Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sky Cranes What Do You See?

Tower cranes are used in almost every major city in the world, and they are most easily spotted when you are arriving by plane. In fact, some people judge a city economy by relating the amount of sky cranes hanging over buildings that are under construction as a positive sign for the economy. A good example of this is the New York / New Jersey metro area.

Rigging and hoisting materials are the job of the sky crane, which moves materials such as concrete, sheet rock, studs, glass, duct work and all other supplies to their destination. There is one sky crane operator who climbs a ladder to the top where the cab is located. What you don't see is the numerous rigging crews and professionals whose job it is to properly strap and connect all material safely so that it can be hoisted correctly. There is also another set of rigging professionals that remove the straps and binding when the material gets to the proper location.

Another integral part of the rigging company team are the coordinators whose job entails scheduling all the material deliveries, how they get to the job-site, and how much time is needed to lift those materials to their respective location while scheduling the next load. Without the rigging coordinator there would be complete chaos between the operator and rigging crews, not to mention a construction traffic jam,

The sky crane gets most of the notoriety, but there is another workhorse on the job site called the material lift, which is much like an elevator, it runs at higher speeds up the side of the building but takes no passengers. Rigging service professionals are in charge of the delivery loading and unloading all of the material to and from the material lifts. If the construction project is large enough this effort can require dozens of riggers and several rigging managers to keep things running smoothly.

Whenever I see a sky crane I think of all the people involved with helping it run smoothly, the organization skills, the manpower and the specific link it has to the economy and improvement.

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services
1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Phone: 732-222-3553

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In Need Of Good Riggers

With the Dow Jones Index hitting a record high of 18k in December and low inflation rates being reported at 1.3%, the signs are also looking up, as the construction industry is projected to see more balanced growth in 2015.

Construction jobs declined nearly three times as much during the last recession than it did during the 1981 recession. This was also due in large part to many workers retiring or  going into different related fields and lines of work. Now that construction is picking up again, there is a skilled labor shortage that is concerning.

Rigging is one of those skilled trades that is struggling to find qualified personnel. The labor shortage is enough of a concern that some developers and large construction companies are cautious when making commitments for large projects. The skilled labor shortage can have a serious effect on overall project cost, schedule and quality.

Rigging requires crane operator training, heavy equipment training (with various types of machinery), safety training, equipment maintenance, knowledge of physics, geometry, electrical and mechanical as well. Equipment and materials cannot get to their destination,  set in place safely and on time without rigging and riggers. Which is why a skilled Rigger is in high demand in almost any location.

It's unfortunate that many of the young people in America have looked away from skilled trades as unemployment is high for young adults. Many experienced Riggers can earn a good six-figure salary in major cities from New York to Los Angeles. Rigging requires 4 to 5 years of apprenticeship and study, while working with an experienced rigging contractor.

The good news is that after many years of recession, things are finally looking up. The not-so-great news is that we are in dire need in the workforce for experienced construction professionals. The laws of supply and demand will pay accomplished Riggers higher salaries which will raise prices accordingly. The lesson for the rest of us is to not look away from skilled trades, but to look towards them.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services
1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Phone: 732-222-3553
Fax: 732-450-0311