Wood-frame construction – U.S. contractors reap benefits with Potain self-erecting cranes

Wood framing is a popular construction method for low-rise commercial and multi-unit residential buildings in North America. As general and subcontractors face ever tighter timelines and rising costs for materials, selecting reliable and efficient equipment is key to improve a project’s return on investment. It’s no wonder that Potain self-erecting cranes are growing in popularity for this application, with their proven ability to set wood frames in half the time of alternative solutions.



Looking Up hears from three U.S. companies about how they reaped the benefits of using a Potain Igo T 85 A in this crucial phase of project development:



Fager Framing – Cedar Falls, Iowa

Reliable equipment gets the job done 50% faster


Fager Framing selected a Potain Igo T 85 A to erect the structure of a large building and found the crane not only enabled greater productivity, but it also simplified onsite operations as it eliminated the need for other equipment and additional labor.


“As the operations manager, I can say that without this crane we’d be going at least a third of the time slower, if not half the time,” said Ben Mather, project manager at Fager Framing. “With the crane at the site we can literally cut our production times in half because of the functionalities of it. You can use the one crane versus four or five different pieces of machinery.”


Since the crane is fully operated via remote control, workers can move around the jobsite, improving communication with other crew members and contributing to a more cohesive team.


“Using the Potain Igo T 85 A has been great from start to finish,” said Jeremy Fager, president at the company. “The way you plan your build is also a lot more efficient, because you know what you’re going to get every day. You have a piece of equipment that will reach every inch of the building. So that’s the big benefit.”


To read the full customer testimonial, click here.




Frana Companies – Hopkins, Minnesota

Increased operator communication means more efficient building


Frana Companies used a Potain Igo T 85 A on a build project for multi-unit apartment complexes, harnessing the crane to lift large pieces of prefabricated flooring and entire wall sections and place them exactly where they were needed.


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.


Kelly Anderson, equipment manager at Frana Companies, 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.”


To read the full customer testimonial, click here.




Quasius Construction – Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Small crane footprint eliminates need for street closures


Quasius Construction used a Potain Igo T 85 A to build a five-story, multi-family apartment complex comprising 66 homes, 92 underground parking spaces, and retail and office space. The small size and constrained location of the jobsite — with a parking lot to the north, streets to the west and south, and a residential property to the east — would have required partial street shutdowns for a crawler or mobile crane. However, the Igo T 85 A was able to reach the entire jobsite from a single location occupying only a 14.8 ft2 (4.5 m2) footprint.


“The Igo T 85 A gave us the small footprint, easy setup and long reach necessary for jobsite efficiency,” explained Matt Noordyk, director of field operations at Quasius.


The self-erecting crane eliminated the need for an additional forklift to move framing materials, as the operator was able to quickly pick and place all materials with the crane.

“Overall, we are extremely pleased with the Igo T 85 A. It’s a versatile tool that does everything we need it to and more, helping to drive efficiency on site,” Noordyk concluded.


To read the full customer testimonial, click here.



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