Liebherr 81 K.1 Ready For Service

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new cranes to our fleet! Bigfoot has just acquired two of Liebherr’s 81 K.1 Fast-Erect self-erecting tower cranes. These cranes have been carefully selected to meet the growing demand of the mid-rise building…

Built back in 1889, during Washington State’s short-lived mining boom, the Pride of the Woods mine was abandoned by the 1920s, leaving behind mine tailings laden with toxic metals like arsenic and lead. These tailings had been leaching into the soil and nearby groundwater, posing serious health and environmental threats to both man and nature.

It fell to the U.S. Forest Service to handle reclamation for this mine and other abandoned sites in the area. While other sites had access roads to allow for more conventional clean-up, the Pride of the Woods was unique. Located in the pristine Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Area, no road had ever been built and none would be permitted–not even for this project.

The challenge in getting Pride of the Woods mine cleaned up became two-fold: how to remove environmental waste without altering the existing environmental footprint in order to protect delicate eco-systems, endangered species, and cultural and historical artifacts.

It was decided that fly-in helicopters would be used. The Oregon-based company, Columbia Helicopters, was hired to bring in excavators and buckets. The plan was for the excavators to dig out the contaminated rocks and soil and dump them into the bins, which were then flown out and taken to a nearby repository for safe storage.

“It was definitely a challenge,” said Dave Horrax, Project Manager with Columbia Helicopters. While Columbia Helicopters could have used their own homemade bins or fill sacs, Horrax noted that they were difficult to load, and they had to be manually hooked up every time. He added, “We also needed to be sure that whatever product was used would be able to withstand heavy loads and extremely rough terrain.”

“I found the Boscaro self-dumping bins online through Bigfoot Crane Company,” Horrax said. “And since I knew up front what my weight limitations were, I was able to find the bin that I needed.”

Horrax ordered three A-200D Boscaro Self-Dumping Bins: two alternated between load and transit while one was kept in reserve.

About two thousand cubic yards of waste rock – 887 total bin loads – was removed during the site clean-up. The project took 12 days and actually required less time than originally planned, due in large part to the efficiency of the Boscaro bins. The mechanical arm on each bin allowed for easy hook-up and earned some serious respect from the helicopter pilots.

“The bins worked flawlessly from beginning to end,” said Horrax. “Plus, they’re so well-made. They stood up to pretty much everything we put them through.”

For Horrax and the whole crew, the best part was that the site clean-up was done with minimal environmental impact.

“I’ll definitely be using the Boscaro bins again,” he concluded, “and I’ll be recommending them to others.”

To read the full Self Dumping Bin Assist Mine Clean Up case study, click here.

For more information about Boscaro Self Dumping Bins, click here.

Crane company

In 2014, we bought the self-erecting, full-sized tower and training divisions of Eagle West Cranes and renamed ourselves the Bigfoot Crane Company. Since then, we have been an integral part of many construction projects in Western Canada, either selling or renting cranes.

When the market collapsed in 2008, the construction industry slowed down and therefore so did the need for cranes. Within a few years, however, the demand for cranes and crane services increased, our business returned and expanded, and we were optimistic about the future.

By 2015, our positive forecast for the coming year was an accurate picture of our industry, as shared by Crane & Rigging Hotline magazine in their February issue where they discussed the tower crane industry outlook for that year.

Part of why we love the work that we do is because we have the opportunity to be a part of something larger. For decades, we will see the buildings we’ve helped to build standing tall, offering themselves as landmarks, homes and workplaces for many people.

One of these projects is the new Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, BC. The twisting luxury tower made of glass and steel was 63 stories when it opened in February 2017.

Lift and Access magazine wrote an article explaining our role in this iconic building. In the construction process of the Trump International Hotel & Tower, the contractors were unsure how to put together the pieces of a steel canopy that was planned to be at 70 feet above the street between two high-rise buildings.

