What’s a Banksman? An Important Rigging Role

What’s a Banksman? An Important Rigging Role

Have you ever needed to back your vehicle out of a difficult position and had a friend grab a better vantage point to guide you? In these situations, you may be able to hear your guide – but oftentimes rely on them signaling you to move, turn, or stop using hand signals.

Now, imagine that on the scale of operating a crane! A crane operator can’t hear you. So when your team removes an old rooftop unit and positions a new one, the people on the ground and on the rooftop must use established hand signals to communicate safely with the crane operator – that’s the role of the banksman! Of course, that’s boiling it down a bit, but largely the banksman is in charge of crane movements from the point of loading to unloading. A banksman may also control the movements of other equipment such as an excavator, by carefully monitoring the bucket for any obstructions or underground services. They often do this using a system of hand signals along with possibly a radio system.

Why the Worksite Needs a Banksman 

The role of the banksman is one of the most important roles on the worksite. Ask any crane operator and they will tell you that one of the main factors for a successful project is coordination. Working in-sync with your team on the ground is not only crucial for safety but can help your project run smoothly, on schedule and keep the boss happy. With absolute precision and accuracy needed for a job, being able to clearly communicate direction is critical – but this is not always an easy task.

It’s easy to imagine needing to use hand signals when communicating to the crane operator, but they are also needed on the ground. Construction sites can be exceptionally loud and busy, meaning verbal communication is at risk of being drowned out by roaring machinery.

As the eyes and the ears of a dedicated area or crane, a banksman carries many responsibilities.  Before a person can direct the operation of a crane they must first undergo formal training and complete a qualification in crane signaling. In training, a person will not only develop an understanding of standard hand signals, but they will also be required to become familiar with many different types of cranes, how each crane functions and any hand signals specific to particular equipment. The trainee banksman is required to grasp an understanding of the large library of signals without any memory prompts and show competence in recalling these during an examination by a third-party provider.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard method of signaling must be used when operating a crane unless non-standard hand signals are discussed during the pre-job meeting. OSHA enforces standards and training requirements for safe working environments across multiple industries, including construction in the United States.

Train to be a Rigger Slinger Banksman with Hercules Training Academy 


This training course provides students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of lifting and rigging to enable them to prepare, sling and release loads in an offshore environment. This is a 3-day program that combines theory and practical training. Students are evaluated by means of a written test and practical evaluation. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be issued.

This program meets and exceeds the standards for offshore rigging set by:

  • Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHS)
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
  • Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB)
  • Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NSOPB)
  • American Petroleum Institute (API) RP 2D
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • UK Offshore Health and Safety Regulations
  • Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA)
  • Norwegian Offshore Sector (NORSOK)
  • Regulations, standards, associations
  • Risk management
  • Rigging plan
  • Calculating load weight
  • Rigging triangle
  • Load control
  • Sling angles and the center of gravity
  • Rigging equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use inspection
  • Duties & responsibilities of the rigger and banksman
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Personnel transfer
  • Container inspection
  • Practical applications of the equipment and principles


*PPSSTTTT… If you’re from or near Mount Pearl, NL, this course will be offered on Sep 28-30. Contact training@herculesslr.com for more info or to register! 

Keeping the Worksite Safe

The banksman is also responsible for preventing injury and accidents to the best of their ability, this is done by following strict procedure during crane operation, for instance standing in clear view of the crane operator, ensuring the operating area is clear of people or hazardous objects and performing one signal at a time to avoid confusion.

Safety is the number one concern for crane operators, a person performing the hand signals stand at a vantage point which allows them to view the load area from a perspective that is not visible to the crane operator. From this point, the signal person is able to confirm whether a maneuver is safe to perform and halt all activity if they observe a potential risk.

Cranes have incredible capabilities however if operated incorrectly, they can pose a significant danger to construction workers on the site and in some cases the public.  Hand signals have been established as a reliable, low tech and universal way to improve safety during operation and avoid accidents.

The Hand Signals

This age-old technique is used by crane operators across the world, aiding them to accurately receive unmistakable directions without the need for fancy equipment or even words!

Download your Hercules, handy reference sheet illustrating the correct hand signals here


Herc How-To | Keeping Cool at the Construction Site

Herc How-To | Keeping Cool at the Construction Site

When people think Canada they probably aren’t thinking a beautiful sunny paradise – But for a couple of months a year, it actually does gets hot outside! Summer has arrived, and parts of the country have already seen record or near-record highs this month & meteorologists say 2020 on course to be one of the hottest years since records began

The risk is increased for workers where the temperature can reach higher than the outside air temperature such as those performing roof work, road construction or doing interior work on a building with no air conditioning and poor ventilation.

Here are some tips that both employers and employees can use to keep cool, comfortable, and therefore safe when the weather rises.

Work in Extreme Temperatures: Legislation

Legislation can be a bit vague surrounding the rules and regulations on what employers specifically must do to keep employees safe with regards to heatstroke, and often these standards & regulations will differ provincially.

Generally, there is no specific temperature federally in Canada where work can’t be performed, however, the temperature might be a risk factor for potential hazards that make work unsafe to perform. In these cases, employers and employees have a responsibility to adjust conditions, or the right to refuse work if the temperature creates hazards.

The reason for this? There are factors that contribute to exposure limit (the time a worker can safely be exposed to a condition like heat) beyond just the temperature. Some of these are:

  • Relative humidity
  • Exposure to other heat sources
  • Air circulation & flow
  • Demands of work
  • If workers are acclimatized to the workload under the conditions
  • If workers have proper clothing & PPE
  • Amount of work compared to the number of breaks

There isn’t one magic temperature where work is canceled, but each province does have some legislation that describes temperatures suggested for different workplaces & conditions, particularly those in industrial jobs such as construction workers.

Another way employers, managers or supervisors might determine if the heat can be dangerous is to use TLV® Values. Sometimes these are used as legislation, and sometimes as guidelines provincially.

This table represents the criteria for workers’ exposure to heat stress, and are used as a guideline (and sometimes legislation) for employers to determine when work can be unsafe.

TLV® value chart


It’s also worth noting that TLV® Values are subject to change annually. Work levels are defined as:

  • REST: Sitting
  • LIGHT WORK: Sitting, standing to control machines, light hand or arm work
  • MODERATE WORK: Moderate hand & arm work, light pushing or pulling,
  • HEAVY WORK: Intense arm & trunk work, pick & shovel work, digging, carrying, pushing/pulling heavy loads and walking at a fast pace
  • VERY HEAVY: Intense activity at fast to maximum pace.

What Heat Does to Your Body

Heat does more than give you a burn (that’s bad, too—we’ll get into that later) which can result in vomiting. fainting, and is the worse cases, even death.

A healthy, normal human body maintains an internal temperature of 37°C, and generally feels most comfortable with an air temperature between 20°C-27°C, and humidity ranges from 35 to 60%. As the external environment warms, the body warms, too. Your ‘internal thermostat’ will introduce more blood to your skin and produce more sweat. This means the body increases the amount of heat it loses to make sense of the heat burden.

When environments are hot, the rate of ‘heat gain’ is more than the rate of ‘heat loss’ and the body temperature begins to rise. This rise results in heat illnesses.

When your body begins to heat up too much, you may become:

  • Irritable
  • Unable to focus or concentrate on mental tasks
  • Loss of ability to do skilled tasks or heavy work

Over-exposure to heat can lead to:

Heat Edema: Swelling (typically in the ankles) caused by work in hot environments.

Heat Rashes: Inflammation, which causes tiny red spots that prickle during heat exposure due to clogged sweat glands.

Heat Cramps: You might feel sharp pains in muscles in addition to the other symptoms of heat stress we list above. Cramps from heat are caused when your body fails to replace lost sweat with salt, and often happen when you drink too much water and don’t replace it with enough salt (electrolytes).

