it all work, however, is months of planning.
In May, the skyline of downtown Winnipeg was changed significantly with the removal of the last tower crane on site at True North Square. Phase 1 of the project, involving Tower 1 at 242 Hargrave and Tower 2 at 225 Carlton, began in January 2016. The substantial construction effort required significant crane work, with construction handled by PCL Constructors Canada Inc. and the dismantling subcontracted to Sterling Crane.
It was thumbs-up as the Sikorsky S58T lifted off from the Brampton, Ont. hangar Sprint Mechanical shares through a partnership with Four Seasons Aviation.
In early May, members of Quebec’s crane operators union drove their rigs through the streets of Montreal en route to a protest on the steps of the Premier’s office voicing their opposition to recent changes to training regulations. The new regulations make it easier for journeypersons from other trades to enter the crane field, and allow in-house training to be utilized. The changes have been enacted in anticipation of an upcoming labour shortage.
The Crane Rental Association of Canada is celebrating its 20th anniversary at The Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg from June 6 to 9, 2018. The milestone conference and annual general meeting will feature the first-ever CRAC Safety Awards; the Boom Dolly Research Committee Report; a presentation on the future of EN13000; a review of the latest update of the CSA Z150; and the latest developments at Manitex.
The North American off-highway equipment market is expected to grow by almost 55% from 2017 to 2022, according to a recent forecast by Off-Highway Research. Forecasted sales of construction equipment for North America are expected to grow from 173,188 units in 2017, up to 267,350 units in 2022.
A Halifax developer’s brand new tower crane is playing a key role in the construction of 400 luxury apartment units.
TerraPro Inc., Canada’s second largest remote access matting company, has officially opened their doors to the Ontario market with the creation of TerraPro East Inc. Through TerraPro East Inc., the company now offers access matting sales, rentals, and logistics to energy and utility companies within Ontario. They have also finalized an agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793.
Manitowoc Cranes' smartphone app that helps customers to diagnose technical issues on their cranes has been updated. The free app enables users to understand the numeric diagnostic codes that are generated by their on-board control systems.
When specifying a hoist for use in industrial applications that demand beam-traversing motion, attention should also be paid to the trolley on to which the hoist hooks.
When the International Union of Operating Engineers opened its new International Training Center on 237 acres in Crosby, Texas, earlier this year, it was designed to feature the latest equipment and product technology, said Chris Treml, IUOE director of construction training. DICA partnered with the IUOE by  supplying multiple sets of SafetyTech Outrigger Pads and TrainSmart Pole Barrier systems.
Link-Belt introduces the newest member to its all-terrain crane lineup, the 175-ton (150-mt) 175|AT. Building on the success of its predecessors and designed with a philosophy of continuous improvement, this five axle 175|AT is Link-Belt’s most versatile and compact design yet. Loaded with features and a dramatic new look to match, the 175|AT is positioned to meet the demands and expectations of customers in all markets across the globe.
Among their many in-house fabricated products, Unirope manufactures a torpedo style mobile crane button for non-rotating wire rope. Each button is type tested to destruction and subjected to the same rigorous 75,000 cycle test demanded under EN-13411.
WIKA Mobile Control recently released an upgrade solution for the DS350 modular boom control systems currently in the field.This solution converts existing DS350 modular systems to the iFLEX5 graphic boom control system.This upgrade is applicable to the DS350 modular systems that are installed on Grove TM9100, AT9120 and RT9130 machines equipped with two cable reels.
Link-Belt is bringing a new 100RT (90-mt) rough terrain crane to the market with the longest full-power boom available.
The sold-out event focused on boosting crane safety and productivity through hands-on demonstrations of the latest lifting bells and whistles.
