Erix Crane & Rigging is performing some challenging lifting projects at the University of Colorado Boulder. A specialist in precast panel, tilt-wall, general contracting and steel erection, Erix was contracted to work on the jobsite of the new indoor football facility at UCB.
The uniquely designed 120,000-square-foot indoor practice facility, planned as a zero-energy building, will have a two-story parking garage directly below the multi-purpose practice facility. More than 80,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt were excavated to make room for a massive 128-foot tall steel frame structure with an architectural precast foam-core concrete exterior.
To reach all corners of the jobsite, Erix Cranes equipped two Link-Belt lattice crawler cranes with either a fixed jib or luffing attachment. The 250-ton 298 HSL utilized 180 feet of main boom and 60 feet of fixed jib, offset at 15 degrees. The company’s 300-ton 348 H5 was equipped with 150 feet of luffing boom and a 100 foot luffing jib.
“This is a crane-dependent building construction with only one of four sides available for crane work,” said Sam Lowry, part-owner of Erix Crane.
The roofline of the building is formed by the two cranes lifting 26 137-foot long half-trusses mated to form 13 roof trusses. Once the two half-trusses are bolted together in the air, the 348 H5 holds the 80,000-pound framework while the 298 HSL places structural steel supports that anchor the truss into position.
“During a truss lift, the 348 and 298 are usually just far enough from each other for adequate clearance – as close as five feet. My left track of the 348 and his right track on the 298 are pretty close,” said 348 H5 operator Mike Yearous. “We have to have both cranes positioned just exactly right with the 348 back farther than the 298. Once the 348 gets the final truss into position, the 298 needs the space to walk forward to lift its end of the truss.”
Since jobsite access is restricted, Erix Crane maintains a lifting schedule that erects steel at the furthest point from the base of the 348 H5 first. As steel erection is finished, the outside panel work that wraps the building must also be completed before moving the cranes, slowly working their way to closer radius lifts for both structural steel and precast. Lowry noted that a definite advantage to having the 348H5 is its capability and capacity with a luffing jib - not all luffing cranes have that ability off the luffer jib.
“Probably the biggest kicker is the maintenance,” said Lowry. “The maintenance on these Link-Belts is minimal. They use less fuel, and we don’t have any problems with them. We are a small company, but when I call Link-Belt tech people, they treat me like a human being, and make sure I get taken care of. I just don’t have the resources or back-up that a big company might, so it is important to me to get the help I need, and Link-Belt with its dealer (Power Equipment) gives me that support.”
Erix Crane is based in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO.