Right Tool for the Right Job

One Big Crane!

One Big Crane!

“As long as the winds stay below 20mph, we’ll be all right,” explained the project manager for the CPI construction group, as he watched a 200 foot long crane start to hoist a 4,000 pound HVAC unit atop the main building at Prowers Medical Center this past Saturday, April 30.  He said the operator used an array of instrumentation that told him about weight tolerances and wind velocities at the top of the crane so they’d know to stop activities if the wind became too strong.


The hospital had announced that the main parking lots would be closed to most traffic the Friday before, to allow the crew time to assemble and test the huge crane before putting it to work. The unit is so large that it took at least that much space to assemble.  Unfortunately Friday’s weather from Lamar to Pueblo was less than conducive for transporting and hitching together the apparatus, but it was accomplished late Friday and early Saturday morning.  “There were still a few cars left in the lot when we began the assembly, but they were not in our work area, so we could progress,” he said.


4,000 pounds was the limit the crane could handle and the main HVAC unit was the heaviest of all the pieces of the equipment that would be put in place and assembled on the roof. If the winds became greater, it would create a problem for the mass weight of the crane and the project would be halted.  The shaft telescopes out from the base, but additional lengths can be added as required for the height of the project.  “We tested the counterweights earlier by extending the crane with a heavy load almost parallel to the yard in front of the parking lot to make sure we were ready to go.” he added.

This was one of the few outside components of the hospital renovations left to do, as the outer walls of the refurbished emergency room and the new rehabilitation gymnasium are being completed. Other facets of the project included a new boiler as well as the new heating and air units.  Some of the renovation projects have required the boiler to be shut down for a short time period, but is now completely operational.  The MRI unit had to be moved to a different area of the rear parking lot while the crane was taking up additional space.  The HVAC project was set in place just in time, as the annual Prowers Medical Center Health Fair is set to begin next week, May 10-12 and the parking lots are at full capacity from 7am to 11am for the three day event.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarFeaturedPublic SafetyUtilitiesWeather


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