CENTER STAGE AT THE WORLD CUP

As Brazilians mourn the shocking lopsided loss of their beloved home team and face the prospect of a hated rival winning the FIFA World Cup, soccer fans around the world are looking ahead to the Sunday final between Germany and Argentina.

At the center of that stage is the soccer ball, the design of which has continually evolved over the past century.

In the 1930’s, players played with a hand-sewn ball made of leather with heavy laces.  In order to inflate the ball, the laces would have to be untied to reach the rubber interior bladder. Needless to say, the heavy laces discouraged the practice of heading.  Plus, when the leather ball got wet, it became even heavier.  Ouch! Continue reading

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INNOVATIVE SYSTEM RESULTS IN SC&RA JOB OF THE YEAR FOR BARNHART

When you specialize in crane and rigging services, you often encounter unusual challenges, many in mid-air.  That was the case with a project Barnhart Crane and Rigging completed last spring which recently received SC&RA’s Rigging Job of the Year, under $150,000,

A new 352-feet high tower with an air traffic control cab was being constructed at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. The general contractor temporarily installed 10 working platforms, each weighing 12,000 pounds, to install the cab.  Once it was in place, it was discovered that the cab’s outermost diameter overhung the walls by 18 feet, so the platforms could not be removed with the tower crane.   And did we mention they were 230 feet in the air?

The contractor turned to Barnhart for a solution. We then turned to a unique weapon in our arsenal, the tip stick, which could also function as a cantilever. As the name would suggest, it is designed to tip and maneuver around obstacles like the tower facade. Continue reading

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ACQUISITION OF HITE EXPANDS SERVICES IN THE NORTHWEST

Barnhart is always looking for better ways to serve customers and sometimes that means branching out into new territory.  So pardon our enthusiasm and this moment of self-promotion as we announce our recent acquisition in the following press release.   

Barnhart has reached a definitive agreement to purchase Hite Crane and Rigging. Hite Crane and Rigging has been providing hoisting and rigging services throughout the Inland Empire and Pacific Northwest with cranes from 10 to 440 ton, as well as heavy transport and specialized rigging equipment. The deal gives Barnhart, based in Memphis, its first operations in the area.

Currently, Barnhart has 25 branches nationwide, and has one of the nation’s largest equipment inventories including electronic steer Goldhofer trailers, cranes to 1,760 tons, sliding systems, strand jacks, and the Modular Lift Tower system.

“Hite Crane & Rigging has a strong, proud history of doing exceptional work.” said Alan Barnhart, CEO of Barnhart. “Since 1969 Hite has been delivering dependable innovative solutions for their customers’ heavy lifting and heavy transportation needs. This acquisition will allow Barnhart to continue to serve those same customers while offering a broader range of services that should help lower their overall projects’ costs. We think our customers throughout the Inland Empire and Pacific Northwest will be very pleased with the expansion of services this acquisition allows.”

Barnhart Crane & Rigging, also established in 1969, is a leading national supplier of heavy lifting and transportation solutions. The company has locations across the United States. Services also include logistics, machinery moving, and plant relocations. Barnhart’s Quality Management System is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 international standard and has been registered since 2000.

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ALAN BARNHART TO LEAD SC&RA

Alan Barnhart, Barnhart Crane & Rigging owner and president, has been named the new president of the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) for 2014.  The SC&RA is an international trade association of nearly 1,300 companies from 43 nations.

Barnhart has been involved with the association since the 1980s, when he and his brother Eric took over the company his parents had founded in 1969.   Over the next three decades, they built the business into an industry powerhouse with 20 branches across the U.S. recognized as having one of the strongest networks of rigging experts and equipment in the country.

Since the company was founded, it has received numerous industry awards, including this year’s SC&RA Rigging Job of the Year, adding to their stash of association awards which number in the double digits.

According to the SC&RA, the selection of Alan Barnhart not only serves as a symbol of achievement for both Barnhart Crane & Rigging and its accomplished chief, but exemplifies the role that the association plays in providing its members, as well as the industry, with proven, trusted and unsurpassed leadership.

SC&RA is a solid organization with a great staff,” says Barnhart.  Many talented people have invested their efforts in making it a valuable force in our industry. I plan to continue to push the flywheel. Permit uniformity, safety standards, regulation and training have been valuable contributions of our organization, and we should continue to make strides in these areas.”

“We need to continue to engage the process and encourage change that improves the industry.  My role will be small, but the role of SC&RA has been, and should continue to be, vital.”

