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Lots of columns to erect? Save crane time for more profit

May, 16, 2017

Crane time is a major cost in any construction project. When you succeed in limiting crane time, you will instantly lower your overall costs.

There’s a lot to be saved in projects which have a lot of columns to erect. Usually these buildings are built horizontally, they are low, and span over a large area – think of warehouses! This makes a tower crane unpractical, so you use a mobile crane instead and pay an hourly rate.

In this scenario, every saved minute translates into cost savings. Making a choice between a slow-to-erect method or fast-to-erect method can have a direct effect on your earnings, so choose wisely.

It is a commonly known fact that common column connection methods take around an hour to complete. These include, for example, starter bars, splice sleeves, and socket foundations. In broad terms, the erection process is more or less the same with all of them.

First you lift the column in place. Then you temporarily brace it in position with at least two braces (you also need to fix anchor points for the braces, attach the braces, and make sure that the column is upright). There is even more hassle when you need to use counterweights as anchor points. Moving the counterweights around is a safety and cost factor to be considered. Bracing also effectively limits what jobs can be done on site, especially when using machinery.  

And for the better part of the process, the crane does basically nothing – it just keeps the column in place. If you have 100 columns to erect, you will end up paying for 100 hours of crane time.

What if you could reduce that time in by half? Or even by three-quarters?? With bolted column connections you can. Making a bolted connection takes 15 to 20 minutes – it’s 3 to 4 times faster when compared to traditional methods.

Topi Laiho

Liiketoimintapäällikkö, infrarakentaminen

Peikko Finland Oy

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