Heat Exhaustion: Caused when you lose body water and salt from excessive sweating. Symptoms involve heavy sweat, weakness, dizziness, visual disturbances, intense thirst, nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, breathlessness, palpitations, tingling, and numb hands & feet.

Heat Syncope: Heat-induced dizziness and fainting caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain while someone is standing. This usually happens when people aren’t used to an environment (are unacclimatized) and your body loses body fluids through sweat, blood pressure lowers & blood pools in the legs. Luckily, recovery is very quick when you simply rest in a cool area.

Heat Stroke: This is the most serious type of heat illness. Signs of heatstroke include a body temperature over 41°C and a complete/partial loss of consciousness. There are two types of heat stress, one where the victim does not sweat and the other, where they do sweat.

Heat Stroke: What Employers can do

As an employer, you have a responsibility to create the safest environment for your workers as possible.

Employers of workplaces under federal jurisdiction have the responsibility under clause 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes precautions to protect workers while working in heat, or with processes that use heat.

Here are some things employers & employees can do to make work in heat more comfortable:

  • Use fans or other mechanical cooling measures
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Increase break frequency and reduce laborious physical activity when peak temperatures emerge
  • Drink cold beverages without salt, caffeine or alcohol, which can dehydrate you
  • Implement measures to create shade—For example, umbrellas, screens or tents

Heat Stroke: What Employees can do

Here are some tips & steps employees should take to protect themselves from the heat at work:


  • Recognize the signs of heatstroke, not just for yourself, but your coworkers, too. People suffering from heatstroke often don’t see their own signs, so being able to notice symptoms in others will help keep everyone on-site safe.
  • Symptoms of heatstroke include:
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Dry, hot skin
    • Confusion/Hallucinations
    • Seizures
    • Partial to complete loss of consciousness

You Notice That Someone has the Signs of Heat Stroke—What Should I do? 

These are some first aid measures you should use when you see someone suffering from heat-related symptoms.

  • Call 911
  • Move them to a cooler location with shade
  • Stay with the person until help arrives
  • Remove shoes, socks & as many clothes as possible
  • Apply cool water/cloths to their head, face, neck, armpits & groin
  • Do not force the person to drink liquid

6 Herc How-To Top Tips for Keeping Cool

1. Let Your Body Acclimate

Especially if you are a new worker or returning from any sort of extended leave due to illness or vacation – it’s important to let your body acclimate to work when in heat. All workers should expect work to be a bit harder in the heat near the beginning of summer, but as time goes on your body will adjust. Employers should expect and allow employees to work at a slower pace, slowly working up to 100% over 5 to 7 days so your body can adjust to the heat and strenuous activity.

2. Get an Early Start

Air temperature usually peaks between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, so the early bird gets the cooler worm! Try to schedule your jobs/days in a way that outdoor strenuous work can be completed early in the day. You’ll be in the best position if your days can be structured to be completed before these hot hours, but even just leaving the easier, or inside, work for these hours of the day can help you survive the heat.

3. Sunscreen

Whenever you are working outdoors you should be using sunscreen. Even on cloudy and overcast days, ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you and cause sunburn. When working outside you should reapply often with a sunscreen that is either sweat-proof or waterproof to help ensure that you don’t sweat it all off in the first few minutes of work. It’s also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat to block the sun’s deadly rays.

4. Proper Clothing

When working outside doing strenuous activity in the heat, light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing is the way to go. Choosing natural fibered clothing such as cotton is a good choice as it will be more breathable and will absorb moisture well. Moisture-wicking clothing is also a smart choice, as it will draw sweat off your body which will allow your body to cool quicker – this is especially important if you work in a humid climate where sweat evaporation becomes difficult.

5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

When working in hot weather conditions you should be drinking water or other fluids at least every 15-20 minutes. Cool water should be your main source of hydration. Sports drinks and coconut water are good options for restoring electrolytes and fresh fruits or fruit juices are good options if you’re feeling a drop in blood sugar. You should avoid coffee, soda, and alcohol as they all contain diuretics which will cause you to become more dehydrated.

If you experience any of the following symptoms you should immediately take a break to rehydrate:

  • increased thirst
  • dry mouth
  • swollen tongue
  • inability to sweat
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • decrease in urine output

6. Take Frequent Breaks 

Taking frequent breaks in the shade is an important step to avoid heat-related illnesses. Whenever you are feeling overheated or presenting any of the above symptoms of heatstroke, you need to take at least a 5-minute break in a shaded area. This is also a good time to rehydrate or eat some food to restore your energy.

To really cool your body temperature down, try getting inside an air-conditioned space like a vehicle or job site trailer. You can also apply a cool, wet cloth to pulse points on your body such as the neck, wrists, and elbows. If you are working indoors with no air conditioning consider setting up some portable fans to increase air circulation and cool you off. There are also a number of personal cooling devices on the market like cooling vests or neck coolers that can help you beat the heat.


Top 10 Construction Marvels Completing in 2020

Top 10 Construction Marvels Completing in 2020

Crossing into a new year always feels like a new chapter, filled with endless opportunities – And this year, being the start of a new decade, feels like a whole new book just waiting to be filled with amazing accomplishments.

Inspired by the B1M video, Top 20 Projects Completing in 2020, in this blog we’ll be diving into some of the most mind-boggling construction marvels that are set to complete in 2020!

In this blog we will just cover 10, and go a bit deeper into the backstories of these incredible feats of construction – but we highly recommend checking out the video to see a quick snapshot of their entire list of 20!

1. Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower, tallest residential building in the world.

New York City, New York 

Once completed, this architectural landmark will be 1,550 feet tall making it the tallest residential building in the world. The building is positioned in one of the world’s most famous skylines, along Manhattan’s Billionaire Row, with a North-facing view of beautiful Central Park. Once completed the building is set to house 179 of the most exclusive homes in the world.

Designed by a top architectural firm, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the tower features elements of glass, satin-finished steel, and light-catching vertical and horizontal details that are designed to accentuate both texture and light. At the base of the tower, will be Nordstrom’s first full-line department store and the building will also feature one of the world’s most exclusive private clubs, Central Park Club.

The 179 ultra-luxury two-to-eight-bedroom residences begin on the 32nd floor of the building and range in size from 1,435 square feet to over 17,500 square feet. The sale of these residences begin this year and start at $6.9 million.

2. Dubai Expo 2020 Campus

Rendering of Expo 2020 Dubai UAE

United Arab Emirates

World Expos are one of the oldest and largest international events on the planet, taking place every five years and lasting six months

Fun Fact: Innovations launched at World Expos include the telephone, the Eiffel Tower, the Ferris Wheel, the X-Ray machine, the ice cream cone, the commercial broadcast TV, IMAX, touchscreens and the humanoid robot! 

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and is expected to attract 25 million visitors between it’s opening on Oct 20th, 2020 to closing on April 10, 2021.

World expo buildings are exceptionally grand, the 2020 campus is no exception. It is set to cover over 4 square kilometers and will include a major addition to the Dubai Metro. Near the beginning of what has been a 3- year construction project, there was reportingly an on-site batching plant for concrete, three 132kb substations, 12 tower cranes with 5,000 cubic meters of concrete being poured every week and an additional 500 tonnes of steel being brought in every seven days.

Designed by some of the world’s most renowned architects including Santiago Calatrava, Grimshaw and Foster Partners this construction project will be one to watch as it comes to its competition this year!

3. Premier Tower

Melbourne, Australia

Frame capture of dancers from Beyonce’s ‘Ghost’ music video – The inspiration for Premier Tower.

