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Who Knew? That big crane towering over The Banks is one of largest in the U.S.

| WCPO Cincinnati | by Paige E. Malott, WCPO Contributor

CINCINNATI -

The Tri-State is home to many fascinating facts, offbeat oddities, and “I did not know that” moments. With that in mind, WCPO asks, “Who Knew?”

WHAT IS IT? One of the biggest cranes manufactured in the United States is being used to build part of The Banks
WHERE IS IT? The GE Building at The Banks
WHO KNEW? Ray Patrick, project manager, Brasfield & Gorrie

Towering over the riverfront, one of the largest cranes built in the United States is helping add to the Cincinnati skyline. Measuring in at 320 feet tall, the massive assist crane is a sight to behold.

Project Manager Ray Patrick reveals details about this legendary piece of equipment with local roots; it calls Northern Kentucky home.

What is a crane of such substantial size building at The Banks?
The assist crane will assemble our construction tower crane that is working on the GE project. The tower crane is a fixed lifting apparatus used during construction to lift and lower construction materials and move them horizontally on the project site.

RELATED: GE’s coming to The Banks expected to spur faster growth

Describe the features of an assist crane.

The assist crane is a Grove GMK 7550 Megawing Lift. With a telescoping boom, this mobile crane has 7 axles (14 wheels) and requires a police escort for freight to and from its destination. It has a net lifting capacity of 28,200 lbs. with a swing radius of 220 feet.

For the GE project, the assist crane must be tall enough to set the highest piece of the tower crane into place. With the highest point on the tower crane at 290 feet, 11 inches, the assist crane’s tip extension will be roughly 320 feet off the ground when setting the top piece of the tower crane.

Where did the crane come from? Is it based somewhere in the region?
The assist crane is supplied by Maxim Crane Works out of Wilder, Kentucky.

How will the assist crane assemble the tower crane?
Built in 13 sections, first the base of the tower crane is attached to a concrete slab anchored in the ground. From there, vertical sections are stacked on one another to form what we call the mast of the crane. On top of the mast is a turntable known as a slewing unit that houses the gear and motor and allows the crane to rotate.

Situated on top of the turntable is the crane operator’s cab. Behind the cab is the counter jib which houses the counterweights and cable motor needed for lifting. In front of the cab is the jib, which is the operating arm of the crane.

How does the crane operator get to the operator’s cab?
Each morning, the crane operator climbs the tower to reach the operator’s cab. It typically takes the operator 15 to 20 minutes to reach the top of the crane.

Once there, the crane operator will stay in the cab all day until the day’s work is completed. He communicates via radio and hand signals with the workers on the ground. The crane is engineered to withstand wind speeds up to 45 miles per hour and still stay in operation.

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