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The Peeples Choice

Now that we’re coming out of our post-Easter sugar comas, it’s time to pay homage to a staple of Easter baskets everywhere.  Peeps.  Those fluorescent-colored bunnies and chicks aren’t just for eating anymore.  Each year, they serve as inspiration for Peeps Diorama Contests across the country that challenge entrants to create a setting and “peepify” it.

See some entries from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press Marshmallow Peeps Diorama Contest:

Bunny Slope by Jane Dierberger

Peep with the Pearl Earring by Jill Schaefer

“Chick Magnet” by Bev and Murray Schomberg

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BETTING ON A SURE THING

Back in January, billionaire Warren Buffett partnered with Quicken Loans to give away $1 billion to anyone who successfully predicted the outcome of every game in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.

That possibility of a perfect bracket vanished only days into the tournament, with bracket busters such as Mercer upsetting Duke.  But truly, the $1 billion was never in danger of being won or lost.

The contest rules for the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge noted that the odds of winning the grand prize were one in 4,294,967,296.  One mathematician estimated that the odds of predicting a perfect bracket were more like one in 128 billion. Continue reading

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WESTRAC: DUAL LANE TRANSPORTER FOR SUPER HEAVY HAULS

Innovation is one of Barnhart’s core values, which frequently produces leading-edge products like one the cooler tools in our arsenal, the WesTrac/EasTrac  dual lane transporter.

Barnhart engineers, in conjunction with German manufacturer Goldhofer, designed WesTrac to be a new breed of dual lane transporter with the features of a modular platform and axle spacings that met stringent DOT requirements for West Coast heavy hauling.  EasTrac was then developed for East Coast standards. Continue reading

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ICY WATERS PRESENT A CHALLENGE TO BARNHART

Barnhart prides itself on keeping jobs on schedule, but sometimes Mother Nature trumps all our careful planning.

Such was the case recently when Barnhart was hired by BP to move a knock out drum (KO) to a refinery in Ohio.  The KO drum, which weighed around 220,000 lbs. was 72 feet long, 18 feet tall and 21 feet wide.

The project started in December at the Port of Catoosa in Oklahoma and would end at the Port of Toledo in Ohio. Barnhart loaded the drum into a hopper barge to be transported by the river system to Chicago.  The low profile barge was required in order to pass under one of the bridges along the route.  But since it could only be used for inland waterway transportation, the cargo would have to be transferred to another barge to complete its journey. Continue reading

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ALAN BARNHART NAMED TOP 25 NEWSMAKER BY ENGINEERING NEWS RECORD

Engineering News Record (ENR) recently named Alan Barnhart, owner and president of Barnhart Crane and Rigging, a “Top 25 Newsmaker” for his leadership of a company that successfully handled an extremely challenging project in Seattle last spring.

Barnhart  planned and executed the transporting, hoisting and assembling of the world’s largest tunnel boring machine (TBM), designed to bore out the new Alaskan Way Viaduct. Nicknamed Bertha, the firm was charged with handling her 41 individual pieces—the largest weighing 850 tons—from a freighter docked at the Port of Seattle, 500 yards across port property and then 80 feet into the launch pit.

According to an article in ENR, Alan Barnhart knew that it would have been “absolutely catastrophic” if his crews damaged even one part of the 7,000-ton, 57.5-ft-diameter drill.

It was a touchy operation, but Barnhart Crane did it all without incident last May, and precision was the key. “It took a lot of work in pre-planning,” says Barnhart. “It was a major effort, and our engineering department put in thousands of hours.”

Individuals are chosen by Engineering News-Record editors who look through the stories that have appeared in ENR and select individuals for special recognition. There are no applications to review or interviews to schedule.  Editors select candidates because they made a difference for the industry and the public.

Barnhart, 53, has worked at the business his parents started in 1969 since he was 10 years old.   He and the other winners will be honored at ENR’s annual gala in New York City on April 3rd.

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COMMON SENSE AND THE UNCOMMON COLD

Last week’s polar vortex dominated the headlines.  The weather phenomenon with the catchy, ominous name caused brutally cold weather that set records across the entire country.

This arctic air mass also caused extreme temperature inversions. According to The Huffington Post, on Monday, January 6, Memphis was 20 degrees colder than Anchorage; Atlanta was colder than Moscow; and Nashville was colder than Albany.

The extreme cold made some people lose their common sense, as evidenced by the faddish trick of throwing boiling water into the air to watch it freeze and turn into snow.

While for some it worked, for others, it resulted in burns from being scalded.  The trick, and its intended and unintended consequences, was so popular that many news organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, reported on it.

Continue reading

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