Premier Tower is one of Melbourne’s tallest and most prestigious developments, best known for how it was inspired…by Beyonce’s music video ‘Ghost’ (yes, you read that correctly) which features dancers tightly wrapped in fabric. Designed by Elenberg Fraser, this elegantly designed high-rise sits on an island across from the city’s main train terminal. once completed this year, the building will include at least 1 million square feet of space, comprising of 780 apartments, 180 hotel suites, 78 levels, 139 car parks and a variety of communal spaces including lounges, swimming pools, gyms, and dining areas.

Mimicking the curves seen in the dancers above using glass, concrete, and steel, as you’d imagine, is no walk in the park. The building has a very slender structure, with the ratio of height to a structural width of 8.3 from the ground up, with a much more challenging 10.8 above the podium. To maintain the building’s stability while moving in the wind, mega-columns on the façade maximize the width of the stabilizing structure and these are tied to the core by two-or three-story outriggers concealed in party walls, and secondary outriggers at the mid-height plant floor. These mega-columns are sized to be able to carry both gravity and the wind’s load – which were tested extensively in a wind tunnel to ensure they would be successful in doing this.

4. Australia 108

Melbourne, Australia

Rendering of the Australia 108, tallest residential building in the Southern Hemisphere

Australia 108 is a residential skyscraper in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, Australia. Late last year, in November of 2019, it was topped out and become the tallest building in Australia by roof height and second tallest building by full height – This makes it the highest residence in the southern hemisphere. Construction on the $900 million skyscraper commenced in October 2015 and is just getting those final touches going into 2020.

Once completed the building is set to house 1105 residential units over 100 stories. The building recently broke records for the most expensive apartment ever sold in Australia, when they sold the 750-square meter penthouse for $25 million.

Fun Fact: In the initial plans for the Australia 108 included 108 stories, but had to be reduced to 100 following concerns it would interfere with airplane flight paths – Now that’s a tall building! 

Nobody describes this breathtaking feat of construction quite like it’s architect…

“Australia 108 is a highly sculptural residential tower unlike any other in Australia. Its slender form is highlighted at the Cloud Residences levels by a golden starburst expression and then morphs into a curvaceous profile against the sky. The starburst which contains the resident facilities is inspired by the Commonwealth Star on the Australian flag and is an obvious celebration of the sense of community within the building.” – Fender Katsalidis

5. F1 Street Circuit

Hanoi, Vietnam

Rendering of T1 Street Circuit

Also known as simply the Hanoi Street Circuit, this is a bit different than the rest of the construction projects on this list, as it’s a motor racing venue! Located in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, this street circuit is designed to host the Vietnamese Grand Prix a round of the Formula One World Championship in 2020.

The circuit has 22 turns, is 5.607 km long and features one of the longest straights at 1.5 km in length. What makes this circuit interesting is that when it was designed by circuit architect Hermann Tilke, it was made as a temporary street section that will be open for regular public commuting once the race is completed – So it’s not just a race track, but a public street upgrade!

6. National Stadium

Rendering of 2020 National Stadium

Tokyo, Japan

Set to have the final touches finished early this year, this impressive 60,000 seat stadium will be ready in time for the 2020 Olympic Games which begin in Tokyo on July 24, 2020! National Stadium, also referred to as 2020 Olympics Park, is as you may have already guessed, where the Olympic’s opening and closing ceremonies will take place. It will also be the venue for some of the Olympic competitive events such as track and field and soccer. National Stadium will also be the location of this year’s Paralympic Games. Located in one of the busiest and most densely populated parts of Tokyo, Shinjuku City, this stadium will surely continue to be marveled far beyond the Olympic games.

This stadium was built to replace the previous National Stadium, which was also build to host the Olympic games, back in 1964. Updates were made from the last stadium to include seating arrangements that can better accommodate wheelchair access and 185 fans and 8 mist-cooling devices that will cool athletes and spectators in what is expected to be an extremely hot summer. Construction for this project has been in progress since December 2016 and once finished will have cost about $2 billion Canadian dollars to build.

7. Sofi Stadium

Rendering of Sofi Stadium

Los Angeles, California 

Another stadium to make the list, this time, the soon-to-be home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The Sofi Stadium is located on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack and will act as the centerpiece of a 298-acre mixed-use development featuring retail, commercial office space, a hotel, residential units, and outdoor park spaces.

This 70,000 seat venue is set to be a world-class football venue and is already confirmed to host the Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and the College Football Championship Game in 2023. It will also play a major role in the Olympic Games in 2028 by hosting the opening and closing ceremonies.

Even outside the sporting world, this stadium will also serve as an unparalleled entertainment destination and is set to host a string of high profile concerts beginning in the summer of 2020 (with Taylor Swift being the very first person to perform in the venue!).

8. Resorts World

Las Vegas, Nevada

Rendering of Resort World

Resorts World Las Vegas in a hotel and casino that is currently under construction on the famous Las Vegas Strip. It is set to complete it’s construction this year and open in 2021. The location of this hotel has had quite the journey – It started as the site of the Stardust Resort and Casino which was closed and demolished in 2007, then become the site for a new resort in 2008, the Echelon Place, which had construction halted that same year due to economic conditions. In 2013 the property was sold to the Genting Group who then announced their plans for Resorts World Las Vegas.

The groundbreaking was initially scheduled to begin construction in 2014 for a 2016 open date, but it has been delayed multiple times due to redesigns of the project. Groundbreaking actually happened in May of 2015 and construction began in late 2017. Once finished, it’s estimated cost to build will equal a whopping $4.3 billion making it the most expensive resort property to ever be developed in Las Vegas.

9. PWC Tower

Milan, Italy

Rendering of PwC Tower by Struttura Leggera

Milan is known for its fashion, elegance and cutting edge architecture – And the PWC Tower fits perfectly into those expectations, if not blowing them totally out of the water. Standing at 175-metres this skyscraper designed by Studio Libeskind is slated for completion in 2020!

Dubbed, “Il Curvo” (translation: The Curved One…doesn’t sound quite as fancy)  is known for the way its prismatic outline catches the eye as it leans forward into the Tre Torri Square with arching steel and glass. It accompanies two neighboring skyscrapers within Tre Torri Square, the already completed Allianz Tower, and Generali Tower.

While the buildings don’t directly match in the way one might expect, Studio Libeskind principal Yama Karim explains in an interview for AchiExpo e-Magazine, “these towers were always conceived as a group, I see them as chess pieces, in dialogue with one another. Our tower completes the composition”.

10. Allegiant Stadium

Las Vegas, Nevada 

Rendering of Allegiant Stadium as captured in Ep. 8 of ‘From the Ground Up’

The 1.84 billion USD Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas will become the most expensive stadium ever built when it’s complete for the 2020 NFL season. With space for 65,000 spectators, Allegiant Stadium will be the future home of the Raiders who are relocating from Oakland, as well as UNLV football. It’s also set to host the Vegas Bowl beginning in 2020 which will feature a Pac-12 opponent versus either a Big Ten or SEC opponent, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

The Allegiant Stadium is a great project to follow if you’re interested in top-of-the-line huge construction projects as they have done an extraordinary job capturing every moment. You can visit the website to check out a 24/7 live stream of the building, capturing any new construction being done, as well as a time-lapse which (currently) has captured 23 months of progress.

They have also created a Youtube video series on the Raider’s Youtube channel called “From the Ground Up“, which (currently) has 9 episodes which takes the viewer on an unprecedented look into the techniques and technologies, the steel and the stress, and the lives of the men and women responsible for building an ultra-modern stadium in Southern Nevada.

No matter how BIG or small the project – Hercules SLR is here to support you every step of the way.

