The category that will have all things self erect crane and related materials.

Self-Erect Crane – A Rough Terrain Solution

With one of our more scenic jobs in picturesque Deep Cove, Eagle West Equipment (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) installed a 35 meter self erect crane with luffing jib on a really interesting residential job. The photos illustrate some of the problem solving scenarios that our self erect cranes can provide for builders who may find their projects in difficult position.

With limited ground space available to bring equipment and materials down to the site, the Eagle West Cranes & Equipment team (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) found the right solution for the builder and home owners to ensure that the building timeline could be still be met. Since the there was a 100′ cliff face at the backside of the house it was important to have a crane that would work in a difficult position on the jobsite. The jib of the crane need to be in a luff position (angled) in order to be able to miss the roughly 25 degree slope at the top of the cliff.

One of the photos shows the jib in luff over top of some of the terrain at the top of the cliff. There was very minimal clearance even with the jib in luff.

Pretty amazing project and an absolutely beautiful location for a house.

The challenge: One Large Ocean-side Cliff

The solution: Our 35 Meter Potain Self Erect with 30 Degree Luffing Jib

The client: Belmar Custom Homes

Mobilization: EWCE Placed the SE Crane onto Land Via a Barge and Crane Waterside

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Boscaro Self Dumping Bin

The A-D Series Self Dumping Crane Bucket

Bigfoot Crane Company is your one-stop shop from the smallest of self erectors to some of the largest tower cranes in the market today, all complimented with the accessories you need to maximize on-site crane performance. Bigfoot Crane is the exclusive North American distributor of Boscaro Crane Attachments.

using crane buckets


Crane accessories like Boscaro’s Self Dumping Bins provide a payload up to 10,575 lbs, capacity up to 4 cu yd and a “no hands required” self dumping feature that can increase safety and efficiency on a project site.

dumping crane buckets


Eagle West Equipment (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) had the opportunity to do a live demonstration of the A300D self dumping bins for our customer, Northwest Construction Inc. We consulted with them about their project needs and highlighting how the accessories could help them on their project.

self dumping crane bucketscrane buckets


Eagle West Cranes & Equipment’s Safety Application Specialist, Derek Autenrieth commented “The live demonstration went very well. Larry and his team saw the safety and efficiency that our self dumping bins offer. They purchased two self dumping crane buckets and we look forward to opportunities to work with Northwest again.”

self dumping crane buckets by boscaro


Northwest Construction Inc. based out of Bellevue in Washington State, is a full service site work contractor specializing in commercial, industrial, and residential developments throughout the Pacific Northwest.

This is what they had to say about their purchase and application of two A300D Boscaro Self Dumping Bins:

“The product demonstration and video that Derek provided for us when we came to Eagle West was very informative and definitely helped us in making our decision to purchase the bins and understand their value for us and our projects. We appreciate the time and effort put in by Eagle West and will continue to look for any opportunity to do business with them again and again.”

Larry Smith
Project Manager
Northwest Contracting Inc.


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Spreader Bars for Lifting

Revolutionize Your Use of Crane Spreader Bars

The use of spreader bars has many advantages; they protect your load from rigging materials, enable multi pick point lifts and ensure a maintained sling angle throughout your hoist.

Although the typical spreader bars of the industry have these benefits, their use comes with some drawbacks. Typical spreader bars, even when telescopic, have a maximum length. Once the needed length for a lift exceeds this, you will need to purchase another spreader bar. For anyone who performs a variety of hoists, this will require a variety of spreader bar sizes to be available.

crane spreader bars


With the Boscaro EZ spreader bar lifting system the need for an assortment of bars is eliminated. The unique design of male and female interlocking components provides you with multiple configurations. Each section can be utilized as an individual bar or the sections can be combined to form 1 adjustable spreader bar. “Jobs often require multiple lifts with varied size requirements. With this system I’ve been able to perform a pick with a 20 foot wide bar, change the configuration on site and proceed with a second lift using the bar at 14 feet. Normally you would need two sets of bars for that,” remarked Butch Garton, Crane & Rigging Specialist at Delaware based company, Active Crane Rentals, Inc. Based on 1 foot increments, Boscaro’s 8 foot system is adjustable from 7-34 feet; allowing you to adapt to the changing demands of your jobsite.

crane spreader bars lifting amtrak carhoist with ez spreader bar


Using the 8 foot spreader bar lifting system by Boscaro also helps to improve your lift capacity. The components feature a lightweight design yet are capable of a 35 ton capacity when used at 8 feet and 7 tons when adjusted to 34 feet.

