Mobile Crane Services in Vancouver - Canada
our Jobsite FotoBOOK..

Stardate.. Sept 2010 - 1730 Hrs


We are called out to quote on a job that would involve salvaging a medium size excavator that was bogged down in a ditch. The owner had attempted to drive through a ditch onto his property - yes (indeed) and hold on, it gets much better..

We assess the risks (very high):
1. Overhead power lines
2. Cranes working with short rigging and minimal boom angles
3. Narrow road (paved - but 'TRUCKS OVER 12t GVW NOT PERMITTED') and built on peat at least 60 years ago. Crane setup will be compromised
4. Natural gas-lines buried at roadside (the same side on which we would be working)
5. It will be dark in about 3x hours
6. plus, We will be working under the critical assessement of the GasCo, numerous municipal and other government bureaucrats, etc.

We propose to do the job with 2x cranes (as the excavator has to be lifted up and out from under power lines, etc., etc.) - one crane of 85t capacity and one of 60t capacity. The job will require at least 4x hours inclusive of crane mobilization out of our yard..

Our quotation is minimum $3,500 for 2x cranes with operators on overtime, critical lift-management, rigger, mobilize (by truck) heavy floatation for outrigger pads and required rigging, etc.

The owner (counselled by his neighbour who likely got him into this mess in the first place) comes back and offers $1,800 'cash'. He is advised that the price for our services (Consolidated Mobile Crane Services) is mimimum of $3,500 PLUS applicable taxes and could likely go higher - possibly to as much as $4,800. And furthermore, we expect to be paid in full upon completion..

The response from the owner (after further consultaiton with his neighbour-counsel) is "we will get another crane company that will come in and 'do the job' for less than $1,000".

OK.. No problem here. We leave - as everything is obviously in 'good hands' and they have a cost-effective solution to 'fix' the problem. We certainly cannot match that quotation - even after several hours consuming critical calculations at the local pub.

The next day.. We are once again called back to the site to resolve a 'situation' (see - below photos).

The crane hired for 'less than $1,000 (purported to be a 90t knuckle boom) was incapable of making the lift so, he attempted to 'push' the excavator up the opposite face of the ditch. The contracted knuckle-boom crane was advised by the GasCo to 'cease and desist' because of potential for damage to the gas-line (he had placed his outriggers nearly on top of the buried gas line). The penalty would be a minimum of $20,000 in event of 'compromising' the line. Anyway, this 'exercise' resulted in the excavator becoming non-accessible from the road (remember the overhead power lines) and therefore eliminated the potential of utilizing our cranes to salvage the machine.


1. The owner had to build a 'bridge' across the ditch (plus a 'landing' area) to allow heavy equipment to pull the excavator out of the ditch. Between required permits, engineering, purchasing aggregate fill, equipment, trucking costs, etc, etc.. the time was about 2x months and the cost (at minimum) was $50,000 and,
2. The excavator was a writeoff (the owner had just purchased the machine at auction for approx. $40,000). Cost to repair would have exceeded $75,000.


The owner saved himself $3,500 in mobile crane services. However, his real cost concluded at approximately $100,000

No further comment.. some days you just have to shake your head and walk away.

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