Signifying the importance of the luffing jib tower crane design to the Terex equipment offering, Terex Cranes introduces the new Terex CTL 272-18 luffing jib tower crane that boasts a 10% increase in jib length over the previous class model. The new Terex model features a 61 m (200 ft.) maximum jib length, 270 ton-meter load moment and maximum full-length load of 2.6 tonnes (2.9 U.S. tons). The crane’s unique Terex Power Plus feature can temporarily increase the maximum load moment under specific and controlled conditions (e.g. reduced dynamics) by 10%, giving the operator extra lifting capacity.
Hiab, part of Cargotec, is launching its new building material crane models at the IAA exhibition, which will be held in Hannover, Germany from Sept. 20 to 27. The new HIAB building material cranes offer the most advanced remote control system in the industry, the HIAB HiPro, as well as Hiab's pioneering features, to ensure safe and fast crane operation.
The innovative and revolutionary drive of Jekko shows no signs of stopping, and following the commercial success of the JF545, the market sees the arrival of the new JF365. A model which re-interprets the concept of its “big sister”, but sets new challenges in terms of performance, compact size, multiple applications and versatility.
The Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) initiative helps connect outgoing military personnel and their families with training opportunities to enter the construction industry. The program provides a benefit to both groups – helping the industry address crucial shortages of skilled labour and helping military veterans hit the ground running in the next phase of their lives.
Gerry’s Truck Centre celebrated the opening of its new truck service and sales centre in Woodstock, Ont. with an open house earlier this month.
Nebraska’s Elliott Equipment Company has a long tradition of innovation. Today, that tradition continues as the company continues to develop newproducts for the material handling sector. With this year being the company’s 70th anniversary, president Jim Glazer spoke with us about the company’s past and future.
Ryan Burton has been servicing the heavy lifting needs of businesses across Western Canada for more than 25 years. The managing partner of the Bigfoot Crane Company in Abbotsford, B.C. has been operating cranes since 1992. “I worked with a road building company in British Columbia in Vancouver and we were building the Island Highway and just learned how to run cranes, pretty much self-taught, which is scary,” Burton recalls. “You look back at how I ran cranes, and other people ran cranes back in 1992, versus now, it’s incredibly different.” In 1997, Burton decided to leave the road building company he worked for to try his hand working as an operator for a crane rental company called Eagle West Cranes in Abbotsford, B.C. He worked his way up to a sales position and remained in that position for a few years before being promoted to a management position, and later, promoted again to the position of general manager. “I was looking after all of our crane operations in British Columbia,” Burton says. In 2011, Burton left Eagle West Cranes to run another crane company for three years, DLB Cranes, located in North Vancouver, B.C. and Regina, Sask. “We did lots of work in plants, mills and mines in Western Canada so I ended up spending quite a bit of time in the Prairies,” Burton recalls, adding that the company did a lot of work servicing potash mines in Saskatchewan and the oil sands in Alberta, renting crawler cranes, rough terrain cranes and all-terrain cranes. Then in 2014, another exciting opportunity presented itself. “Eagle West was selling their company,” Burton says. “They were selling all their mobile cranes to a company out of Houston called TNT Crane, and they had all the tower cranes that were still for sale, so they called me and asked me if I was interested in buying it.” The purchase of 100 per cent of the company was a little too much for Burton at the time, so he partnered with the former owners and secured a 50 per cent stake in the company, and took over running the operation. “At that point we renamed it to Bigfoot Crane Company,” he says. “I’ve been running Bigfoot Crane Company for just over three years now.” An active member In addition to running Bigfoot Crane Company, Burton’s busy schedule includes being an active board member for the BC Association for Crane Safety (BCACS). “I’ve been involved in that board since 2007,” he says. “It is the association that designed all the operator ticketing for British Columbia. We were the last province to have mandatory crane operator licensing, so we designed a special licence system to test operators in B.C.” Burton was named the BCACS Chairman of the Board in 2017 for a four-year term. As if he wasn’t busy enough, he’s also an active member of the Crane Rental Association of Canada (CRAC). “I’ve been a member there for 20 years and I’ve been on the board for four years now,” he