Although Austin Rigging LLC formed in February 2003 is still in its infancy, its founder Keith A. White is no stranger to the crane/rigging industry. White worked for 20 years as a crane operator/rigger for a central, New York State crane rental company before starting his own business.
Located in near Utica, N.Y., Austin Rigging is capable of performing work throughout the United States and take on jobs both large and small. Currently, much of Austin Rigging’s work is involved with the setting of modular homes. It also is involved with steel erection, demolition and other crane functions.
Recently, Austin Rigging worked on a rigging project in Central Square, N.Y., which involved the dismantling of a steel water tower that was constructed in 1929. The tower was 150-ft. (45.7 m) tall and took three days to take down.
One of the biggest challenges was the weight of the picks, particularly the sidewalls and legs. Each sidewall weighed 5,000 to 7,000 lbs. (2,268 to 3,175 kg). The legs of the water tower were 100 ft. (305 m) long and had to be cut into three sections, each weighing 9,000 lbs. (4,082 kg).
The crane used on this project was a 90-ton (81.6 t) Link-Belt 8690 HTT hydraulic truck terrain crane, which Austin Rigging recently purchased from Woods CRW. The crane has all-wheel steer and a main boom of 38 through 140 ft. (11.6 through 42.7 m) plus a 58-ft. (17.7 m) jib. It is rated from 60 to 90 tons (54 to 81.6 t) and is 8 ft. 6 in. (2.6 m) wide, allowing it to travel over the highway without an escort and reaches over the road speeds of up to 62 mph (100 kmh).
The Link-Belt 8690 crane was initially used to raise and lower a basket so that workers could start the cutting and dismantling process. The actual part of the structure was cut into four pieces, and then the crane was used to lower each piece of steel as it was detached from the tower structure.
White purchased the Link-Belt 8690 HTT because “It had the best weight charts for any 90-ton crane available. I also was particularly impressed with the all-wheel steer, which cut the crane’s turning radius by one-third, which greatly improved its maneuverability, and allowed me to work in tighter areas than other cranes of the same capacity. In addition, traveling over the road, the crane can carry enough counterweight to bring it to an 82-ton capacity,” he explained.
Austin Rigging has a 35-ton (31.7 t) Terex truck crane with 94 ft. (28.6 m) of boom and 30 ft. (9 m) of jib but White needed a new crane that would offer a wider range of lift capacities. He found the Link-Belt to be easy to operate and liked the way it traveled over the highway because of the air-ride, which makes it very smooth and comfortable.
In addition to the semi-automatic transmission, which means no shifting, the boom sensitivity is very smooth and the rear-wheel steer was a very attractive option.
“With the combination of rear-wheel steer and higher ground clearance, I am able to operate where other cranes would be unable to. However, one of the biggest pluses was that the crane is manufactured in the United States,” White said.
The buying process for the crane was started more than a year ago and was completed in the fall of 2006.
“I have been impressed with the service that I receive from Woods CRW. I find the technicians to be experienced, well informed and well prepared and parts availability has never been an issue,” he said.
“My sales representative of Woods CRW, Greg George, is very helpful and knowledgeable and showed great attention to detail,” said White.
Austin Rigging with its experienced personnel is devoted to assisting companies and contractors with their crane and rigging needs as well as manufacturing maintenance, installation and/or relocation of equipment. It also is able to provide forklift service up to 30,000 lbs. (13,608 kg) as well as trucking services and certified commercial diving. CEG