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Equipment to erect 40x80x18 steel building

Keith Merrell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
237
Location
Cottonwood, AZ
I should have permits to build my shop in a few weeks. I wanted opinions on what I should get to raise the columns, rafters, and purlins with. None of the picks will be heavy, but I’d prefer not to drive anything on the slab as it will still be pretty green, so I was thinking an RT crane. Also, they seem to be cheaper than the tele-handlers you commonly see on-site.

The building is readily accessible from 2 sides. 1:12 pitch, 18’ eave height. The slab will be 8” of mud, with #4 bar 12” grid.

I know a lot of people like telehandlers but I never cared for them. I have also considered renting, but would prefer to buy something for this project and then sell once I am finished. My skid steer will be on-site all the time with a set of forks, so shuttling material is not a concern, just raising it so it can be bolted together.
 

Keith Merrell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
237
Location
Cottonwood, AZ
IMG_9191.jpeg
This is a 1993 Grove RT518 I was looking at. 65’ of boom. $25,000. 3100 hrs. Apparently it was owned by a fabricator for 20 years then was sold as the kids didnt want to take over the business. What should be inspected on a crane that’s different from excavators and dirt equipment? Since the crane is out of state I was considering having a crane service do an inspection on it and telling me what it would need to be certified. Apparently this crane was not inspected as it was privately owned and operated.
 

Welder Dave

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
12,712
Location
Canada
Do you have other uses for a crane? $25K to build your shop seems excessive. I'm pretty sure they used a manlift to lift the trusses on my pole shed. I think the trusses were only 200 and some pounds.
 

jhark123

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
45
Location
Washington
Rental truck with operator for setting trusses, zoom boom or reach fork for the rest of it. (I was a carpenter for 10 years)
 

Natman

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2016
Messages
995
Location
ID
Just about every single steel building I've seen go up, by pros, uses just one or sometime two telehandlers. I'd think re-selling a tele would also be easier, but I like your idea of buying a piece of equipment rather than renting it, it'll take all the time pressure off, no hurry as when the rental clock is ticking. With an 8" slab, after 30 days anyway, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

crane operator

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
8,382
Location
sw missouri
I own cranes, and I would rent a 10k 54' telehandler to build a building, and bring in the crane to set the rafters. I would probably set the columns also with the crane, but it would be just as easy to set the columns with a telehandler.

I would want a Telehandler with a jib and a manbasket.

The only awkward thing on your building with the telehandler, is setting the 6 rafters. (assuming 10' bays). If the concrete was set, and you could bring the forklift into the building, you could set the trusses with it also. And if you don't want the tele in the building, just bring in someone with a boom truck to set your rafters in a day. You won't need the crane for anything else.

A while back we had a thread on building some log cabins, and we discussed a lot about crane vs. telehandler. The guy originally wanted a crane, and I don't know what he ended up doing.

I've built steel buildings with nothing but a straight mast old hyster forklift. Second best thing to a telehandler, is a outdoor "flying carpet" type scissor lift. We had one that was big enough to put steel on and go up to the eave and work off. Makes sidewall and roof steel a breeze. Get one with the big platform and outriggers.

You'll love it even more if you line the interior.





outdoor lift.jpg
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,777
Location
washington
That was a good discussion.
There is your answer, @Keith Merrell
I'm a crane operator and have had both available to me on the same job site. I had a swing carriage, a jib, and a 6' set of forks on another swing carriage for the 56K telehandler. We'd use that anytime we could, over setting up the crane. It was just faster and easier.
Even when we used the crane, we needed the forklift to spot the materials closer on most of the jobs.
 

Georgia Iron

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2012
Messages
889
Location
USA - Georgia
Occupation
Concrete building slab and grading contractor
We build buildings and I could put that building up with a 6k tele-handler, 25,000 lb lift it will pick up to 36'. They are fairly cheap to buy and they have a left right tilt feature that will allow you to easily line up the base plates to truss connections.
 

crane operator

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
8,382
Location
sw missouri
THIS is what you really need!
I had a guy apply to work for me, and he spent all kinds of time talking about how he was involved/ knew some of the people building that huge track machine. And what a great machine it was.

I figured if he thought that was such a great machine, he was too dumb to work for me.
 

Georgia Iron

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2012
Messages
889
Location
USA - Georgia
Occupation
Concrete building slab and grading contractor
I had a guy apply to work for me, and he spent all kinds of time talking about how he was involved/ knew some of the people building that huge track machine. And what a great machine it was.

I figured if he thought that was such a great machine, he was too dumb to work for me.
Well it looks impressive to me anyway. But I am not a crane operator, what drawbacks do you see with it?
 

crane operator

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
8,382
Location
sw missouri
Too big, to long, it would be awkward as a cub bear for most telehandler work. Very few jobsites I've been on, have room for something like that to get around on.

I've also set up too many dumped over telehandlers, to trust the average telehandler operator with something this size.

The video is a hilarious promo piece " we don't even need cranes" and "nothing else is like this" . Well, its basically a crawler crane that can't swing.

The real push behind bigger telehandlers is simply to get away from the certification requirements of crane operators. Typically anyone and their dog is allowed on the jobsite telehandler. Making ever bigger telehandlers isn't the answer.
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,777
Location
washington
They do make those rotator telehandlers too. Outrageously expensive and complicated.
I do like having a swing carriage. You can sneak in and get a fork load that seems impossibly encumbered with one of those, and they make unloading in an alley possible with what is a really big machine.
Give me a 1055 and a swing carriage, and a short jib. That is what we will probably set those log cabins with.
A 44' would do it but requires more manuevering and site grading .
 

CM1995

Administrator
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
13,475
Location
Alabama
Occupation
Running what I brung and taking what I win
Steel crew is erecting a building a couple of lots over in our industrial park. Telehandler, big scissor lift and 40' boom. 3 guys. IIRC the building is 10K sf, looks like 16-18' eaves.

Pretty much every PMB is done this way around here anyway. A telehandler will be much handier for all around yard/construction work than the RT IMO. Ol' Blue - 1996 Gradall 534D6 that I bought new is still on the yard and I used it last week to unload a pallet. Handier than a shirt pocket.
 

Keith Merrell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
237
Location
Cottonwood, AZ
So after thinking about it a while and talking to a few friends, I decided I will rent my neighbor's 8k telehandler off of him. He gets a little extra cash, as its not used frequently, and I can pretty much use it all I want. So the time crunch rental clock thing isn't an issue.

As much as I love equipment I'd love to buy the crane and play operator but I will use my budgeted "crane money" to pay for my fire sprinkler system. That RT would be perfect for this project, however I would have a real hard time selling it once I am done with it. It would just sit in the yard for the most part once I was finished.

I own a slab scissor lift, and I am considering buying an RT scissor to help with installation of my wall sheets. 2 of the sides of the building are 10' off of my fenced property line, so an RT scissor without outriggers would barely squeeze between the building and fence. That wouldn't leave much room for a man on the ground to work where the scissor was, so I am also considering a boom lift. This is my own project so I really don't have to worry about meeting a strict schedule.

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

Welder Dave

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
12,712
Location
Canada
From what I can tell at the operating engineers training center, close to my property, the biggest test for a telehandler (ticket?) is stacking a bunch of concrete jersey barriers and putting a pallet on top of the pile.
 
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