The Skypicker in use, via JOMAC
Crane safety has made major headlines in recent months, after a crane collapse in February killed a passerby in Tribeca and reports surfaced about an uptick in construction site deaths. But at the start of the city’s current building boom, there was a man and a crane who sought to make skyscraper construction safer, not to mention quicker and cheaper.
Crain’s introduces Dan Mooney, president of crane leasing company Vertikal Solutions and designer of the Skypicker, a lightweight mobile crane. It’s only 10-feet tall with a 30-foot boom (compared with tower cranes that rise hundreds of feet), but Mooney says that’s the point, that it “can fit in small spaces and is ideal for midsize buildings where tower cranes are overkill and mobile cranes or derricks are not big enough.” When it was employed in 2012 for Midtown’s Hilton Garden Inn, the 34-story building went up in just six months. After that, Mooney’s phone was ringing off the hook with developers looking to save time and money on smaller projects, and he had four more Skypickers built. So why are they now sitting idle in a warehouse in Astoria?