Hercules SLR is your source for cranes, hoists, wire rope, fall arrest equipment and much, much more. We also provide equipment rentals and perform inspections, repairs, and certifications, at your business or in one of our fully-equipped shops. Need assistance staying safety compliant? Our experienced consultants help with risk assessment, PPE specification, hazard analysis, fall protection, and incident investigation. Other services include the design and installation of horizontal lifelines, vertical lifelines and anchor points.

Hercules SLR is your one-stop-shop for securing, rigging and lifting!


Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

What’s a spydercrane? Although this spyder is a little bit too big to squish with your shoe… No need to worry arachnophobes, the only thing the Spydercrane and the actual creepy-crawly have in common are it’s 4 long legs which give it a spider-like appearance.

This new crane is much like a boom lift, but its small base and spyder legs or ‘outriggers’ makes it much more versatile than the typical boom lift.

The spydercrane was originally manufactured by Furukawa UNIC Corporation in Japan, and is called the Mini Crawler Crane. Roger Bassetti and Warren Wagoner from Phoenix-based Smiley Lift Solutions saw the crane while on a business trip to Japan and immediately knew that they needed to bring the mini crane technology to the North American Market. So, the Spydercranes we see around the US and Canada come from Smiley Lift Solutions!

What Makes the Sydercrane Special?

Here you see the Sypercrane easily wheeling through a doorway in travel mode

The key feature of the Spydercrane is that they offer a compact design that allows for operation in confined areas. The smaller models are able to travel through a standard width door frame when compact into their ‘travel position’ and the largest of the models are able to travel through a standard double-door.

Travel-mode in the larger Spydercrane models also includes a quick disassemble system that allows the outriggers, boom, and frame to be removed reducing the overall weight of the crane for transporting or hoisting.

You may be starting to get that “it’s too good to be true” ring in the back of your mind thinking it must be an absolute pain to get a crane from all tucked up in travel mode to a useable piece of equipment. However, you can easily set up a typical Spydercrane from travel mode to fully deployed and ready for action in less than 5 minutes! Don’t believe it? Check out this video from GLG Canada showing in real-time just how easy the Sydercrane set-up is!

Many of the models of Sypdercrane come with some other cutting-edge features that make the Sydercrane even more unique. Some of these include:

It’s patented Overturn Protection System: This is comprised of an on-board computer system that continually measures the ground pressure of each of the outriggers through an incorporated “load cell”. During a lift, if the system detects an outrigger is losing ground pressure, an alarm will sound and the crane will start to slow done all functions. If two outriggers start to lose ground pressure, the crane will automatically stop all functions that would put the crane closer to an unsafe position. With the alarm sounding and the crane at a safe stopped position, the operator is able to maneuver the crane back into a safe lifting position.

Variable Geometry Outriggers: The outriggers are designed to allow for lifts in tight spaces. It allows for the outriggers to be locked in numerous positions on the swing, knee, and inner box joints. This means the mini crane can be set up around obstacles, on a catwalk, or in a machinery room with very limited space.

Remote Control and Pressure Sensitive Controls: Unlike most cranes, the Spydercrane offers pressure-sensitive controls that will speed or slow the crane’s functions based on the amount of pressure input by the operator. Most models of the Spydercrane are also equipped with a wireless remote control so the operator themselves can be in the best vantage point for the lift, rather than needing to be on board running controls.

Superior Materials and Construction: The Spydercrane is designed with a hexagonal keeled boom instead of the standard square boom, which adds strength and reduces sway. This is made up of steel that is rated at 140,000 – 160,000 yield (psi), which is the highest tinsel-yield steel making it thinner and lighter but still stronger than most conventional crane materials.

Spydercrane Models

090 Series

This series is made for job sites requiring a small crane with a boom length of 18 – 28.4 ft and a maximum lifting capacity of 1,990 lbs. There are three models in this series, the URW094, URW095, and URW095S, which are all generally used in confined spaces where the typical crane would never fit.

090 series cranes can be configured around obstacles, can be set-up on uneven ground, or operated in confined spaces like hallways and up against walls.

200 Series

This series of the Spydercrane is deemed the most versatile and is therefore popular among many industries, On of the most popular uses of this crane is as a glazing tool to set glass and other materials. Three models are available within this series that range in boom length from 24.9 ft – 28.4 ft and maximum lifting capacity of 5,800 lbs and 6,450 lbs. The geometric footprint of this model of the Spydercrane makes it suitable for use in hallways, balconies, or around obstacles.

All of the models within this series are equipped with the wireless radio remote control mentioned above, which frees the operator from being tethered to the crane.

300 Series

The 300 series Spyderceane is the perfect lifting solution for modern construction sites, as it’s a bit bigger than other models with an increased boom length of 47’10” and a maximum lifting capacity of 5,800 lbs and 6,680 lbs depending on the model.

Though it’s a larger ‘spyder’ when in use, it is only 52 inches wide when in travel mode, which will allow you to move it into any space through a standard double-door – And it’s zero-emission power options allow for use in indoor construction projects with low ventilation.

500 Series

The 500 series Spydercrane is perfect for steel erection as it offers a lifting capacity of up to 8,920 lbs and a boom length of 8.0 ft. The 500 series Spydercrane is revolutionizing how buildings are built with its heavy-lifting capacity and ability to perform in confined spaces.

This crane is also able to move through a standard double-door when in travel mode and can be used in job sites with low ventilation thanks to its zero-emission power options. And to top it all off, it comes mounted on a dual rubber track with a quick disassemble system that allows the outriggers, boom, and frame to be removed reducing the overall weight of the crane for transporting or hoisting.

700 Series

You may have sensed a theme and can guess that the 700 series Spydercrane is the largest Spydercrane currently available in the North American market. While it is described as a “beast” it still keeps the key feature of the Spydercrane in being compactable down to 5.48′ wide. The 700 Series Spydercrane can really do it all with a lifting capacity of over 6 tons.

Coming jam-packed with all of the features mentioned before throughout smaller series of the crane, the URW706 model has the ability to rotate 360 degrees in places, making it a dream to maneuver through confined spaces. You can find this tarantula level super Spyder crane being used in almost any industrial industry!

No matter how unique and revolutionary your crane is, it’s always important to ensure you’re keeping up with mandatory maintenance and inspections.

Hercules SLR offers crane certifications & LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance and crane parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

When you spend a long day lifting, hoisting and pulling, your body probably has some aches & pains. Did you know your crane is no different? Just like a weightlifter must take care of their body, watch what they eat and even ensure the palms of their hands are prepared to lift, your crane needs a similar level of care. (And, we know what happens when this level of care is overlooked).

Click here to discover what type of cranes Hercules SLR services, the equipment & products we service, sell & inspect and why looking after your crane benefits you in the long-run.


ISO and Construction: Great Things Happen When the World Agrees

ISO is the International Organization for Standards, and is responsible for creating consistent guidelines and specifications to ensure products and services meet rigorous guidelines– How do ISO and construction benefit each other? iso and construction

We’ve discussed what ISO means in the supply chain and we’ve debunked the myths – but what does it mean for the construction industry?


The world’s rapid population growth and rampant urbanization have brought an increasing need for a high-quality, safe and sustainable built environment. In the world of building and construction, ISO standards help codify international best practice and technical requirements to ensure buildings and other structures (known as civil engineering works) are safe and fit for purpose.

Updated on a regular basis to account for climate, demographic and social changes, ISO’s standards for construction are developed with input from all stakeholders involved – this includes architects, designers, engineers, contractors, owners, product manufacturers, regulators, policy makers and consumers.



ISO standards help to make the construction industry more effective and efficient by establishing internationally agreed design and manufacturing specifications and processes. They cover virtually every part and process of the construction project, from the soil it stands on to the roof.

