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OPTCO Lifts Productivity to New Heights on Cardinals Stadium Job

Thu December 01, 2005 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

When OPTCO, a Gilbert, AZ-based industrial coating company, was awarded the painting contract for the all new $450-million Arizona Cardinals football stadium in Glendale, AZ, one of its first tasks was to assess its equipment needs.

One of the primary elements of the company’s agreement was the responsibility of touching up the majority of the stadium’s steel structure once it had been placed into position.

Although OPTCO already owned several pieces of access equipment, the size and complexity of project would require the addition of not only more equipment but also more productive equipment.

OPTCO turned to the then-just-opened United Rentals Aerial Equipment branch in Tempe, AZ, for recommendations on its needs. United’s Branch Manager Rob Ryan became personally involved.

“They were asking about a product that could keep up with the massive yet fast-paced project they were getting ready to attack,” Ryan said. After listening to its requirements and analyzing the application, Ryan recognized a unique opportunity.

“We had been asked by Genie to evaluate one of the first all new Z-135/70 articulating boom lifts,” he said. He thought this would be the ideal place to put it to a true test while at the same time providing what he thought would be an ideal tool for the customer.

Ryan discussed this opportunity with OPTCO President Allen Kaufman and found him very receptive to the idea. The machine was delivered in early February.

OPTCO’s contract called for the company to inspect and touch up the finish on more than 9,000 tons of pre-painted steel that help make up this enormous structure. While a lot of the work is done on the ground, once the steel is hoisted and either bolted or welded into place, the final work must be completed.

The Genie Z-135/70 was recommended and selected by OPTCO for a number of reasons, including its 141 ft. of working height, essential for a project of this nature.

Equally important was its relatively compact size and the maneuverability afforded by the standard four-wheel steering system.

What really got Kaufman’s attention, though, was the unit’s articulation. Its up-and-over clearance of 75.5 ft. and its ability to deliver 70 ft. of horizontal reach was essential to allow access over the lower deck seating from the floor of the interior of the stadium.

Although Frank Guana, OPTCO’s field superintendent, likeed the flexibility the articulating boom gives his crew, that wasn’t as important as the unit’s quick and easy operation.

“We don’t spend much time in any one location,” Guana said.

OPTCO’s contract covers virtually the entire steel framework of the stadium.

“Once the lower boom is deployed, the articulating upper section moves up and down quicker than our standard straight 120-foot telescoping machines,” Guana said.

With so much surface area to cover, the quick movement of the upper boom improved OPTCO’s productivity.

What has turned out to be the most appreciated aspect of the new Genie, at least for OPTCO, is its jib extension. This telescoping extension is the longest in the industry. It goes from a retracted 12 to 20 ft. and offers 70 and minus 40-degree range of motion.

Guana commented that there were many places where it needed to extend into the labyrinth of cross bracing found throughout the structure.

“We would not have been able to access many horizontal locations without the extra long jib,” he added.

This feature was not fully appreciated until its capabilities were discovered on the job site. Since this particular unit was one of the very first Z-135/70’s put into service, the true potential of all its features were a bit of an unknown commodity.

“What this machine could do was a bit of a learning process for all of us,” Ryan said. “We didn’t realize what an advantage the jib would have on this or any job of this nature.”

Generally speaking, OPTCO has been very pleased with the features and capabilities of the new super-sized Genie.

United Rentals also has been satisfied with the service performance and acceptance of the concept of this machine — Ryan was so pleased that he is eagerly looking toward the delivery of an additional pair.

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