Several project management professionals have asked recently,  “What are the key team members needed to erect a tower crane’.  In today’s blog I am going to answer this question and help provide a review of each role and the importance they play.

The process for choosing and erecting the right tower cranes for your project starts far before any tower crane ever reaches site.  This process should begin during the bidding process for any job.  Given the scope of works, and layout of the building you should be able to choose the right tower and mobile cranes for your project.  This brings us to our first team member.

The Appointed Person ‘AP’

The appointed person’s job with regards to any tower crane is to collect and review all the data about the construction site and choose what will be the most suitable tower crane and tower crane strategy for the project.  Their job is to analyze the site and find the most efficient and economic way to arrange the cranes so that they are working at 80% efficiency at all times while not delaying the site in any way.  Their main focus is to choose the right model of crane needed and location.

The Structural Engineer

The second team member which is imperative to the pre design of the tower cranes is the structural engineer.  Their job is to oversee the design and incorporation of the tower crane with regards to the construction site.  They will design and build the tower crane bases, as well as ensure the crane and building stay stable in the event that the crane must be tied into the building and climbed to a sufficient height on tall building construction.  They will ensure the safety of the building and the people working on the project.

The Project Manager

Once the right tower crane has been selected and the engineer has designed the crane to ensure site safety and practicability then it is time to look at acquiring the tower crane.  There are many routes which you can take to make sure you choose the right economics for the construction site.  When acquiring a tower crane for your site you have the choice of renting, buying new or buying used.  Depending on the economic state of the construction company depends on what best choice suits your project.  I have touched on these choices on past blogs so if you have a moment please have a look.  The final choice for this is down to the Project manager.  They will choose what works best for the site economically and purchase accordingly.

The On Site Team

Once the tower crane has been purchased and delivered to site, it is now time to erect.  At this point the tower crane has all been pre-engineered, the base is already cast and waiting for them, and the on site team has been briefed on the site and knows exactly what is expected of them.

The on site team ideally will consist of a Supervisor, 2 technicians and an electrician.  The crew will usually work with 1 team member on the ground slinging and banking the pieces of crane to a mobile crane which will then lift each piece in order to 3 team members in the air which follow the crane up as it is being built and assemble as per manufacturers instructions.

I must urge any construction management professionals reading this article that this type of work must be carried out by certified professionals as it is extremely dangerous and has severe repercussions for not only the site structure, but for the people working on the site, and innocent pedestrians who are walking by the site.

As the crane is being erected the electrician will run all of the necessary connections to ensure the crane is hooked up properly to the power source and that the crane is functioning without any problems.

Once the erection is completed then the crane is handed over to the final team member:

 The Driver

The driver is a trained professional who will ensure that all lifts performed on site are done safely and within the working load limit of the tower crane as to ensure the safety of everyone working on the project.  This task again must be performed by an experienced and qualified person as a tower crane is a complicated piece of machinery and it’s not to be taken lightly.

I hope this article has helped people to understand that tower cranes are not just chosen at random and erected anywhere on site.  It takes months on planning and preparation to ensure each job is done efficiently, safely and economically. What is your experience with putting together a quality team to erect and manage tower cranes on your projects?

If you found this post useful you may also enjoy More Is Not Faster: Efiiciency and Tower Cranes

Feel free to contact me directly for questions around your next tower crane project.

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