Answer Man — How is a crane erected?

Bird's eye view. (Photo courtesy Bird Construction/ Darren Purdy)

Bird’s eye view. (Photo courtesy Bird Construction/ Darren Purdy)

Dear Answer Man,

How do they erect, build or other terminology the large crane working on the new addition of the RIH? Maybe a picture from the crane operator of what he is looking at and any other information the crane operator has for us in regards to his job. I am sure others would like to know as well.


Dear Greg,

I took your question to Interior Health and they very kindly came back with the following information and a couple of photos, too.

Bird Construction is the design builder overseeing the construction of RIH’s Clinical Services Building. According to Stewart Borrett, the project director, erecting a tower crane follows this process:

“There’s a lot of preparation work that occurs before a tower crane is ready to be erected, so that the work environment for our crane operators is as safe as possible. Subcontractors are consulted to determine the height, boom length and weight capacity required for the work the crane will do. The concrete formwork subcontractor then reviews the requirements, proposes a crane to suit the specifications, and then works with an engineer to provide a design for a base for the crane. This is a large, concrete footing on which the crane is installed.

“The base is formed, including the installation of reinforcing steel and the pouring of concrete. Anchor bolts to hold the lowest crane section are also installed in the base. Once the concrete reaches the strength specified by the engineer, the crane installation begins. It is shipped and erected in sections – the crane being used at RIH has eight vertical sections – using a mobile crane and rigging crew. The vertical sections are installed first, and then the mast, or horizontal section. This can happen quite quickly; the crane at RIH went up in three days from the time the pieces were delivered to the site. Once the crane is up, it is tested and inspected by WorkSafe BC.

“Crane operator Frank Brown has a bird’s-eye view on the city each and every day. The crane will remain a feature on the Kamloops skyline until August 2015, and the entire Clinical Services Building will be completed in spring 2016.”


The crane at Royal Inland Hospital.  (Photo courtesy Don Johnson, Interior Health.)

The crane at Royal Inland Hospital.
(Photo courtesy Don Johnson, Interior Health.)

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