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Keeping it level

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I’m compulsive. I like straight lines. Despite my hair, I like neat piles, piles of anything. I’ll straighten pictures in lobbies, I shovel my driveway in straight lines, I hit a golf ball straight because I swing straight. It is a compulsion that has served me well when I applied it to machinery moving. It started when I was a kid driving a truck, I needed my loads to be centered, square and tidy. As our company grew and I was no longer driving but running crews, it was natural to lay out our equipment on jobsites tidy and straight. And when I was young and learning, the organization of my jobsites gave the impression I knew my stuff even though I didn’t always.

Rigging with Gantries


When I started doing gantry work, keeping thing level, straight and clean came natural to me. As we grew, the guys on my crew adapted my compulsion if the didn’t have it already. We just sent a crew to Winnipeg to perform a challenging install of a large gantry mill. If a company in Winnipeg has to hire a company from Ontario, you know it has to be a challenging project. Although I mapped out the job, and determined the technique, I wasn’t on the job. But the photos my crew sent were evidence of the culture of straight and square that is within our men.

Creative approach to challenging installation

For this job, we assembled this precision machine while only half the building had a floor, the other half was gravel. We hired a local crane company to lay down rubber mats in the areas we needed to roll heavy components over. With them having a limited amount of mats, we needed to use them efficiently, forming straight lines in with 2, 90 degree turns, then we had to transition from gravel onto concrete, then over a 4 foot deep pit, 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. We cribbed the pit with blocking to make it level with the floor, then, laid mats on top of the blocking. We had to roll several large pieces, all in the 30 ton range, onto the crib pile and then lift with the gantry from there. This is where our attitude about things being straight, square and neat really paid off.

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