ISO standards also provide a platform for new technologies and innovations that help the industry respond to local and global challenges related to demographic evolution, natural disasters, climate change and more.


Regulators can rely on best-practice test methods, processes and harmonized terminology that are constantly reviewed and improved, as a technical basis for regulation and policy related to construction.


ISO standards give consumers confidence in the construction industry, providing reassurance that buildings and related structures such as bridges are built to internationally agreed safety and quality standards. These help ensure that the buildings people live, work and study in are safe, comfortable and function as intended.


Of the more than 21 700* International Standards and related documents, ISO has over 1 100 related to buildings and construction, with many more in development. These cover :


iso and construction
















ISO standards are developed by groups of experts within technical committees (TCs). TCs are made up of representatives from industry, non-governmental organizations, governments and other stakeholders who are put forward by ISO’s members. Each TC deals with a different subject, such as buildings and civil engineering works or specific construction materials like cement or timber, often in close collaboration with other relevant international or intergovernmental organizations. As an example, ISO/TC 59, Buildings and civil engineering works, through its subcommittees and working groups, has published over 110 International Standards on aspects of quality and performance in the built environment. Visit our Website ISO.org to find out more about the standards developed in a particular sector by searching for the work of the relevant technical committee.


Ensures the components of structures are strong enough to withstand appropriate loads and everything fits together as it should is the objective of a number of ISO standards for construction. By establishing defined specifications and test methods, they help ensure structures are designed and built to agreed levels of quality.

  • ISO/TC 98, bases for design of structures, lays down the basic requirements for the design of structures. With standards focusing especially on terminology and symbols, loads and forces, it ensures constructions are built to last and can withstand outside forces such as extreme weather events and natural disasters.
  • ISO/TC 167, steel and aluminum structures, develops standards that specify requirements for the structural use of steel and aluminium alloys in the design, fabrication and erection of buildings and civil engineering works. Its scope of work includes materials, structural components and connections.
  • ISO/TC 165, timber structures, deals with the strength and load requirements of structural timber, while geotechnical analysis (interactions between soil and structure) is the focus of ISO/TC 182, Geotechnics.


Being able to count on reliable, quality materials is essential for the construction of safe and robust buildings. ISO has more than 100 standards related to the raw materials used in construction, such as concrete, cement, timber and glass. These include standards on terminology, testing procedures and the assessment of safety levels.

We also have over 500 standards on building products, such as doors and windows, wood-based panels, floor coverings, ceramic tiles and plastic pipes and fittings. These not only determine the correct dimensions and specifications to ensure products are manufactured to agreed quality levels, but also define test methods for assessing product safety and resistance to things like crushing or chemicals, so that they do not fail or deteriorate prematurely.


From insulation to energy-using products, improving the energy performance of buildings can make a significant contribution to climate-related targets. As a result, building regulations increasingly require energy-efficient designs and measures are put in place to help improve overall performance.

  • ISO/TC 163, thermal performance and energy use in the built environment, has more than 130 standards providing guidelines and methods for the calculation of energy consumption in buildings, covering areas such as heating, lighting, ventilation and so forth.

ISO’s energy standards portfolio includes the recently published series ISO 52000, Energy performance of buildings – Overarching EPB assessment, which defines methods to help architects, engineers and regulators assess the overall energy performance of new and existing buildings in a holistic way.

  • ISO/TC 205, building environment design, has a range of standards defining methods and processes for the design of new buildings and retrofit of existing buildings, to create acceptable indoor environments and practicable energy conservation and efficiency

ISO also produces standards that measure carbon emissions from buildings and structures – these include:

  • ISO 21930, sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – cores rules for environmental product declarations of construction products & services, which establish good practices for environmental claims and communications in the construction sector.


Fires cause destruction and devastation, costing the lives and livelihoods of people. With the increased density of housing, protecting against fires and detecting fire risks have never been more important.

  • ISO/TC 21, equipment for fire protection and fire fighting, develops standards covering fire protection and fire-fighting apparatus and equipment, including fire extinguishers and fire and smoke detectors.
  • ISO/TC 92, fire safety, develops standards to assess fire risk to life & property, and mitigating such risks by determining the behaviour of construction materials and building structures.
  • ISO 7240, fire detection and alarm systems, defines the specifications of fire detection and alarm system equipment used in and around buildings – including their testing and performance – in order to ensure they function effectively.


Since most construction works are project-based, having documentation that is clearly understood by all stakeholders is essential to ensure each project is realized in a costeffective manner. Building information models (BIM) are shared digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of any built object (including buildings, bridges and roads) and form a reliable basis for decision making. They also help protect against the loss of valuable information between stages and processes.

  • ISO TC 59/SC 13, ORGANIZATION OF INFORMATION ABOUT CONSTRUCTION WORKS, develops standards that define the common terms of reference and terminology used in BIMs, as well as requirements for the digital exchange of documentation and data.

An example is:

  • ISO 16757-1, Data structures for electronic product catalogues for building services – Part 1 : Concepts, architecture and model
  • ISO/TS 12911, Framework for building information modelling (BIM) guidance


Rising urbanization and denser populations mean buildings across the world are getting taller. Efficient lifts and escalators are thus essential to cope with the increased loads and access needs and must be operable in times of disaster, such as fire, to evacuate high-rise structures.

  • ISO/TC 178, lifts, escalators and moving walks, has over 50 standards, either published or in development, for all kinds of lifts. These cover requirements for everything from planning and installation to energy performance and safety.

One prominent example is:

  • ISO/TS 18870, lifts/elevators – Requirements for lifts used to assist in building evacuation


  • ISO/TC 59/SC 14, design life, develops standards that offer a methodology and guidance on how to plan the service life of buildings, including predicting costs and the frequency of maintenance and repairs over their life cycle. The ISO 15686 series on service life planning deals with a wide range of subjects in this area, such as performance audits and reviews, lifecycle assessment and maintenance and life-cycle costing.

An example is: 

  • ISO 15686-5, buildings and constructed assets service life planning part 5: life-cycle costing, which helps track the cost performance over an asset’s lifespan.


iso and construction

















Learn more about ISO Certifications here:



find more information on quality & safety at Hercules SLR



Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Fall Arrest System: Don’t Fool with your Tools

fall arrest system for tools at hercules slr

You likely know about a Fall Arrest System for your body–but what about your tools? Fall protection for tools is the ‘F’ of the ABCDE’s of Fall Protection. A fall arrest system for tools to prevent drops is essential for a safe worksite. Tools dropped from heights are the third cause on injury on work sites. Preventing tools from slips leads to safer, quicker more productive work.


When a tool falls, gravity takes over. This is why it’s essential to have a plan in place to address issues that lead to injuries at heights and prevent the fall in the first place. Workers’ need to be protected when at heights 6ft or higher, which really, isn’t all that high. Many different industries perform work at this height, and many perform work much higher.

There are three good reasons to have a fall prevention plan to reduce (and hopefully, eliminate) tools dropped on a worksite.


Dropping tools leads to injuries, fatalities and can increase hazardous risks around the worksite. Tools that fall from heights are the third cause of injuries on construction sites.


When tools are dropped on a worksite, injuries often happen. This means that work must stop temporarily – and sometimes, indefinitely. When a tool is dropped or broken and especially if it injures someone, a investigation must take place to determine the exact circumstances that caused the injury.


Dropping tools can effect the operations of the day, and often the company at large. When a tool drops, work needs to be stopped so they can investigate the incident. Usually, this means workers’ are paid even though work has stopped while the situation is dealt with. Depending on the damage, this usually means that equipment needs repairs too, which results in maintenance costs and time that the machinery or gear will be out of use.


