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Photo credit: Carolyn Cole Los Angeles Times

On June 15th, Nik Wallenda a seventh-generation circus performer, and scion of the famous Flying Wallendas crossed Niagara Falls on a two-inch wire, the first man to walk over the Niagara Gorge in 116 years.  Suspended 200 feet in the air, he made the walk in a little over 25 minutes.

Before he could even attempt the feat, however, he had to receive permission from both the Canadian Government and the New York State Legislature to walk the 1800-feet across the falls. While stunts and Niagara Falls are synonymous in most people’s minds, the Parks Commission has long opposed daredevilry claiming it is not only deadly, but detracts from the natural splendor of the waterfalls.

As a concession to ABC, the network airing the stunt, Wallenda had to wear a safety harness. He said the mist and the winds midway across the walk were the biggest challenge.  “It’s all about the concentration, the focus, and it all goes back to the training,” he said.

When we were hired by Songer Steel Services to install a 63,000 lb base plate and 100,000 coil positioner at US Steel in East Chicago, Indiana we had a challenge.  The existing overhead plant crane could not get over the center of gravity of the base plate and coil positioner.  Enter our specially-designed “Tipstick”.

When utilized in conjunction with the overhead crane, the Tipstick provided a:

  • lifting point over center of gravity of both pieces
  • cantilever system to get under the 23 ft. roof obstruction and reach over the centerline of the pit.
  • tipping solution to lower the pieces down into the 10 ft deep pit

While perhaps it’s not a balancing act worthy of the record books or network coverage, both Songer Steel Services and US Steel were pleased with our innovative solution.  See it in action on another project.  Barnhart Crane Tipstick in Action