At Least 35 Dead in Bridge Collapse

Gulf Coast Crane Rental Adds Link-Belt HTC8690

Wed April 13, 2005 - Southeast Edition
CEG



The fleet of cranes available for rent at Gulf Coast Crane Rental in Ft. Myers, FL, grew again in December.

Don Chisum purchased a Link-Belt HTC8690 and has kept it busy since it arrived.

Primarily, he said it has been used to set precast concrete planks and one contractor, Colonial Construction, in Englewood, FL, has been taking up most of its time, Chisum said.

It has aided a bridge project at Shellpoint Village Golf Course in Ft. Myers, as well as a few heavy underground catch basins and manholes.

The company’s fleet of cranes now numbers 17, but the units are spread along the coast. In addition, the fleet includes one Kobelco crawler, three Link-Belt RTC 8050 rough-terrain cranes, two Link-Belt 50-ton truck cranes, four Terex T-340 truck cranes, three Terex T-560 truck cranes, one boom truck, one Link-Belt 22-ton all-terrain crane and one Link-Belt 30-ton truck crane. All come with an operator.

Nine are based in Ft. Myers and the others are stationed from Sarasota to Naples, including one on Sanibel Island.

Weight restrictions on the bridge to the island would keep the crane from traveling to and from jobs there.

Chisum said the new Link-Belt has been a great addition to his fleet, since it “outcharts anything in its class.”

Chisum started Gulf Coast Crane Rental five years ago with three cranes.

He now employs 22 people, including an operator for each unit, a mechanic, a parts rental agent and two office workers. The 4,000-sq.-ft. facility, in which it has been housed for one year, sits on 1 acre.

Chisum began in the oil field business in 1979, but moved to West Palm Beach in 1986 when business slowed down, where he joined a crane rental company. He moved to Ft. Myers 1997 and started Gulf Coast Crane Rental in 2000. With five years of growth behind him, Chisum said the future of his company looks bright and he expects to continue this trend, possibly by moving up the coast in the next couple of years.

Chisum said he’s extremely proud of his experienced operators, who help train newcomers to the company.

“It is expensive to train a young guy, but we’ve got to do it so that we have operators in the future,” he said. CEG Staff