As mentioned, tools dropped from heights are the third cause of injuries on construction sites. In Canada alone, 27,000 people every year are hit by tools on a work site—this means 80 people a day are hit and likely injured by dropped tools. 30 of these each year are fatal.

Fall from heights are the fourth cause of workplace injury. Over 14,000 injuries are caused by falls each year, and of these 14,000, 40 are fatal.


Human life can’t be replaced. We know not using tool fall protection at heights leads to injury, but beyond being dangerous, there’s considerable financial impact, too.

There’s other costs associated with dropped tools that go far beyond just replacing broken equipment. Consider administration time and fees to file paperwork, equipment replacement, inspection or repair, legal fees and consequences, time spent to find more employees or production-loss when there are fewer workers’ at the same job, training for new employees and insurance fees. It’s worth your time and money to invest in fall protection and arrest systems for tools.


  1. Inadequate risk assessment
  2. Human Error: Although normal, natural human errors have severe consequences at heights. These include operator error, poor behaviour, complacency or neglect.
  3. Tools or equipment stored inadequately: Includes tool lanyards or tethers not being used or not containing loose items. 
  4. Inadequate risk assessment or procedures: This could be from poor planning, not managing changing hazards on various worksites.
  5. Failed fixtures or fittings: Includes corrosion, poor design, vibration and selection or installation.
  6. Poor Housekeeping: This could be pre-existing hazards from previous work, or other debris. 
  7. Collisions and snagging: Happens often when lifting, with travelling equipment and on taglines and service loops.
  8. Inadequate Inspection, repair and maintenance: Ignoring unsafe conditions
  9. Redundant, neglected and homemade tools and equipment (these should be eliminated)
  10. Environmental Factors: Includes wind, rain, harsh winter and heat. 


The three most commonly-dropped things on a construction may or may not surprise you. They are:




  1. Tape Measure
  2. Hard hat
  3. Cellphone/Radio


Dropped tools don’t fall straight down—this is called falling object deflection (see figure 1). When you drop a tool, it can deflect in any direction. As we mentioned, workers’ need tool fall protection when they’re working up to 6-feet high, since a tool dropped from this height can deflect up to 20-metres away. This means that an innocent person, minding their own business that not on the site could very likely be struck by a dropped object. For workers’ that are even higher (which is more common than you think), say 200-feet high, a tool can deflect up to 128-metres away.

Even small objects pick up enormous force when dropped (see figure 2). This force means that something as non-threatening as a tape measure can be deadly if dropped.

tool fall protection deflection
Figure 1—Chart via 3M


tool fall arret and impact forces via 3m
Figure 2—Impact Forces Chart via 3M


As we mentioned, any industry that does work 6-feet or higher will benefit from a tool fall arrest system. Are you a telecom specialist, tradesperson or part of a theatre rigging crew? You should probably have a tool fall prevention plan (this include the right equipment) ready.

In particular, the following industries benefit from a fall arrest system for tools:

      • Construction
      • Utilities
      • General Manufacturing

The number of injuries from dropped tools on Canadian worksites continues to grow – this is why it’s important for workplaces to have a tool-drop prevention plan in place. This helps your construction crew manage productivity, safety concerns, asset management and the high costs associated with accidents.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including transportation, energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.


What is a Rigger in Construction?


What is a rigger? A rigger in construction is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist or move in general. They’re responsible in making sure the right equipment and hardware is used for a lift, the right methods are used to lift and the equipment used is operated properly, by a qualified professional.

You might wonder, “Don’t all construction sites move and lift things?” And you’d be correct – functions of rigging are used on construction sites daily. However, a rigger’s responsibilities are a bit more specific. They may be brought onto a construction site to move the construction crew’s large machinery (think a skid steer or forklift) to another part of the site. Other roles a rigger might perform on, or for, a construction site are:

  • Signal Person: This person is responsible to signal, with verbal or physical cues to workers’ who operate the lifting equipment, especially cranes.
  • Inspector/Fabricator: This person is involved in fabricating the equipment used to lift, and is also likely be used on the construction site to repair, inspect or certify rigging equipment and other lifting apparatus’ used on site.
  • Controller: This person may be involved in operating the equipment used to lift, mechanical or otherwise. They could operate a crane, electric chain hoist or other moving gear and direct the path of hard-to-move loads.
  • Assess and install: A rigger will determine the best equipment to be used for the load.


As we mentioned, lots of rigging happens on a construction site daily. But a rigger may be called in to lift a load that requires specialized equipment to get the job done. Certain lifts, or equipment you need to complete those lifts, may be regulated or require certifications to operate them. In these circumstances, a rigger would be called in to complete the lift or to assess the load and determine which equipment should be applied.

For example, one of our riggers’ was called to a site to move an excavator that had broken down. They needed the equipment moved so it could be repaired, and Hercules SLR was brought in to find the best methods and tools to lift and move it. 


Here’s an example.

The project manager wanted to use two synthetic round slings to lift the excavator by its tracks.

Before the move, Hercules SLR riggers’ discussed the clients’ needs and expectations. The two riggers’ on the job gave their recommendations and went beyond that by finding the excavator’s manual which detailed its lifting points, and which hardware was best to use. Then, our riggers’ calculated the excavator’s load weight – after collecting and calculating all relevant information, they found that synthetic round slings’ were specifically not recommended to lift this particular excavator.

If the project manager had simply bought the equipment he thought best to lift the excavator, it’s very likely he would have damaged a $100,000+ piece of equipment  yikes.

This is a common example of a rigger being called in to rig something for a construction project.


Rigging involves the use of equipment like cranes, forklifts and large spreader-beams – this work often requires workers’ to be at heights. Working at heights is something a rigger should be comfortable with.

Many rigger positions or construction positions with rigging as their primary role will offer some on-on-the-job and outside training, but that’s not say there aren’t useful skills to have.

Some of the skills a rigger should have, are:

  • Math & Science: Physics and other calculations are an everyday part of securing and rigging a load. Determining an objects’ centre of gravity, for example, is an essential skill.
  • Operating Machinery: If you’ve skipped over the first part of this article, or it just didn’t sink in yet – operating machinery is another everyday part of rigging. Much of this machinery is electric, but manual pulley’s and hoists are used, too. If you have an interest in mechanics and problem-solving, construction rigging could be a great path for you.
  • Adaptability: Typically, a rigger in construction will have to travel to different sites for work. Depending on the type of rigging done, a riggers’ travels can take you to faraway destinations – some of the places Hercules SLR’s riggers have gone to include Sable Island, Mexico and offshore destinations, which can be particularly isolated.
  • Risk Management, Communication & Planning: Imagine this – you’re working with a construction crew, and you’re responsible to help build a commercial kitchen. You’ve rigged part of a large industrial walk-in refrigerator, but forgot to assess the hazardous risk for chemical refrigerants. The load’s weight hasn’t been distributed evenly and the load sways and crashes against an obstacle, damaging the container and causing it to leak. Many refrigerants contain harmful, environment-damaging chemicals and now, you’re the rigger responsible for damage to the environment, people and the equipment. Situations like this can have harmful financial, legal and fatal consequences for the rigger and everyone else involved. This is why it’s important to understand the machinery, physics and the risks associated with securing and lifting various loads – planning and being able to communicate with all involved on the job site is crucial to manage risk.

