Jobsite Limitations Lead Contractor to Self-Erecting Cranes

Built out, busy, and quite particular about business disruptions and noise, Winter Park, Fla., is the kind of place that would present a real challenge to any contractor. When constructing the new four-story Landmark on Morse residential condominiums in Winter Park, Jack Jennings & Sons Construction Services, LLC, Orlando, Fla., faced the complications of businesses being open around it, limited access for construction vehicles, and virtually no room for a conventional crane anywhere near the building.

“We were going to use a 150-ton hydraulic crane parked in the street, but Winter Park would not permit Morse Boulevard to be blocked,” said John Jennings, vice president. “A gigantic tower crane was out of the question and budget as well.” Crane Rental Corp., Orlando, Fla., recommended the company use a Potain HDT 80 self-erecting tower crane.

Sean Spence, Crane Rental Corp.'s vice president of sales, explained: “The concept of a typical tower crane with anchor stools was rejected due to the finished floor that was poured first as the structure was coming out of the ground. Conventional moorings would compromise the building's water ex-filtration system. The engineers approved the loadings of the HDT 80 that's supported by the existing slab.”

But instead of erecting the crane outside the building, it was set up inside the building from the project start-up. Erected from its mobile transport base, the 26,000-pound HDT 80 was flown onto the building's finished underground garage floor by a 240-ton hydraulic crane in just a few hours.


Permanent power was not installed until late in the project. Low amperage requirements allowed the self-erector to be powered by an electric generator staged on the garage floor beside the crane. An open atrium permitted the crane's telescopic mast to extend upwards with each floor poured to its maximum operational height of 176 feet, and the 148-foot maximum reach boom allowed for loads to be conveniently removed from arriving supply and material transports on three sides of the structure. The HDT 80 further features an obstacle avoidance jib that can be folded up in a stored position in the event of any inclement weather.

Upon completion of the project, the Potain HDT 80 was hoisted out by Crane Rental Corp.'s big Grove 550-ton mobile hydraulic crane in about four hours. The entire self-erecting crane was then driven away to its next project.