close up of person operating crane with dirty gloves

Public Construction Jobs Are a Public Trust

Municipal projects need experienced crane operators as much as for-profit ventures do.

Municipalities and governmental organizations have many of the same concerns as private sector companies when it comes to construction projects. They need to be efficient and safe, and they have to get the job done on time. The difference—government specifications can often be incredibly strict, and the projects are usually being done with public funding and for the benefit of the community at large. So if something goes wrong, it is the public they must answer to.

How can a municipality be sure they are getting the safest, most reliable crane service? In southern New England, they can turn to General Crane, a leading provider of cranes and crane operators for nearly fifty years. One municipality recently turned to us for tree work. The costs involved with their previous service provider were simply too high because that company required too much time to complete work. With the expertise we offer, we were able to be more efficient with our time, saving the town’s taxpayers’ money.

We understand your responsibility to the public. Mistakes or malfunctions can cause expensive delays, and on a municipal project, delays are both frustrating and highly visible. And, of course, public safety is of paramount concern. General Crane’s experienced operators understand how to safely perform even the most difficult hoisting and lifting moves, keeping both crew members and the general public out of harm’s way.

Just like we do with our private sector projects, General Crane takes into account critical deadlines, cost concerns, and safety planning with all our municipal jobs. When you are working for the public good, you can’t cut corners! Trust a company with the experience to do the job safely, on time, and on budget. Contact General Crane to find out more!


Heavy equipment warning sign

So … what’s your plan?


To move heavy, expensive materials and machines, you need to get the strategy right first.

Every construction site presents unique challenges. Materials are often awkward, heavy, and expensive—and contractors need to have a strategy for moving and lifting to keep both the materials and the workers safe.

A successful strategy involves both the right equipment and the right operators. At General Crane, our team has the experience to recommend the best methods for moving and staging even the most cumbersome building materials. It all starts with good planning.

Our planners will work hand-in-hand with site engineers and general contractors, as well as skilled tradesmen, to come up with the right equipment and lifting methods for each job. Will heavy loads have to be lifted into awkward or difficult spaces? How will the transportation of the materials affect public walkways and common areas? Could power, water, or gas lines be compromised?

These are the things that must be considered before equipment can start moving heavy materials on site. Planning like this not only helps save money and prevent loss or downtime, it can absolutely help safeguard the well-being of people on the site (both workers and civilians).

The right crane, coupled with a properly qualified operator, can move and place heavy materials and items quickly and efficiently. Stacking, lifting, storing, moving—there are a wide variety of cranes available, and we have the expertise to match the right equipment and the right operator to your job.

The next time you need a crane to move something on a construction job, consult with us first. We’ll assess your project and come up with the right strategy to protect your materials, keep your crew safe, and increase your productivity.

Ferris wheel at night

Bringing Thrill Rides to Life Takes Expertise


The Big E trusts General Crane to help construct their exciting Midway rides

If you’ve lived in southern New England for even a year or two, you know about the Big E. It’s an enormous 17-day exposition held in West Springfield, Massachusetts, that begins each year on the second Friday after Labor Day. It is basically a gigantic “state fair” that encompasses not only Massachusetts, but also Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. You can tour the Avenue of States to enjoy the amazing food and attractions from each of the participants, and then try your luck on one of the Midway games or take in a concert from a top named artist.

And then there are the rides! You can soar through the air on the Yo Yo or the Cliff Hanger, or enjoy a breathtaking view atop the Giant Wheel. The Big E features dozens of thrilling rides that, unlike a permanent amusement park, must be assembled at the site and then removed at the end of the fair. Have you ever thought about HOW they manage to get that done?

Cranes play a huge part in the process, and The Big E trusts General Crane to provide the equipment and expertise. Each ride has unique height and weight specs, and General Crane partners with the expo’s planners to make sure the right crane (and crane operator) are assigned to each project.

We’re proud to be selected by an organization like the Big E. Nothing is more important than the safety of their attendees, and that safety begins with the proper assembly of the rides. General Crane brings the equipment and the knowledge to help make that happen!


Solving a Building Puzzle, Step by Step


General Crane comes up with a novel solution for a tight construction space

One of our customers was recently faced with a construction project that, at first glance, seemed difficult. They needed to build a four-story set of stairs on the back of a building, but the neighboring buildings were too close to allow them to maneuver their construction equipment into the courtyard. How could they make it happen?

They contacted General Crane, and we came up with a plan utilizing crane equipment in a simple and efficient way. We provided a crane with enough capacity to pick a large boom lift and swing over and between neighboring buildings and finally setting it into a tight courtyard, allowing them to access the location of the new stairs and move their building materials.

We then lifted the steel and stairs into the courtyard where they were to weld and assemble the complete staircase. Finally, upon completion of the finished project which was —four stories, 12 feet per story—and with little room for maneuvering we carefully lifted the equipment back up, over and between the buildings.

Crane equipment often provides the solution to construction problems that seem impossible. You just need an expert who can see your challenge from a different perspective, and who knows how to select the right equipment and operator for the job.