Some of the things taught on a rigging course are:

  • Regulations/Standards
  • Rigging Planning
  • Rigging Triangle
  • Load Control
  • Sling angles
  • Rigging Equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use Inspection
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Practical Application of the equipment and principles


As we explored in this article, a rigger performs many different duties, functions and must be responsible for many different aspects of a lift. Industrial trades, like construction are often associated with rigging, but riggers’ are found across nearly every industry. They might not be called a rigger, either  someone who rigs might also have these job titles:

Boat/Ship/Marine Rigger

Crane Erector

Crane Operator

Crane Rigger

Entertainment/Stage/Theatrical Rigger

Gear Repairer

Gripper/Stage Grip

Hook Tender


Loft Rigger

Machinery Mover

Material Handler

Offshore Inspection Technician

Offshore Rigger

Parachute Rigger

Rigging Foreman

Rig Worker



Warehouse Associate


A lot’s been covered in this blog post – and we’ve only scratched the surface of some the roles a rigger plays in construction. Riggers’ in construction are often found working as crane operators, inspectors, transport truckers or millwrights.

For more information on what a rigger in construction is, check out our blogs below or e-mail info@herculesslr.com to learn how Hercules SLR’s services can assist your construction crew.







Is a career in rigging right for you? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about career opportunities across Canada with Hercules SLR. 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Modular Construction Trending: Innovative Workspaces


Modular construction allows significant portions of work to be completed, off-site and usually inside in a modular workspace. It doesn’t describe the building itself, but the way it’s built.

Many think of a mobile home or re-locatable building when they think of prefabricated buildings, but modular construction has become more modern and sophisticated in recent years, which has led to more modular working spaces. Modular construction can be used to build either residential or commercial buildings, although commercial is the most common.

A modular working approach to construction tends to focus on manufacturing—Read on for an example.

EXAMPLE: A construction crew builds an office building. Instead of assembling the entire project on-site, individual parts are manufactured indoors. The crew would assemble individual wall panels indoors, and these will later be put up on-site.

Other parts of the project could be assembled here, too—think washrooms, pre-built wall panels, ped-ways, stairs, and even the roof.

These parts are assembled in the modular workspace, transported and put together on-site as the construction project progresses—these prefabricated parts are put together with lifting equipment like cranes or aerial lift trucks.

modular construction capabilities by hercules slr
Modular constructed apartment.


Since modular workplaces are a bit different than traditional construction sites, they can also reduce some of the risk or hazards found on typical construction sites. Safety can be enhanced by modular construction:

  • Less work at height—for example, on many modular projects a roof is lifted to the top with a crane.
  • Reduce garbage and waste—working off-site can limit the amount of extra material thrown away, and can be recycled for future use.
  • Community disruption—modular construction and workspaces bring work off-site, making the area more quiet! For example, let’s say you’re building an office on a University campus. Modular construction frees the campus from common construction disruptions (loud machinery, dust, barricades, etc.).
  • Time—they say time is money, and modular construction can save time compared to working on-site. Prefabrication often takes about half the time and many pieces can be made at once, which lets contractors take on multiple projects, schedules can be planned more ‘tightly’ and projects are finished quickly.
  • Remote Locations—Modular construction allows work to be taken off-site, which can be a great benefit for more isolated locations. Think—a house in Northern Alberta is mainly assembled indoors, so workers can do less work in frigid, outdoor temperatures.


One notable modular construction project is the 57-storey skyscraper built in China by entrepreneur Zhang Yue, in just 19 days—yes, you read that right, a whole skyscraper assembled in 19 days altogether. Specifically, the first 20 storeys were assembled in seven days, but various regulations held the project up for a year before the last 37-storeys were built in 12 working days. The final skyscraper has offices that fit 4,000 people, 800 apartments and 19 atriums.

Zhang has built a number of other buildings using the same method. A skyscraper built using traditional, on-site construction takes about 2-3 years compared to the days Zhang’s projects take to complete.


Overall, modular construction reduces uncomfortable environmental conditions for workers and clients, increases productivity and can reduce harm and injuries.

Traditional construction sites will always have a place in the industry, but it’s an exciting innovation that’s sure to shake things up.


Equipment needs regular maintenance like relevant inspections, repairs and proper employee training to operate properly, prevent damage or injuries and work efficiently—consider Hercules SLR your one-stop-shop. We’ll inspect, test & repair your equipment, and fully certify it to comply with national and provincial safety regulations.

We’ll keep your modular workplace running smoothly and efficiently, so you can complete projects and keep your customers and employees happy.

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:

  • Lifting Magnets
  • Hoists & Cranes
  • Lifting & Rigging Equipment & Hardware (EX. shackles, slings, beam clamps, pallet lifters, etc.)
  • Fall Protection

Workplace safety is important in any construction setting—We offer training for:





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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Important: Preventative Equipment Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Underestimating the importance of equipment maintenance could be taking a toll on your bottom line. The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often the way some view equipment maintenance. Why pay for service on your equipment if there’s nothing wrong with it? Believe it or not, there are several reasons. All equipment is an investment — one that requires time and money to keep in optimal shape.


Preventative equipment maintenance is key to extending equipment life and ultimately saving you time and money. While your perception may be that paying for preventative maintenance is unnecessary spending, the reality is that without it, you’re often left with more expensive repairs. At Hercules SLR we believe in the importance of preventative maintenance, here are just some of the reasons why:


When equipment runs efficiently, work get done on schedule, keeping that optimal condition is key to maintaining that level of equipment efficiency. If maintenance is overlooked, efficiency suffers and ultimately, your bottom line suffers as a result.


We’ve all seen it; something isn’t working exactly the way it used to, but it isn’t affecting the job, so we continue, sometimes even adjusting how we use the piece of equipment to keep things moving. While it may seem like this is the most efficient way to get the job done in the short term, it could cause you major problems long-term.


While it may seem like it makes no sense to spend the time and money to have your equipment inspected or repaired when you’re able to work around it, the reality is that waiting, is going to cost you even more. Bigger, more complex repairs come with a bigger price tag. Think of more than parts? yes, a more complex problem will likely come with having to replace more and/or larger parts that are expensive, but it doesn’t end there.

Larger problems often translate to more downtime, the more downtime means you’re suddenly behind schedule and/or unable to take on a new project. Employees scheduled to use that equipment need paying, so now you are paying for work that cannot be done during the downtime.

Don’t wait for the bigger problem — invest in the small one.


Within the construction industry, 17% of fatal construction accidents are due to contact with objects and equipment. If your equipment isn’t being serviced on a regular basis, there’s a chance it isn’t working properly. If it isn’t working properly, you’re increasing your chances of workplace injury or death because of equipment failure.

Regardless of how much safety training you or your employees have been through, they don’t have control over equipment failure. Of course, there will always be unexpected breakdowns, but you can minimize them through being proactive about your equipment maintenance.

Workplace injuries and fatalities are tragic and expensive. Company morale suffers, and so does your bottom line. One of the benefits of maintenance doubles as a proactive step in reducing the number of injuries or fatalities you have on site. You can’t put a price on your team’s safety in the field.


Service records and documentation answer many of these questions and put many of the concerns of the unknown to rest. At Hercules SLR all our customers have access to CertTracker®, our FREE online equipment management system.

CertTracker® delivers innovative solutions that streamline any inspection and maintenance process. Mobile computing, Radio Frequency (RFID) tagging and internet applications provide you with enhanced accuracy and operational efficiency. Not to mention eliminating most of the paperwork.

CertTracker Cycle

The CertTracker Advantage


In conjunction with technology, there is no substitution for the human touch. It takes a trained operator to understand the problem and a trained technician to know how to fix it or to alert someone that it needs repairing. Educating your equipment operators and any technicians you have on staff is key to extending the life of your equipment, as they will be sure that small problems don’t turn in to big ones.

If training isn’t feasible, there needs to be a summary of best practices and an operation manual in place so you can ensure operators are using the equipment the way it was meant to be used. Always respect all weight limits and guidelines. An untrained equipment operator could unintentionally cause costly repairs, so make sure the best practices and expectations are outlined clearly and regularly.


Every piece of equipment is different. They all have their own intricacies and need a maintenance and repair schedule to match. Rather than waiting for parts to cause a problem, replace them when they are scheduled to be replaced.

