The SC & RA (Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association) Hydraulic Gantry Task Force launched a new product with recommended practices for Telescopic Gantry Systems in 2004. Their publication covers the following sections:
- Scope, Definitions and References
- Construction and Characteristics
- Load Testing
The appendices of the publication have a set checklist that will assist lift supervisors and lift planners with their performance and planning using hydraulic gantries. The publication remains relevant today since its launch over a decade ago. As a result, SC&RA members can still draw insight and instructions from it.
Experts like Randy Goddard, Ben Forster, David Duerr and Kevin Johnson have a lot of experience in both building and working in the gantry space. They believe that the SC&RA guidebook is a vital resource for anyone looking to work with Alternative-lifting equipment.
Gantries are now smarter, safer and more productive due to advancements in blocking system, indicators, sensors and remote control procedures. Nevertheless, users must consult with manufacturers with an inquiry on how to use the product like SC&RA publications. In so doing, they avoid pitfalls while gaining information on lifting applications.
SC&RA members are always competing for jobs. However, gantry owners can leverage the advantages of gantry over other methods. The gantry offers features like electronic synchronization of movement, high-strength telescopic booms (increases side-loading capacity), man platforms that satisfy OSHA standard and power integrated side shifting. Also, they can save their customers cost and time while performing their jobs safely.
Purchasing a Gantry
Buying a Gantry is an excellent investment for any company. However, experts recommend that before purchase, the company should reach out to the manufacturer of the equipment. That way, they can interact with engineers and gauge the quality of the machinery, as well as the ease of use and production process. Also, the gantry manufacturing company can serve as a partner where companies can train personnel and design lift plans.
Likewise, potential buyers should not neglect to research history of the equipment, maintenance records, model, servicing and much more.
Another thing buyers should consider before purchasing as advised by Johnston is a dynamic ground condition that accompanies most lifting jobs. While such a condition may not be apparent, it does matter as it would determine what type of gantry to use. As a result, users should look out for gantry manufacturers that incorporate the ASME 30.1 safety standards into their design and engineering products. Similarly, users/buyers should inquire about the presence of a telescopic boom that will provide a secondary locking mechanism that allows for full-load holding in the event of hydraulic lift-cylinder pressure loss.
Why Use the SC&RA Document?
One of the primary reasons to use the SC&RA publication is to reduce accidents. Both Goddard and Johnston believe that combining the information from the publication with the right set of experience for both users and gantry manufacturing companies, the level of incidents can be reduced. While the videos and workshops might seem old, they still showcase the relevant basic principles.
Advantages of Using the Gantry System
According to David Duerr, the president of 2DM Associates. The gantry system has a small footprint. Making it a better option for mobile crane when it comes to tight spaces. However, SC&RA members have to stay updated on improvements to the gantry system product as it remains a tool. As always better tool equates to a more productive and safe execution of projects.
Problems Associated with the Gantry System
One of the difficulties pinpointed by Duerr is the fact that some contractors seem to think that they have to treat the gantry system like a mobile crane. Meanwhile, the gantry system is so different as it comes with its own operating characteristics and safety features. Therefore contractors will have to learn how to work them efficiently.
Another problem is the fact that companies tend to overlook specific key points when selecting equipment for their fleet. Likewise, the type of market you intend to service and the mobilization cost will contribute to you choosing what kind of gantry system you use.
How easy will it be to get other accessory equipment like track, side shifts, beams and rotators? The ability to source the accessory equip and compatibility will influence your machinery choice. Finally, training will be the difference between a great experience and a poor one while using a gantry system.
The SC&RA document is incredibly useful as it was written by several experts of the gantry system, gantry manufacturers and specialized engineers. As a result, it is recommended that anyone who works with a gantry system or is a lift planner have a copy of the publication. The publication is cited in Hydraulic Gantries, ASME B30.1, Air Caster and Industrial Rollers as a safety standard for gantry systems and guide for lift planning.
It is an excellent resource for supervisors as well as it helps them run a practical checklist of factors to consider when working with lifts. The DVD that accompanies the publication can be given to decision-makers of companies that intend to work with a gantry.