Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Historic Look Back at Large Rigging and Equipment Moving Project for R. Baker and Son

The following story is an historical look back at one of R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services larger rigging accomplishments. For more details and photographs go to

During the early hours on a clear September Saturday morning with the majestic downtown Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, a new chapter unfolded on the flourishing Jersey City waterfront. The landmark Colgate clock, which was originally mounted on an eight-story manufacturing building built in 1924. Standing seventy feet high and fifty-four feet wide is the world’s largest working vertical face clock as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. The clock was moved to its new location where it will continue to provide the Metropolitan area and Hudson River travelers with the time of day and an unforgettable site for years to come.

The Colgate-Palmolive Company, in taking great care to preserve the historic harbor landmark and keep it running during the harbor front redevelopment of the firm’s 34-acre site mandated that the giant clock and adjacent 90 by 60-foot billboard be relocated and up and running within a 48 hour period to minimize the length of time the clock would out of service.

To accomplish this monumental feat, the operation's logistics and rigging were entrusted to R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services of Staten Island, New York. To protect the clock’s complicated and sensitive mechanisms and meet the overall project goals, R. Baker & Son decided to move both the sign and clock and its 70-foot high steel frame in one piece rather than dismantle and reassemble them.

R. Baker & Son went to great lengths during the planning stages to assure that all concerns and aspects of this complicated project were addressed. A structural survey was performed and an engineered rigging and lifting plan was developed. Plate bearing capacity tests over the course, which the crane was to travel, were performed. Wind speed was charted for a period of two weeks prior to lift. Precise calculations were developed in order to determine static load strength to determine the exact pick points to accomplish a perfectly level lift in order to walk the two structures to their new location.

R. Baker & Son utilized numerous specially manufactured spreader bars and rigging systems in order to lift and walk these massive structures, utilizing a 250-ton conventional crane along with a 150-ton hydraulic assist crane. To perform this delicate transfer R. Baker & Son coordinated the services of dozens of highly qualified personnel made up of iron workers, engineers, electricians, operators and local law enforcement officers.

Upon final setting and field certification of welds and anchoring systems a post inspection analysis was performed to verify that all aspects of the project were performed to the highest standards of quality. With work beginning at 6:00 am on Saturday morning and completed by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening R. Baker & Son successfully completed the goal set before them to have the billboard and clock up and running for the hundreds of thousands of metropolitan area commuters to set their watches by on Monday morning.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services is the premier specialized contractor in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  The veteran founded company has been in business since 1935, has over 100 employees, an exemplary safety record (We have been directly involved in four (4) sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards) and is financially strong (bonding capabilities over $10 Million).  Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, riggingmachinery & plant moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, wrecking, selective demolition , demolition contractors in NJ and warehousing.

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services
1 Globe Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Phone: 732-222-3553
Fax: 732-450-0311
For more information visit our website or contact Damon Kozul, PE, CHMM at