says. “Now, I’m the secretary treasurer for the board there.” Burton says being an active member of the CRAC allows him the opportunity to form relationships with crane companies across Canada. “I can phone them at any given time and ask for help on certain things,” he says, adding that being able to get together and work on industry-related issues that affect companies across the country is a big part of why he’s such an active member of the CRAC. The majority of Burton’s work with the associations has revolved around improving safety within the crane industry. “It’s important to me for sure,” he says. “I’ve had really close relationships with our workers wherever I’ve been, and the thought of sending them out to unsafe situations everyday just scares the hell out of me. We do everything we can to make sure we’re safe; and the environments we’re working in everyday are safe.” Future goals with CRAC Although the CRAC’s annual conference is a great place to network with industry members across Canada, Burton says one of his goals is to continue growing the conference to include more value to its membership. “It used to be just a relationship association, but the last three years we’ve been changing the way we look at the organization, and its power to create synergies across the country. We’re changing it over to more practical  applications that are really serving the members,” he says. “We’re working on different safety committees – right now we’re working on a boom dolly committee, looking at the way to move cranes safely across the country. We’re looking at training, making industry aware of the products and services available to keep workers safe… we’ve gone from a relationship organization to relationships and finding ways improve the industry.” One initiative the CRAC is working on this year is the implementation of its first-ever safety awards, based on set criteria that use safety data collected by the association from its members. “If companies hit a certain benchmark that we’ve got, then they’ll be receiving a safety award from the Crane Rental Association of Canada,” Burton says. “The companies that are out there, being a good example, we want to have recognized.” Burton says being an active member within the CRAC can only make a business, and its owner, improve their operations. “The more engaged you get in it, the more it happens,” he says. “I started out in sub-committees working on different projects, then moving onto the board… the more time you spend with all these people, the more you learn, and the more value you’ll get.”
During the Crane Rental Association of Canada’s (CRAC) 2017 annual general meeting this past June, Ted Redmond was named the new chairman of CRAC.
When Mike Turnbull was offered the opportunity to join the Crane Rental Association of Canada’s executive board as treasurer and secretary last year, he was more than happy to take on those roles.
Darren Ritchie is a Canadian golf champion and, as of June 2016, a member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. When operating the cranes on job sites with Irving Equipment, however, he says he’s just another guy in a hard hat.
New overhead cranes are key features of the recent expansion project of a New Brunswick heavy equipment attachment maker.
All those forms that employees are filling out aren’t doing a crane company any good if they’re simply placed in a filing cabinet and forgotten, says Adrian Bartha.
Over 100 years ago, Hawboldt Industries was founded in Chester, N.S. At its inception, the company used its foundry to produce equipment and vessels for the cod fishery. However, in the decades since, Hawboldt has evolved with the times and the market. Its most recent evolution: producing marine cranes.
The safe operation of mobile and tower cranes in Ontario continues to be a major concern for the construction industry, its stakeholders, and the public.
It is official: recreational marijuana is legal in Canada with effect from October 17. With that comes a patchwork of jurisdictional laws establishing where and how marijuana products will be sold and used by consumers.
Unless you’ve had your head in the clouds – possibly some particularly smoky clouds that have caused you to crave unhealthy amounts of pizza and nachos – then you’ve heard about the upcoming changes coming into effect related to recreational marijuana use across Canada.
It should come as no surprise to anyone in this industry that the second most common type of serious tower-crane incident reported to WorkSafeBC in the last decade relates to contact with overhead power lines. Unwanted contacts – between two cranes or between tower cranes and power lines – have caused 15 reported close calls in B.C. since 2015 alone, and that number doesn’t account for all those potentially disastrous incidents that have gone unreported.
The Crane Rental Association of Canada (CRAC) presented the inaugural CRAC Safety Awards during the 20th anniversary CRAC Conference and AGM last month in Winnipeg.
