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Florida HVAC Insider


47 Years of Operating Cranes Results in the Alternative A Frame


Rugged system simplifies moving & placing equipment on rooftops, increases profits


The Alternative A Fame shown fully extended to accommodate tall curb adapters


Robert Pilgrim has operated cranes all his working life, start- ing at the age of 17 for general contractors pouring concrete, erecting steel and setting all types of equipment. In 1980, he struck out on his own, leas- ing a 27.5 ton truck crane. He soon upgraded by purchasing a 30 ton truck crane to expand his market and ability to take on bigger and more profi table jobs. To counter the ups and downs of the construction market and economic insta-


February 2015


Versatile and portable – that’s the Alternative A Frame!


Setting a 2,500 lb. unit on a 30° angle roof curb is no problem


bility of the late 1990’s Robert decided to focus his energy on the HVAC market. “I had lifted a lot of AC equipment over the years, was familiar with everything involved in those jobs and realized that HVAC was a fairly stable market with year-round op- portunities,” he stated. “I purchased a new 22 ton Pio- neer boom truck with a 360 degree working radius and a 20’ wood bed – ideally suited for my new market.”


Always looking for ways to more effi ciently perform his jobs and help his custom- ers, Robert built a 2 wheeled buggy to roll AC units weigh- ing up to 1,200 lbs. around on rooftops. “HVAC Contractors face special challenges and added expenses when trying to place rooftop units in places that are too far for boom trucks to reach,” Robert claims. “The solution used to be hiring larger, more expensive cranes and even helicopters to complete the jobs. The buggy system worked well but obviously had limitations. I needed a better alternative.”


In 2010, Robert designed his


fi rst Alternative A Frame. Built out of steel, with a top spreader bar and large, swiveling, lock- ing pneumatic wheels, the Alternative A Frame stands at 8’6” tall, with 3’ leg extensions raising it to 11’6”. Chain falls at each end of the A Frame do the heavy lifting. Robert certi- fi ed the Alternative A Frame at 3,500 lbs. using a 8’ spreader bar through his local Rigging Supply Co. It takes just a few minutes to assemble the unit and only 2 to 4 people to roll units up to 3500 lbs. In November of 2011 Robert


used the Alternative A Frame for the fi rst time. The job re- quired removing a 2500 lb. AC unit up 25’ and over 250’ and replacing it with a new 2500 lb. AC unit and curb adapter. “The Alternative A Frame worked as designed,” accord- ing to Robert. “My customer was very pleased with the job and we both were able to put more money in our pockets. I continued on page 10B


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