pipe pull with crane spreader bars


The bars come galvanized, which increases durability and prevents paint chips due to repetitive movement. The lightweight build and the option to disassemble the components make transportation, assembly and storage of the system simple and time efficient. “Other bars are heavier and don’t come apart, so you can’t have the crew move them by hand,” noted Butch. “I can put my entire EZ spreader bar lifting system in my pickup truck, take it to the job and assemble it onsite in 15 to 20 minutes, without any assist equipment required.”

crane spreader bars placing trusses


The EZ spreader bar lifting system by Boscaro is available in a 4 foot or 8 foot system. The 4 foot option extends from 4-10 feet and has a capacity of up to 8 tons when fully extended. With a range of 8-34 feet the 8 foot kit option is rated for up to 7 tons at a 34 foot length. For further details about how the Boscaro EZ spreader bar lifting system can improve your efficiency and help manage project costs please contact Bigfoot Crane Company.


Bigfoot Crane Company
Cale Anderson – Crane Rentals, Sales & Service
Email: [email protected]
Toll free: 1-877-852-2192
Fax: 604-852-2187
san marco cranes

A San Marco SMH 420 Self Erecting Tower Crane Supplied by Eagle West (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) cut production time on this project by 45%Westridge Construction Ltd. of Regina, Saskatchewan ( faced an interesting construction project. They were under contract to build a $12,000,000.00 three story office complex with each floor being 20,000 square feet plus a partial basement of 9,500 square feet.The project would be a cast in place concrete structure with three staircase shafts and one elevator shaft. On the whole this would not seem to be a highly challenging project, until one factors in how tight the project site is with no access to the west or south side of structure and limited access to the east and north sides.

To say the construction site was tight and operating space at a premium would be a significant understatement. Westridge was in fact planning on using an off site materials staging area with the added costs of the yard and extra materials transport as an added cost to the project. A solution that could improve the site logistics, eliminate the off site yard (and its related costs), operating conditions and safety while lowering production costs would be a godsend and Eagle West provided just the solution required.

self erecting tower crane efficiency

Eagle West (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) supplied the right tool for the job, a San Marco SMH 420 hydraulic self erecting crane. This crane has a hook service height elevation of 77′ and a jib length of 136′ 9″ providing a total service range of up to 273′ 6″. The crane has a maximum lifting capacity of 8,820 lbs and can lift 2,205 lbs at its jib tip.

What’s more important is that this crane does not require any concrete footings or foundations and has a foot print of just 14′ 9″ X 14′ 9″. The SMH420 can operate inside just 324 square feet of yard space! Another key value of this crane is that it is possible to set up quickly, anywhere from 4 – 8 hrs once the self erect crane is delivered to site.

When the project started Westridge did not yet have its San Marco SMH 420 self erecting crane delivered and was adding floors using just telescopic forklifts and manual labor. Then the crane arrived and was installed by Eagle West and in no time Westridge was constructing floors in half the time.

crane for tight job site

The crane saved on production time as all the columns could now be set and poured with the crane while all slabs and shafts were poured with a concrete pump.

According to Dave Labbie, the Project Superintendant, the use of the self erecting crane was able to increase the on-site service area by at least 50% while on-site production increased at a minimum of 45%.

office complex construction

Dave further commented that “the Rod-Buster is very happy, all his materials are placed exactly where he wants them, manual labor is significantly reduced with and a big increase in productivity, a double win. He (the Rod-Buster) has told me that he wishes there was a crane like this on every job in town”.

The bottom line for Westridge Construction Ltd. can be wrapped up in two direct quotes from Dave Labbie:

  1. I have always said “if you cannot get the men you want (or production from them) then get the right equipment” and we sure have, “this crane is great.”
  2. “This is one of the best values we have ever spent money on; this crane will be paid off in two projects.”

tower crane, saskatchewan

Additional factors Dave commented on:

Increased Safety

  1. The material handling safety factor at the site has much improved and this brings with it a higher safety factor to the entire project site
  2. Increased accuracy of material placement, ensures materials are placed exactly where the tradesmen want them with less exposure to all materials handling risks
  3. Significant reductions in manual labor mean less people to get hurt and less job site congestion

Site Management

  1. This is a very tight jobsite and we were in need of a off-site materials staging yard
  2. With the SMH 420 we now have a single unloading zone on-site for all incoming materials serviced by our crane and our need for the off site yard was eliminated
  3. Materials are then redistributed with our crane, to where we want them at the construction site
  4. We have doubled the effective use of our jobsite space and have not needed the off-site staging yard