Extech Instruments, (http://www.extech.com), a world leader in test and measurement tools, has announced the launch of two compact light meters making quality measurements of visible and ultraviolet light more convenient and accessible—for professionals and consumers alike. The LT505 is a wide-range, general-use light meter while the UV505 meter measures ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the UVA and B ranges. Unlike comparable meters, the new 505 meters can be stored practically anywhere, measuring 5.3" tall and 1.9" wide (133x48mm).
Workers using personal fall protection systems sometimes instinctively grasp their systems’ rope grabs during falls. Some commercially available rope grabs are manufactured with “anti-panic” features that enable the rope grabs to work properly by locking onto the lifeline even when they are grasped. Some workers use Prusik slings as rope grabs. A Prusik sling, however, does not have an anti-panic feature. Therefore, grasping a sling’s Prusik knot can prevent the knot from tightening around the lifeline, allowing the worker to fall. This bulletin explains the hazards of using Prusik slings as rope grabs, and discusses why it’s safer in most cases for workers to use rope grabs that meet CSA or ANSI standards and include anti-panic features. What is a Prusik sling? A Prusik sling is a length of rope with its ends secured together to create an “endless loop.” When used as part of a fall protection system, the Prusik sling is attached to a thicker lifeline by tying the sling into a Prusik knot (see illustration). You can freely slide a Prusik knot along the lifeline by hand, but it should tighten around the lifeline when the sling is pulled by its loop. In recreational rope systems, Prusik slings are used for various purposes, including lifeline ascent, fall arrest, and rescue. In the workplace, a Prusik sling can be used in place of a rope grab in a fall protection system in some circumstances. However, a Prusik sling has significant limitations. Prusik slings may only be used when the worker: • Is trained and proficient in creating a Prusik sling that is safe and appropriate for the fall protection system • Understands the Prusik sling’s functions and limitations Hazards of using Prusik slings in fall protection systems In order for a Prusik sling to restrain a worker or arrest a fall, the Prusik knot must tighten around the lifeline. Various factors may prevent a Prusik knot from tightening: “Death grip” — A falling worker may instinctively grasp the Prusik knot with a very strong, tight hold that prevents the knot from tightening, which prevents the sling from arresting the worker’s fall. For this reason, a Prusik sling may be better suited for a travel restraint system than a fall arrest system. Loose knots — A knot that is too loose, improperly dressed, or inadequately tied may slide freely along the lifeline without tightening. Icy ropes and debris — Ice or frost may allow the knot to slide freely along the lifeline without tightening. Keep the knot free from ice and from debris such as leaves, twigs, or soil that may prevent it from working properly. A Prusik sling that has arrested a fall may be damaged from shock-loading, melting, and burning. A fall protection system that has arrested a worker’s fall must be removed from service until it has been inspected and recertified as safe for use by the manufacturer or its authorized agent, or by a professional engineer. Safe work practices • When using a rope grab in a personal fall protection system, use one made to an applicable CSA and/or ANSI standard and equipped with an anti-panic feature. • Use Prusik slings as rope grabs only in rare cases where the nature of the work being done makes them the safest practicable option. • Properly tie, dress, and set all knots. • Keep Prusik slings free from ice and debris. • Follow the detailed instructions found in Guideline G11.5-4, Equipment standards — Prusik sling/Triple sliding hitch. Regulation requirements For requirements related to the use of Prusik slings as part of a personal fall protection system, see the following section of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and the related guideline (available at worksafebc.com): • Section 11.5, Equipment standards • Guideline G11.5-4, Equipment standards — Prusik sling/Triple sliding hitch Resources The following resources are also available on worksafebc.com: • An Introduction to Personal Fall Protection EquipmentEquipment • Toolbox meeting guide: Rope grabs
Courageous conversations with loved ones was the focus of the Crane Rental Association of Canada’s (CRAC) keynote speaker this morning during the association’s 20th Annual Conference and AGM being held this week in Winnipeg.
