Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. lifted a 15-ton generator more than 300 feet in one piece at radius on a sloped and busy San Francisco street recently. The contractor needed to lift the generator to the top of a building in a densely packed “South of Market” neighborhood.

The only crane that could make the lift was a large-capacity crawler, nearly impossible to assemble and operate on a narrow San Francisco street. Because of the age of the building, the company had to work with 75-year-old building sketches.

Bigge uses a Liebherr LR1300, along with three crews on a Friday evening, shutting down Hawthorne Street for three blocks, while two assist cranes prepared and built the Liebherr LR1300 to make the lift. Bigge had an 80-ton RT put the treads and counterweight on the crane, while another 50-ton capacity RT laid out and assembled the boom and jib. Once the crawler was assembled, which took nearly 12 hours, the slope of the street was levelled with crane mats, and the crane was walked 40 feet to the side of the lift. 

Bigge’s second crew worked all day Saturday performing the lift, while its third crew broke down the crane in less than eight hours through the night on Saturday, allowing the street to be re-opened ahead of schedule Sunday morning.