Crane & Rigging Hotline – May 2015
Below is an excerpt of Quick Pick being interviewed about the All Terrain market
The cherry on top of the fleet
With that demand from core markets in mind, boom length and crane capacity still sit high on AT buyers’ list of must-haves. Chris Schrade, safety director for A-Quick Pick Crane Service,says typically a crane buyer looks at the types of machines that suit a certain market sector that company currently serves or wants to break into. But the Derby, Conn., company he works for doesn’t view its AT cranes in that way. “We aren’t using ATs for that purpose as much as for capacity. Larger-capacity machines built on the AT model are what we’re using for bigger and larger jobs. [The crane’s] being an AT is the cherry on top when we’re looking for boom length and capacity; he explains.
A-Quick Pick runs an all-Grove AT fleet, and its highest-capacity machine is 275 tons, says Schrade-but the company’s 120- ton machines “are out every single day”· He says because the 275-ton AT can be configured differently with counterweights, it’s priced as a 180-, 210- and 275-ton capacity machine. “We’re basing [that rate] off what’s needed for the job, and depending on what the charts tell us, that’s how we’ll price it out,” he adds.
The GMK5275, purchased in 2007, is tapped for a lot of precast work, whether that’s walls on new buildings or drainage systems, vaults, tanks, or the mechanicals on larger office buildings/residential buildings where capacity and boom length are needed. The company will also use it to move large electrical equipment at substations, place generators at office buildings, and even assemble tower cranes on large high-rise buildings. “We did receive word we will probably see more tower-crane action, as there are more coming to our area,” says Schrade.
Utilization of the company’s 120-tonners has been steady, he reported, and is on the rise for the 275-ton machine over the past three to four years. “Back then, we had 40% utilization; last year, we saw 70% utilization, the same as some of our boom trucks. I think it will continue that way, as long as the economy stays good and construction continues,” he says, adding that hopefulness has the company eyeing new machines in the
350- and 400-ton range with the thought of adding to the fleet.
Schrade of A-Quick Pick believes the transportation issue is a critical one for users of all types of cranes, but hits AT users hard. “We operate in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and all those state DOT laws vary. We go across an imaginary border and we’re not allowed in with these configurations sometimes; he laments. Smaller three-axle ATs cannot be used in Connecticut, because of the state’s strict axle-spacing laws,” says Schrade. Add to that fairly new types of machines that are still considered unique because state DOTs haven’t seen a lot of them on the road yet. “It would certainly be easier to do business if states had uniform laws in place,” he says.