Labour, governments and employers must do more to curb fatalities and injuries on construction sites and other workplaces, Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher said in remarks at a Day of Mourning ceremony April 27 at the union’s head office in Oakville.
Behaviour is one of the most common denominators for every organizational performance issue. It certainly is when it comes to safety. So often we see repeatedly poor safety performance and there is no sustainable change in behaviour because the focus is on the action and not the behaviour that led to the action. To curb the non-compliant behaviour we discipline without ever realizing what led to the behaviour. This makes it difficult to achieve desired changes in safety performance.
For the first time in more than a decade, tower crane professionals across British Columbia came together for the Tower Crane Industry Safety Conference, hosted by WorkSafeBC at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, B.C. on March 15, 2018.
Since the federal government announced that it would be decriminalizing marijuana for recreational purposes in July 2018, a mixed reaction has come from the provinces and territories, and across the public and private sectors.
When the federal government first announced it was doubling down on infrastructure spending in the 2016 Budget - $60 billion in additional funds over 10 years for the construction of new transport and energy systems - one could feel an increase optimismfrom Canada’s construction sector. After all, more money for infrastructure spending should translate into more available contracts for everyone to bid on and create more employment opportunities in the sector, right?Well, so far this appears to be true - at least as far as overall employment numbers in the sector go. According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, November 2017, employment in the construction sector was up 16,000, enjoying its second straight month of gains. But more importantly, that latest boost in employment brought the year-over-year gains in the sector to 50,000 jobs (or an increase of 3.6 per cent). Sounds like the feds’ plan to build employment through infrastructure investment is working, but it may have some issues. An additional $60 billion over 10 years is a lot of money to add to the funds already earmarked for projects, and that additional injection of cash may be creating a bottleneck for getting the funds where they need to go.According to recent articles by various news outlets across the country, the federal government is experiencing delays in getting funding for infrastructure spending out the doors of the federal treasury, about $2.14 billion worth of delays. The articles are based on a report that states that of the $5.3 billion that Infrastructure Canada had planned to spend in its last fiscal year (ended on March 31, 2017), that approximately 40 per cent of those funds were not spent. According to an article by the Toronto Star, about $1.48 billion of the $2.14 billion that was not spent was earmarked for “various large-scale projects, representing about 90 per cent of what the government expected to spend on things like new transit and water systems.” The Liberals argue that they are managing the flow of money to projects (which, of course, is expected of them); while the opposition critics have argued that the frozen funds are symptoms of a larger problem related to the federal government’s long-term infrastructure program. To be fair to the feds, some project delays (and therefore, spending delays) are completely out of their control. Some of the projects they pegged for funding have been delayed due to labour issues and bad weather.And since payment is often not released until projects are completed, the money has nowhere to go. And when projects are completed, the federal government sometimes requires receipts from cities and provinces before releasing funding, which creates additional delays. That said, it sounds like there may be a piece or two missing from the Liberals’ infrastructure program’s spending chain for getting the funding where it needs to go in an efficient manner.With such a significant increase in funding earmarked for projects, perhaps more resources are required at various government levels to get all these receipts where they need to go? Whether its an increase in administrative staff at the municipal, provincial or federal levels, improved software programs for processing receipts, or an overhaul of the entire workflow processes for funding releases, the federal government may need to figure out quicker methods to get the money in the hands of the right people so it can hit its spending targets.Despite the slower pace to the release of funds, the feds’ infrastructure plan does appear to be helping the construction sector’s employment levels move in the right direction. And if the employment levels are moving in the right direction, then contracts are being awarded. And if contracts are being awarded, then the equipment purchase orders and rental orders are being submitted.Here’s to a prosperous 2018.
One the most startling revelations for a Canadian visitor to ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas this March was just how optimistic Americans we spoke with are about the new presidential administration in the U.S.
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has profound impacts for Canada’s economy. That’s because this country’s economic health depends heavily on trade.
It’s great that after over two years of work by the non-profit Asia Pacific Skills Table, and an infusion of nearly $800,000 in taxpayer money, a national demonstration of skills tests for mobile crane operators is ready to be put into action.
Something had to give with Vancouver’s overheated housing market. With the price of the average home soaring above $1.5 million, the B.C. government has imposed a 15 per cent surtax on buyers from outside Canada. Foreign buyers, especially those from mainland China, have been widely blamed for feeding the frenzied price increases.
The wildfire that struck Fort McMurray Alberta in early May and forced the evacuation of the entire city of nearly 90,000 people caught the world’s attention.
Nobody needs to be reminded that Canada’s economy is facing serious challenges. Nowhere are these challenges felt more severely at present than in Alberta.
Safety in heavy lifting has been a recurring theme for straight years now at the annual Crane & Rigging Conference Canada in Edmonton.
It’s difficult, if not impossible to predict the future. Well, astronomers can predict with great accuracy the timing of eclipses. But prognosticators in most other areas of human endeavor are about as accurate as astrologers.
Registration officially opened on Nov. 1 for the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association’s (SC&RA) 2019 Specialized Transportation Symposium, taking place from Feb. 19 to 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
Canada’s largest trade event for the heavy equipment industry is making its return to Mississauga’s International Centre this March 28 and 29, 2019. As part of its 22nd year, the event is planning a variety of special pavilions and activities for all corners of the industry.
Hundreds of professionals from the crane and rigging industry flocked to the Louisville Marriott Downtown for the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association’s 2018 Crane & Rigging Workshop, which took place from Sept. 26 to 28 in Louisville, Ky.
SC&RA is seeking subject matter experts to speak at the 2019 Specialized Transportation Symposium, Feb. 19 to 22 in Houston, Texas. The annual event brings together specialized transportation professionals and government permitting officials to discuss a variety of topics, including permitting harmonization, safety, regulations, compliance, and the most pressing topics in the industry.
CM Labs Simulations, developer of Vortex training simulators, invites community and technical college career and technical educators and industry workforce development leaders to a seminar and hands-on demo on Sept. 25 or Sept. 26, 2018 at the DoubleTree Hilton, Anaheim, Calif.
In June, the Department of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour announced that it would provide $575,000 over three years to the Indigenous Training Partnerships Project (ITPP), which will be delivered by B.C.’s International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 Training Association. The funding supports the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment to help enhance the training that the Local 115 are able to provide. The funding is provided through the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP).
If you’ve got a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of your business for a few days, I suggest a trip to Louisville, Ky., this September.
Newfoundlanders Derek Tucker and Gina Jesso first found love together, now they’ve found a career path together as well. The couple attended and graduated from the College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Mobile Crane Operator program at the Bay St. George campus in Stephenville, Nfld. Now, they’ve relocated to Grand Prairie, Alta., to start a new life in their chosen field.
The construction industry has seen steady growth over the past decade, fuelled by significant building and infrastructure projects. However, finding skilled crane and heavy equipment operators has proven to be increasingly difficult. For example, a 2017 poll indicated that over 75 per cent of construction firms were having trouble finding skilled equipment operators.
Are you a talented, young professional in your company who wants to grow with SC&RA? Or do you know of a promising young industry professional? Applications are now being accepted for The Leadership Forum at the 2018 Crane & Rigging Workshop in Louisville, Ky. on Sept. 26. 
Registration is now open for the 2018 Crane & Rigging Workshop, Sept. 26-28, in Louisville, Ky.
There’s no doubt that cranes are one of the most expensive pieces of construction equipment to own and operate. From the initial cost of the machine itself, to the expensive and extensive maintenance schedule, the labour, certification, staffing costs of the operators, supporting employees, the costs of storing and transporting cranes from site to site, and, finally, the expense of running the cranes per hour. The costs can build up and quickly overrun your budget if you’re not careful.

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