Link-Belt Helps Contractors Tackle Mountainous Project

Thu December 29, 2005 - Northeast Edition
Kate Zanoni

Contractors Crane Service (CCS) is taking on a project the size of a mountain and has enlisted the help of a new Link-Belt 138 H5 crane to get the job done.

CCS recently purchased the crane in October from Woods CRW Corp. In Williston, VT.

Pizzagalli Construction, a large national construction firm from Burlington, VT, serves as the project’s general contractor.

The company has contracted CCS to provide crane and operators to execute all steel erection as the two contractors collaborate to build a new lodge and an underground parking structure on Mount Ellen at the Sugarbush Ski Resort in Warren, VT.

The finished project will be a 117,000-sq.-ft. (10,869 sq m) structure, which includes 2,200 pieces of steel that weigh more than 700 tons (635 t) total.

Construction began in September 2005 and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2006. (For skiers who wish to avoid construction traffic, Sugarbush Resort also offers accommodations on Lincoln Peak, Mount Ellen’s next-door neighbor.)

According to Project Manager Terry Carpenter, this presents a challenge for the contractors.

“We will be operating through the winter at the base of a ski resort in northern Vermont,” said Carpenter. “What the weather doesn’t throw at us, the guests of the resort will.

“The ski lift is only a few hundred feet from our site and will be operating every day that we are working,” added Carpenter. “We have snowmaking guns that are as close as 40 feet away from our job site.

“At these elevations, hard winds are commonplace and trying to do steel erection at these heights is challenging enough without those winds,” said Carpenter. “[However], CCS’ people have risen to those challenges admirably.”

With the help of the Link-Belt, CCS has been able to move materials around the site from the center of the building project.

The Link-Belt 138 H5 is an 80-ton (73 t) crawler crane with 140 ft. (43 m) of main boom and 45 ft. (14 m) of jib.

According to Sam Davis, crane rental manager of CCS, the company has had very good luck in the past using Link-Belt cranes.

“The Link-Belt LS248H-II, which we owned [prior] to the new machine, has operated virtually maintenance-free and has given us no down time during five years of operation,” said Davis.

“We have literally put no money back into that machine,” he added.

CCS’ cranes are forced to operate under extreme weather conditions. Sometimes temperatures on the job site can reach as cold as 20 degrees below zero.

“Yet, even in those temperatures, our Link-Belt starts every time,” said Davis.

He also finds the Link-Belt easy to assemble and extraordinarily mobile.

“When it came time to purchase the new 138 H5, it was pretty much already determined that we would be buying our next crane from Woods CRW,” said Davis. “We have the need for a rough-terrain crane and this new machine matches up perfectly with what we were looking for.”

“Woods CRW is a local company, also headquartered in Burlington, VT, and the service that we received from them has always been exceptional,” added Davis.

The relationship stretches back at least a generation, when CCS’ founder established a strong business relationship with Woods CRW’s founder Bob Wood.

About Pizzagalli

Pizzagalli Construction was founded in 1958 and is today a nationwide contractor that works on projects as far away as Colorado.

According to Mark Selig of Pizzagalli, the company’s current annual volume of construction work exceeds $32 million.

Most of its projects include handling all of the site work, utility work, and erection of buildings themselves.

Terry Carpenter speaks highly of the contractor and enjoys the partnership between CCS and Pizzagalli.

“We have had a good working relationship with Pizzagalli Construction for many years,” said Carpenter. “Typically, we will work together on one to two jobs a year.”

About CCS

CCS was founded in 1967 and is the largest crane rental house in Vermont.

The company has a total of 15 cranes available in its fleet, three of which were purchased form Woods CRW, including the Link-Belt, a Manitowoc 222 100-ton (91 t) crawler crane and a Link-Belt LS 248 200-ton (181 t) crawler crane.

According to Mark Selig, “CCS is always great to work with [because] they exhibit great cooperation and a willingness to solve problems.

“In a project of this magnitude, communication is always a key and we’ve never had a problem in that area,” added Selig.

“Pizzagalli Construction has a very strong safety culture and it’s important that our subcontractors share the same philosophy,” he said. “CCS has always come through for us in that area.

“Staying on schedule is also critically important to us and we can count on CCS to hold up their side of that equation,” said Selig.