Southern Crane Lifts U2 in Raleigh

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The area’s longest-running crane service provider, Southern Crane, experienced the thrill of lifting into place the massive stage supporting the world’s biggest band. Southern Crane helped assemble the stage for U2’s 360 Degree Tour when the band performed in Raleigh. View the massive stage under construction through a Southern Crane time-lapse photo shoot at Carter-Finley Stadium: http://www.southern-crane.com

Early stage assembly of Bono's "spaceship"

“The stage took four days to construct and 48 hours to dismantle and load out," said Earl Johnson, III, president of Southern Crane. "It’s important to remember that all one million pieces have to fit together perfectly so the job is completed flawlessly.

The area’s longest-running crane service provider, Southern Crane, recently experienced the thrill of lifting into place the massive stage supporting the world’s biggest band. Southern Crane was contracted by LiveNation to help assemble the stage for U2’s 360 Degree Tour when the band performed in Raleigh last month. View the massive stage under construction through a Southern Crane time-lapse photo shoot at Carter-Finley Stadium.

The octagon steel structure, Bono refers to it as his “spaceship,” is 90 feet tall, with the center pylon stretching up 180 feet. The 360-degree video screen weighs 54 tons, consists of more than 1 million pieces, and has the same square-footage as two tennis courts.

According to Earl Johnson, III, president of Southern Crane, “The stage took us four days to construct and 48 hours to dismantle and load out.”

Six days prior to the event, on September 28, Southern Crane started unloading stage sections with a 50-ton crane outside Carter-Finley Stadium. The company provided a Link-Belt HTC8660 for the unloading and reloading of larger stage sections and the overhead octagon Claw structure.

That same day, Southern Crane had three 90-ton cranes and one 110-ton crane inside the stadium to assemble the stage and overhead octagon, which consisted of more than 200 truckloads.

The cranes inside the stadium consisted of three Grove TMS900E 90-ton units and one Grove TMS9000E 110-ton crane.

On the second day, Southern Crane lifted the octagon structure with the 110-ton and the two 90-ton cranes. The total weight for the octagon was 170,000 pounds.

“What a thrill for our crane operator teams to support LiveNation for the U2 360 Degree Tour,” said Johnson. “I’m proud of my team for exceeding LiveNation’s exacting standards. We committed nearly 300 workman hours to the stage assembly and breakdown. So, it’s important to remember that all one million pieces have to fit together perfectly, and the job was completed flawlessly.”

Southern Crane is among the region’s most comprehensive crane and rigging service providers. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Industrial Constructors, one of the largest private employers in North Carolina. Southern Crane advocates nationally for industry safety standards requiring its crane operators to be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. All Southern Crane operators have been awarded NCCCO certification.

Founded in 1962 in Raleigh, N.C., Southern Industrial Constructors provides a unique set of heavy industry services to organizations across the country. Services that include: comprehensive industrial construction, industrial electrical construction, complete plant installations and relocations, turnkey rigging, heavy lift and crane services, plant maintenance and specialized metal fabrication. The company also has offices in Charlotte and Wilmington, N.C., and Columbia, S.C. For more information, please visit http://www.southern-crane.com.

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SCOTT MISNER

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