Fortunately, our Managing Director, Ryan Burton, was able to offer an innovative solution to the challenge, through the placement of a Potain HD40A self-erecting crane atop a 20 foot engineered platform. We rented the crane and platform to the construction team for three months, allowing them to set approximately 200 pieces of canopy, in addition to transporting other heavy materials around the work site.

Our team was glad to have the opportunity to offer our services to many important construction projects throughout Western Canada like the Trump Towers. As our region continues to develop and grow, we look forward to selling and renting the highest quality cranes and accessories available on the market.

photo via:

Self-Erect Crane – A Rough Terrain Solution

With one of our more scenic jobs in picturesque Deep Cove, Eagle West Equipment (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) installed a 35 meter self erect crane with luffing jib on a really interesting residential job. The photos illustrate some of the problem solving scenarios that our self erect cranes can provide for builders who may find their projects in difficult position.

With limited ground space available to bring equipment and materials down to the site, the Eagle West Cranes & Equipment team (acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company) found the right solution for the builder and home owners to ensure that the building timeline could be still be met. Since the there was a 100′ cliff face at the backside of the house it was important to have a crane that would work in a difficult position on the jobsite. The jib of the crane need to be in a luff position (angled) in order to be able to miss the roughly 25 degree slope at the top of the cliff.

One of the photos shows the jib in luff over top of some of the terrain at the top of the cliff. There was very minimal clearance even with the jib in luff.

Pretty amazing project and an absolutely beautiful location for a house.

The challenge: One Large Ocean-side Cliff

The solution: Our 35 Meter Potain Self Erect with 30 Degree Luffing Jib

The client: Belmar Custom Homes

Mobilization: EWCE Placed the SE Crane onto Land Via a Barge and Crane Waterside

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Amtrak runs more than 300 trains on a daily basis. When the American passenger train company needed valuable train car components lifted for transport to the Midwest, a Delaware based company, Active Crane Rentals, Inc. was hired to perform the hoists. But Active Crane relied on the Boscaro EZ spreader bar system from Bigfoot Crane to perform the job.

In order to maximize on their lifting capacity, Active Crane planned to perform a straight-line pull. To protect the sides of the 70,000 lb and 100,000 lb components, they utilized the Boscaro EZ spreader bar system.

The EZ spreader bar system features a unique design of male and female interlocking sections. Each galvanized section can be used as an individual bar, as was done for the Amtrak lifts, or they can be combined to form an adjustable spreader bar with one-foot increments. By allowing easy adaptation with one system, the need for an assortment of bar lengths is eliminated, which improves efficiency and helps to manage project costs.

“Today my big thing is cutting down costs and in order to cut costs you have to cut down on time. The available capacity and the ease of adjustability offered by the EZ spreader bar system equals cost and time savings. We utilize the bars every day, they are constantly in use.”

Butch Garton, Crane & Rigging Specialist, Active Crane Rentals, Inc.

Amtrak Uses EZ Spread Bar System

Amtrak Uses Boscaro EZ Spreader Bar System

Active Crane Rental Hoists Train Car

Active Crane Rental Hoists Train Car

Spreader Bar Set Up

Spreader Bar Set-Up

Active Crane Rental base in Deleware

Active Crane Rental, based in Delaware


San Marco Tower Crane

When Haebler Construction was assigned with the task of reconstructing the historic Garage Building on Water Street in the Gastown district of downtown Vancouver, Canada, they faced a unique challenge, in terms of extra tight working conditions.

The solution was a tower crane, namely the San Marco SMT 551 City Crane.

The SMT 551 was installed with a customized configuration and set up to operate with a short jib of just 36 meters (118′) down from the standard 55 meters (180′) and from a mobile base with a footprint of just a 14′ 9″ X 14′ 9″. In this configuration, the SMT 551 can hoist loads as heavy as 8,000 kg (17,636 lb) at the mast and can lift 2,100 kg (4,630 lb) at the jib tip.

