Link-Belt Cranes 175|AT answers the call for cell tower work

A link-belt crane builds a cell phone tower alongside a dirt road

PDI National Cranes recently expanded its fleet with the addition of a new Link-Belt Cranes 175|AT all terrain crane. 

The crane was added to the company’s taxi fleet, which specializes in commercial, industrial, and general construction in the Greater Toronto Area.

As part of the PDI Group of Companies in King, Ontario, PDI National Cranes’ fleet consists of boom trucks and mobile cranes ranging from 30 tonnes to 200 tons. According to Dallen Rands, Branch Manager for PDI National Cranes, the 150-tonne all terrain crane is ideal for cell tower work due to its ease of transport, one overflow truck and quick setup time. 

“In Ontario we can run boom over the front, so no dolly is required,” Rands said.

“Then, we only need one truck and once we stack counterweight on the deck of the crane from the overflow, now we have a clean work platform for the fly, which we typically use the SmartFly for cell tower work. It’s a very clean setup without anything extra.”

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Our Top 5 equipment introductions of 2023

A common cell tower setup for PDI is usually just over 60.9 metres tall and made up of five segments. The base triangular section of the  tower is erected in place on the ground and can measure 7.3 metres wide, leg to leg.

The tower segments taper as it rises, with the largest section measuring 17.3 metres tall. The segments vary in weight from 2,721 to 3,628 kg.

“Once I get the next section within two to three feet, I am able to fine meter on the crane, and on the camera as well as on the winch to precisely put it in place, just like the guys would want. Everything worked out perfect,” said PDI National Cranes Operator Peter Gumney.

PDI National Cranes is a taxi rental business so being able to quickly setup for varying cell towers or other applications is important.  Gumney estimates the set-up time for the Link-Belt Cranes 175|AT is about 30 to 40 minutes. 

“The way the crane walks with full counterweight and jib erected on a job, that exceeded my expectations,” Gumney said. 

“A recent project we did involved moving the crane with the counterweights and jib erected. It was a total of eight setups, and it was totally amazing how fast the crane could move from set up to set up.”