Construction in Tight Spaces

Case Study:

How to Skip the Crane and Squeeze a 230-Foot Boom Truck in a Narrow 10-Foot Glass-Walled Well of a New York City Landmark Building

What was the challenge?

The local construction contractor had to cover two glass sides of a 9-story residential dwelling with decorative grill façade panels. This building is adjacent and sits precariously close to the legendary glass IAC Building, known as "The Iceberg." The job site presented significant challenges with its narrow access alley to the building, fragile walls of glass on both sides of the alley, a busy city street, and seemingly impossible-to-reach spaces.

  • The narrow, sloped garage driveway dividing the two buildings varied between a mere 10 to 22 feet wide. Neither the crane nor the man-lift would fit. It would be impossible to fit both.
  • Each grill unit was 15 feet long and weighed about 100 lbs., making it hard to maneuver in such a tight space.
  • A man-lift's typical jerky motions would increase the risk of scratching or breaking the glass. Setting up a JGL on the street would make it impossible to access the Iceberg-facing sidewall.
  • Setting a JLG on the sloped driveway leading to the Iceberg building’s underground garage was not possible.
  • JLG did not offer a boom long and maneuverable enough with the powerlifting attachments necessary for this job.

What was the solution?

To complete this job while minimizing risks and costs, the client hired Alpha Platforms to deploy its flagship A-230 model. Their 230-feet aerial boom platform comes with unique capabilities:
up to 1,320 pounds of cage capacity;
up to 115 feet of side reach with a 31.5-foot extendable jib;
the ability to reach “up and over”;
and a German-engineered ride-and-turn cage with smooth and gentle maneuverability of 2 x 80°.
The Alpha team secured a street permit and delivered the A-230 to the site at 7 am. A 15-minute setup allowed the client to start work immediately. In the meantime, Alpha Platforms' traffic team created a worksite perimeter and directed all traffic (vehicles and pedestrians) for the project's duration.
Alpha’s boom lift truck stayed in one staging area where it lifted and moved the panel-installation team along the glass balconies on each side of the building. The A-230's 115-foot side reach enabled the boom to reach across both sides of the building from the bottom to the top floor and the roof.
Our team lifted the panels and equipment in our large 12-foot cage using the PowerLift cage attachment. Per the client's request, two of our crew members helped load the panels onto the PowerLift. They also held them in place while attaching them to the building walls. This extra assistance reduced the client’s labor costs.
The specs of our state-of-the-art A-230 lift:

What was the outcome?

An efficient setup enabled the work to start immediately and cover both sides of the building from a single parking spot. The entire job was projected to take two weeks.

Alpha Platforms finished it in just three days.

The A-230, with its unprecedented maneuverability and 115-foot side reach, with a generous cage rotation of 2 x 80 degrees, lifted the panels without needing a crane, saving tens of thousands of dollars.

Our precise German-made lifts have become the height access method of choice for those who try them, as they combine unmatched productivity, safety, and reach.
Play video
Notable 230 Foot Boom Lift Capabilities
  • 12-foot extra large cage
  • 1,322 lbs lifting capacity for crew, equipment, and materials
  • Side reach up to 115 feet
  • Unique "under and up" or "up and over and back" access
  • Jib length 31’6’’
  • Parking in tight spaces 8’6’’ wide
  • Cage rotation 2 x 80°
  • Smooth controlled motions to move close to and around glass and fragile structures

Alpha Platforms has helped hundreds of teams like yours

Customer Testimonials
from Case Studies

Mike P.
Building restoration services family business owner

We wanted to give it a try and see what this boom truck could do. We loved the idea of a wide basket that could reach up to 30 feet and get to the brick wall over the roof. The main reason we loved the truck was how it maneuvered the boom to lower the bricks inside a dumpster, which was located behind the truck. It saved us at least one extra day of work. It all went great.

Joseph A.
Head stone mason, national cathedral

The project was performed successfully, and we were really glad to have contactless means of reaching the building, as we all know that pipe scaffold might damage the structure, in this case, very very sensitive.

Jason A.
Director of operations, family-owned regional electrical services provider

Alpha has the most efficient and leanest site setup time I’ve ever seen. My brother, who is the top climber of our group, first struggled to understand how this cage could go around the tower better than the crane - and when it did the whole 360°, he became a believer. Also, each laborer said how incredibly safe they felt - very different from the small crane basket. We were able to secure and push back the panels in place without the basket ever moving.

Have a tough height
access project
need help with?
Thank you!
We received
your request
Our Team will be in touch
as soon as possible