To find out which San Marco crane is right for your next construction project, please contact our national sales office at 1-877-740-6950.

Note: The job in Vancouver’s Gastown was organized and executed by Eagle West Equipment, whose entire tower crane fleet was subsequently acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company.

san marco cranes

Westridge Construction of Regina, Saskatchewan ( faced an interesting challenge.

They were under contract to build a $12 million, three-story office complex. Each floor was 20,000 square feet and there was a partial basement of 9,500 square feet. The project was to be a cast-in-place concrete structure with three staircase shafts and one elevator shaft. But those details were not what made this project challenging—it was the fact that the project site was so tight, with no access to the west or south side of the structure and very limited access to the east and north sides.

In fact, to say that the construction site was tight would be a significant understatement. Operating space was at a premium. Because of that, Westridge was in fact planning to use an off-site materials staging area, which seemed absolutely necessary, even though acquiring the yard and planning for extra materials transport would add significant cost to the project.

However, there was another solution, one that could improve site logistics and eliminate the need for an off-site yard (and its related costs). Really? What solution could possibly increase efficiency and decrease costs at the same time?

The answer? A San Marco SMH 420 Self-Erecting Tower Crane.

self erecting tower crane efficiency

In fact, the San Marco SMH 420 cut production time on this project by 45%.

(At the time, the tower crane was supplied by Eagle West Crane and Rigging. Since then, Eagle West’s entire fleet of tower cranes was acquired by Bigfoot Crane Company.)

The San Marco SMH 420 hydraulic self-erecting crane was definitely the right tool for the job. It has a hook service height elevation of 77′ and a jib length of 136′ 9″ providing a total service range of up to 273′ 6″. The crane has a maximum lifting capacity of 8,820 lbs and can lift 2,205 lbs at its jib tip.

More importantly, this crane did not require any concrete footings or foundations and has a foot print of just 14′ 9″ X 14′ 9″. Amazingly, the SMH 420 can operate inside just 324 square feet of yard space! Another key value of this crane is that it is possible to set up quickly, between four to eight hours after the components are delivered to the site.

Before the San Marco arrived on site, Westridge was adding floors using telescopic forklifts and manual labor. But when the crane arrived and was installed, Westridge was constructing floors in half the time, since all of the columns could be set and poured with the crane, while all of the slabs and shafts were poured with a concrete pump.

crane for tight job site

The crane saved on production time as all the columns could now be set and poured with the crane while all slabs and shafts were poured with a concrete pump.

According to Dave Labbie, the Project Superintendant, the use of the self erecting crane was able to increase the on-site service area by at least 50% while on-site production increased at a minimum of 45%.

office complex construction

According to Dave Labbie, the Project Superintendent, the use of the self-erecting crane increased the on-site service area by at least 50% while on-site production increased at a minimum of 45%.

Labbie further commented: “The Rod-Buster is very happy, all his materials are placed exactly where he wants them, manual labor is significantly reduced, with a big increase in productivity, a double win. He told me that he wishes there was a crane like this on every job in town.”

tower crane, saskatchewan

Additional factors that Site Superintendent Labbie commented on:

Increased Safety

  1. The material handling safety factor at the site was much improved and brought a higher safety factor to the entire project site
  2. Increased accuracy of material placement, ensured materials were placed exactly where the tradesmen wanted them with less exposure to all material handling risks
  3. Significant reductions in manual labor meant less on-site congestion and less risk to less people overall

Site Management

  1. The SMH 420 provided a single unloading zone on-site for all incoming materials serviced by our crane, which eliminated the need for an off-site staging yard
  2. Materials were easily redistributed with our crane, and placed exactly where crews needed them on the construction site
  3. Job site space was effectively doubled

Labbie concluded: “This crane is one of the best values we have ever spent money on. In terms of return on investment, it will be paid off in two projects. We are very happy with our purchase.”