As the sun rises above Fort Lauderdale on a Saturday morning, a crew from Sims Crane and Equipment
is on its way to the city’s Flagler Village neighborhood. They’ve been assigned the assembly of a Champion Personnel/Material hoist
taken from their rental fleet. CCO Carlos Ramos is already waiting for them at the site that will soon play host to a 76 unit affordable rental apartment development. Seated in the cab of a 100-ton mobile crane
, he’s in control of the 150 foot of main boom.
He’s added 90 feet along with 45 feet of jib.
For the crew of workers made up of Barry Davis, Clint Walker and Rahjell Wright, the day starts slowly. Production comes to a halt as they wait for an employee from the utility owner to turn off the electricity racing through the nearby power lines.
But it doesn’t take long for the real work to begin. The first part of the base belonging to the single car hoist is rigged and lifted high above the skeleton of a building. Davis and Wright are on the other side, waiting for the piece to be lowered. They’re charged with bolting down the different pieces it takes to assemble the personnel/material hoist that’s tough enough to handle thousands of pounds of weight. On the other side of the building, Clint Walker is rigging the next piece. This process continues for part of the morning.
Before long it’s time for Clint to get in his harness and settle into a man basket they’ve brought along with them. He explains before he gets into the metal cage, why he has to go up there. “I’m going in the man basket to put in one floor plate for the kicker so I can install the kicker tie to the tower. You can’t reach it from the [hoist] car, so you have to be in a man basket to get access to it.” Up and away, high in the morning sky, Clint flies to his destination on the other side of the structure.
The fully assembled Champion hoist is currently taking workers and materials to various floors of the Progresso Point development. Facchina Construction Company, is overseeing the project.