Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Feb 4th, 2009

New York, NY

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has announced rough plans for what will soon be expected to operate cranes and hoists in New York City. Most of the cranes in New York are older due to a poor prototyping program. It can take up to 8 years just to get a new type of crane accepted in the city for use which has led to the old fleets. This is policy written in a way leads to monopolies and the old boy networks found in places like New York. Hopefully the revision will allow for more newer cranes to move into New York and hence, competition. 
Component tracking is on the horizon. The turntable in the failed Kodiak was taken down in an emergency approximately one year prior to it's collapse. The emergency dismantle was due to a cracked weld in the turntable. The repair was questioned by Bethany Klein while working at the Department of Buildings in an email. Ms. Klein had moved on to a private company when acceptance of the repair occurred. Hopefully this will become a template for inspectors like myself whom routinely look at welds knowing that it's a repair yet crane owners refuse to share documentation. 
Older cranes are going to be scrutinized more. Micro cracking is a serious problem in tower cranes depending on use, age, weather, etc. Older cranes should be moved along and if this is just one more way to limit the profitability of running a 30 year old crane, I'm all for it. Specific dates for more inspections and the frequency of those inspections has not been established. 
You can go to the DOB website linked here or for the short version of this same date, 2.04.09 There is plenty more to read and I for one am happy to see it.

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