Return On Investment

  1. This crane will be paid off in two – three projects
  2. Lower manpower and related benefit costs
  3. This is one of the best values we have ever spent money on
  4. We are very happy with our purchase
tower crane safety tips

Written by: Robert Ingraham, Former HSE Director Eagle West Cranes Inc. (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company)

tower crane in vancouver, bcHuman error is the most common cause of crane accidents. This extends to both crane operators and those workers responsible for maintenance and safety procedures. Accidents often occur when crane maintenance and operating procedures don’t keep up with the increasing risks and demands placed on the crane. Many accidents result from a breakdown in communication between the project manager, site supervisor, the operator and the workers on the ground. Accidents also occur when workers fail to follow safe work practices and procedures.

While a crane may appear to be a simple device, its operation involves complex physics. You don’t need to be an engineer to operate cranes safely, but everyone involved with their operation should be aware of and follow some basic steps for safe operation. Here are the steps I recommend:

1.    Complete an Inspection. Verifying that the crane has received its annual inspection is only the first required step. It’s critical to check the operating functions daily to ensure all components are working properly. Experienced and inexperienced operators are often surprised to discover they may have inadvertently pushed the crane beyond its limits and damaged key components of the crane that could lead to failure.

2.    Always complete a Field Level Hazard Assessment.  A Field Level Hazard Assessment is the process where you:

  • Identify site & job specific hazards,
  • Evaluate the risk associated with the hazards identified, and
  • Eliminate or control the hazards prior to and during the work task.

3.    Complete a plan. Each lift is different from another, and it’s important to review all hazards, the load weight capacities, integrity of the equipment, the possible effect of wind, and other factors. The operator, riggers, and other workers involved with the lift must be part of that planning process.

4.    Communicate the Plan. The purpose of a ‘Tool Box’ or ‘Tailgate’ meeting is to:

  • Communicate – Hazards & Controls for the site specific task
  • Communicate – Safe Work Practices & Procedures to be followed
  • Communicate – The Plan to successfully complete the task
  • Communicate – Assign clear roles & responsibilities to the ground crew
  • Communicate – Agree to the plan and sign off on the plan

5.    Follow the Plan. Far too often accidents occur when the agreed upon plan is not followed or enforced.

6.    Know your Ground Conditions. The most powerful, carefully rigged crane is only as strong and stable as the surface upon which it stands. You need to know the classification for the soil or other material under the crane, and adjust your setup and load limits accordingly. While many cranes are equipped with outriggers, extending them doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve provided a stable surface. It’s important to know the load weight and how that is affected by the conditions of your jobsite. The crane’s load chart can help you determine whether your lift will be safe.

7.    Know your Radius. The counterweight and boom travel within a specific arc is called the swing radius. It’s important to ensure that the area within that radius is barricaded off. It is critically important to establish a control zone for those authorized to work in the immediate area. Constantly check the area throughout the day to ensure that there are no objects the boom might strike. If obstacles are introduced, be sure that the operator and other workers are aware of the obstacle and the plan for avoiding it.

8.    Use your crane properly. Cranes are engineered for vertical lifting. That doesn’t stop some crews from trying to use them for side loading or other improper activities. Using a crane to drag something across the ground or from under an obstacle puts extreme stress on the boom, the turntable, and all the structural members. It could potentially weaken key components and lead to their failure.

9.    Communication. Whether you use radios, air horns, hand signals, or some other method, there needs to be clear communication between the operator and the other workers. That’s especially critical when a crane is making a lift in which the operator cannot see the load. Don’t assume that everyone knows how instructions will be communicated. Make sure everyone understands the system and follows it. (See Communicate the Plan)

10.    Stay Focused. Everyone associated with a crane needs to stay alert and focused on the job at hand, especially on critical or difficult lifts. The lack of focus is a common cause of work related accidents, incidents and serious near-miss events.

san marco tower cranes

When: April 2010, About 12 months (Winter off)

Where: Bow Lake, Strafford, New Hampshire

Customer: Whitcher Builders

Crane: San Marco SMH 421 Self Erecting Crane

What: Smedley Crane & Rigging has put a San Marco SMH 421 Self Erecting Crane on a barge.This is a very innovative crane set up and is the first of its kind with the self erector. They are helping build a house on an island.

Smedley Crane and Rigging is based in Branford Connecticut and is the exclusive San Marco Distributor for New England. Call them now for more info: (800) 669-9738

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