How do you know when that is? The piece of equipment will have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) maintenance recommendation. Commit to it. It may seem like by being proactive you’re attempting to fix something that isn’t broken, but trust us, neglecting to do this will result in expensive repairs.


No, inspections are not the same thing as maintenance schedules. equipment should be inspected every time it’s used. Trained operators should know what to look and listen for to ensure equipment is working properly. Checking for simple things, like signs of wear on equipment, can go a long way. The reality is equipment is often used with vibration, high temperatures and friction? all of which contribute to the wear and tear. Add age to the mix, and you have a recipe for deterioration.

This happens with all equipment, and the key to extending equipment life is to make sure you do something as simple as adding an operator visual inspection to your equipment use requirements. Noticing slight wear and tear may seem small, but these things can be identified through a visual inspection and fixed before they cause a larger problem.


When it comes to inspections, testing, repairs and certification, you need to know that you and your equipment are in safe and experienced hands.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is established across the globe as the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide. They provide third party training and examination for technicians in the lifting equipment industry.

At Hercules our inspectors have undergone this internationally recognized training and some hold multiple diplomas.


  • Familiar with the most recent technology in the lifting industry
  • Skilled and confident in their inspection skills
  • Constantly learning and expanding their knowledge
  • LEEA Registered Technicians

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For all your maintenance requirements, let our experts help. If you need to book your equipment in for service or have any concerns, questions or call us Toll Free on:  1-877-461-4876.


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.





10 Construction Industry Trends 2018/19


Keeping on top of new and emerging trends in the construction industry not only helps keep your company from falling behind, but it helps you prepare for the future. This year has been an interesting year, with many changes to supply routes and technology. With the continuing growth and evolution of the construction industry, companies must stay up-to-date if they want to remain competitive. Here are 10 construction industry trends in 2018 that will carry into 2019.

Technology Advancements and Integration

The construction industry has been notoriously slow to jump into technology; however, this is a construction industry trend that isn’t going away. Construction project management software is getting better and better with more features. Many project management solutions are bundling scheduling, project management, and time in order to better serve construction companies. As these programs get better, this industry trend will carry over into 2019.

However, the technological advancements in the construction industry aren’t limited just to software. Drone usage is becoming more popular with construction companies as drones themselves become cheaper. Drones and aerial photography are useful for getting photographs and video of the landscape. They are increasing safety around the job site and can add more information to survey data.

Not only is the technology getting better, there are more options available. These options give contractors the ability to get drones, and other construction technologies at costs and with features that work best for them. Technology advancements and integrations are a construction industry trend in 2018 that will definitely carry over into 2019.

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Green Technology in Construction

Green construction is a growing field in construction. More and more buildings and plans are incorporating green technology into the construction process. Green construction is a way of building projects in an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient way. It covers from planning to design, to construction, maintenance, and demolition. These methods aren’t that different from the classic building methods since the economy, utility and durability are all important facets of the process.

The construction industry accounts for about 20% of global emissions. However, with crumbling buildings and an expanding population, there is a need for more buildings. By constructing environmentally friendly buildings and focusing on the longevity of the building, it is better for the environment.

Along with green construction methods, there is an increase in research into green construction projects. There are carbon scrubbing building facades, bricks made of recycled cigarette butts, thermally driven air conditioners and asphalt that will heal itself. This increase in green technology is part of the construction industry trends that will continue.

Increase in Modular and Prefabricated Construction Projects

Part of the construction industry trends we’ll continue to see into 2019 will probably be modular and prefabricated construction projects. Modular construction companies are making the news, in part because of the rate at which they can build residential and commercial buildings. Modular construction is a prefabricated approach to building repetitive structures. So office buildings, hotels, apartments and other such buildings are great for modular and prefabricated buildings.

Prefabricated and modular construction is a rising trend because of the amount of material, time, and flexibility of it. Modular construction has the ability to save companies a lot of time and money. Because units are built off campus in a factory, companies do not have to worry about the weather. The units also recycle material they don’t end up using or even excess material. This helps cut back on waste which is currently undergoing a big push at the moment. And they can build units that meet your exact specifications quickly and easily.

Increasing Material Cost

Increasing material costs is part of the construction industry trends that will continue into 2019. Prices were predicted to increase by 2-3% in the course of 2018. Construction companies were bracing for what these costs would mean to them and preparing for ways to stay competitive within the industry.

Building material costs have increased between the end of December 2017 and now. An Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data proved that there is an increased cost. To be specific there was a 9% increase in building materials since this time last year. It comes at about 1% a month between this year and last year. The big rising costs were in Iron and Steel, Steel Mill Products, and Softwood lumber. These construction industry trends will continue so long as there is a decreased supply and increased cost for the supply.

Decreased Labor Force

There are nearly a quarter of a million open construction jobs in the United States, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. The main problem with it is that there are many projects, but production has slowed or stalled due to the labor shortage. While this is why companies are turning to modular and prefabricated construction in order to make project deadlines, it doesn’t’ change the dwindling number of workers.

It’s one of the construction industry trends that will continue into 2019. Since the unemployment rate is still very low, that means there are many available positions for workers. When there is a large number of available positions, it becomes harder for companies to draw in new people. But this is a trend that will continue into 2019 unless companies do something to draw more people into the construction industry.

Better Safety Equipment

Construction industry trends that will continue into 2019 are the better safety equipment products. With the rise in new equipment, there will also be a rise in standards. Due to the hiring number of accidents and deaths related to construction, it’s clear that there will be a push for better safety equipment.

There are work boots that can connect to Wi-Fi, send their GPS coordinates, and can even tell if users have fallen or are tired. While smart boots are hard to get  now, they and products like them will eventually be a commonplace item on the job site. The technology used in moisture-wicking fabric and cooling vests are also getting lighter and more effective. And with drones and other surveying equipment, it is easier to see other problem areas of a job site. This will help keep more of the workers safe on a site and bring about a new era in construction safety.


While this might seem like the same trend as green technology, green technologies are products that can better or create a carbon neutral footprint. But sustainability is part of the methods and business models that make the world a better place.

Sustainable construction can include the preservation of the environment, an efficient use of resources, with an eye to social progress and culture. These can include buildings with ways for natural light to reach the middle of the building, thereby reducing electrical costs or buildings that reuse water from the sinks in the toilets. These focus on making small changes to reduce the number of resources necessary to build a new building and such.

Some sustainable projects are looking to reuse original structures that were there before or recycling construction materials. A sustainable future is part of the construction industry trends that will continue into 2019.

Project Management Solutions

Along with all the technological advances that are here, construction project management software is a trend that will carry into 2019. The number of companies producing their own modules for current project management solutions has increased within the last couple of years. So too has the number of companies that are creating construction project management solutions.

Company owners have better software options then a couple years ago. Not only are the user interfaces easier to use, but there are more options. Project management solutions now can have a time solution, equipment rentals, change orders, and other more traditional project management options. With all of these changes, it is easier for construction companies to manage their projects. Project management software can keep all documents related to the project in one location, which can help subcontractors and contractors get paid at the end of a project.


Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling, or BIM, is another growing construction industry trend that will carry over into 2019. BIM is a way of representing buildings, roads, and utilities. It is a process of generating and managing computer representations of the projects before they are built. Architects and engineers can use the models to show how building materials will hold up overtime. And owners can create maintenance schedules with BIM models.

BIM is proving to be a useful tool in construction. It not only can better predict job costs, but companies that use BIM can tell if the project is possible. Sometimes there isn’t enough space for HVAC needs, or predetermined pieces won’t fit and will need to be reordered. BIM can be used to build better projects.

Read the original article here.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.