Crane Rental Near Chicago

Floating Downstream with River Docks



Illinois River, Peru, IL



Mertel Gravel Company



River Docks

How heavy is the crane? 


A question rarely asked in Chicago’s daily crane rental market.  Most days and on most projects, the answer may be trivial to your construction site. As developments come out of the fresh stable ground far from the city limitsstandard outrigger pads are enough to distribute the ground bearing pressure applied during hoisting, swinging, and booming down of construction materials. 


Most commonly, Ground Penetrating Radar and Engineered crane picks come into play when a large crane is setting up on city streets, where generations of utilities, vaults, and sinkage are a mystery from the fresh asphalt surface above. 


However, setting up a half-million pound 550 Ton Crane on a barge and floating down the Illinois River to lift an additional 110,00 lbs over the side?  That’s an occasion where outrigger pressure and engineering are calculated every time, and at least twice to be sure. 

This Spring, La Grange Crane was contracted by River Docks Inc, of Peru, Illinois, to take on the incredible challenge, liability, and responsibility to complete one of the decade‘s rarest projects. Mertel Gravel Company has been unloading phosphate and spitting out grade-A concrete since 1924.  The small family business has grown into an industry powerhouse by continuous technological improvements to their plant and process.  This year, a new Terex Stationary Material Unloader was purchased to continue the tradition.

To safely complete the equipment installation, La Grange Crane mobilized a fully-loaded 550 TonCrane onto River Dock’s 195′ x 70′ inland barge.  First, the crane boarded and hoisted the equipment to join La Grange Operator Curt Read for the boat ride East to the second location, accompanied by River Docks Owner, Pat Shea There, the state-of-the-art machine was expertly set in its final resting place along the commercial river. 



Zach Mooncotcha third-generation Project Manager at La Grange Crane Service, worked closely with the Dearborn Engineering team to compile hundreds of data points required to calculate the optimal crane position and movement from start to finish.  


Most critical, the final report and plan was closely analyzed by La Grange Crane Service President, Judi Mooncotch, Jr.  Every crane lift at La Grange Crane goes through thorough review, JSA, and risk minimization process to protect our most valuable resource of all, our people. 


With all parties’ approval, confidence, and excitement, the project was completed in two consecutive days.  Outrigger pressure was distributed to an astonishingly low 1,268 psf.   


It’s not every day you see a $4.5m Crane floating downstream. But when you do, 


It’s all hands-on deck. 

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