At General Crane, our team has the experience to come up with the right plan. If you need to move heavy, expensive building materials, or navigate an awkward building site, give us a call! We’ll help you figure out the best (and safest) way to get it done.


Daniel Drummond of General Crane

General Construction Crane Service, Inc., Announces New Ownership

General Construction Crane enterprise to remain in the family as 25-year owner passes the torch.

General Construction Crane Service, Inc., has officially announced that Daniel Drummond has purchased the business and taken over day-to-day operations as President. Daniel purchased part of General Construction Crane Service in 2016  and has been operating it in partnership with his father, Wayne Drummond, for two years.

“General Construction Crane has been a huge part of my life,” stated Dan. “It’s important to me to build on this legacy and keep delivering the kind of service our customers have come to expect from us.”

Headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, General Construction Crane Service has been in business since 1972. They began with just one 30-ton mobile hydraulic crane, and over the course of 46 years in business, they’ve grown to provide a full range of crane rental services for applications large and small, from aerospace and cell tower construction to roofing and tree work. 

“I’m proud of this business and of everything it has become,” said Dan. “We have a range of equipment available, but it’s our operators and our know-how that set us apart. We have great things ahead!”  


Experience logo

Have You Thought About the Risks Involved in Your Next Job?

An experienced crane operator is the key to minimizing both financial and physical hazards.

If you’re looking to rent crane equipment, chances are you are already well aware of the size and scope of the job ahead of you. Complex crane projects like building or modifying cell towers and installing solar panels involve unique risks and high costs. Imagine a load of solar panels crashing to the ground from thirty feet in the air! A mistake on a job like that can wreak havoc on your budget—or worse.

One of the most important aspects of crane work is the experience of the operator. A person working on a cell tower in a man basket can be held up in the air by a crane twenty stories above the ground or more. What could be more important than a qualified operator? And certainly, a solar panel installation or similarly intricate project involves extraordinary upfront costs—with high-priced materials that simply can’t be lost to careless accidents.

Elevated construction and maintenance put your bottom line—and even human life—at great risk. Competent, skilled crane operators help you minimize that risk.

Can you afford a crane specialist?

For projects involving cranes, you simply can’t afford NOT to have an experienced operator at the helm. A qualified crane operator will protect your investment by avoiding costly and time-consuming mistakes on the job site, and on dangerous projects, that person will provide the expertise needed to help safeguard the well-being of everyone on the site.

When you rent crane equipment, make sure you are also getting the best operators available. At General Construction Crane Services, we use only experienced crane operators no matter what size the job is, so we provide safe, dependable service each and every time. Partner with us, and you can be sure you’ll have the kind of experienced manpower you’ll need to help keep your job site efficient and safe.

Construction Growth 2019 image

Construction is growing, but is that a good thing?

It’s a challenge if you don’t have the people you need to get the job done right.

Residential, private nonresidential, and public projects are all growing, and construction spending is up. According to an article by Ken Simonson on, year-over-year construction growth is expected to continue in 2019, and that means employment in that sector is up, too. It seems that not only are contractors busy now, but they are also confident enough in future projects that they are hiring—and hiring a lot. There were 278,000 job openings in construction at the end of September, the highest September total since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began estimating this number 18 years ago, and a 55% jump from the September 2017 figure of 179,000.

A robust job market means competition to get the highest skilled workers, and filling jobs is becoming more difficult for general contractors in charge of major construction projects. The numbers cited in the article support what many of you already know: there are simply fewer experienced workers available. The unemployment rate for jobseekers with recent construction experience dropped to 3.6% in October, the lowest October rate in a series dating to 2000. Even the pool of workers without experience is growing more slowly, as the number of retirements rises and the number of new workforce entrants flattens or shrinks. And the competition from other sectors for workers has stiffened, as the unemployment rate for all adults has fallen to a 49-year low.

Hiring a crane specialist

Having a skilled pool of laborers is vital on a construction site, so what is a contractor to do if he just can’t find the right people? Sub-contracting is the answer. One area that is particularly suitable for this is crane service rental. You can get the expertise you need without having to look for a full-time employee. However, you need to make sure you’re hiring the right company. For more on hiring a crane company, check out our blog posts from last year about the 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Crane Contractor.

General Construction Crane has been in business since 1972, and we can provide service for all types of construction jobs. Most importantly, we use only experienced crane operators no matter what size the job is, so we can provide safe, dependable service in every case. As a matter of fact, we have an incident-free record.

The numbers show it: construction is trending toward even more growth in 2019. Don’t get caught without the qualified personnel you’ll need to keep up with the demand. Get ahead of the game and partner with a reputable crane rental company like General Construction Crane Services now, so you can be sure you’ll have the manpower you need when you need it.

Mobile crane hanging a sign

Choosing the Right Crane Company for Your Sign Installation


It’s that time of year to make sure your stockings are hung with care, in hopes that Saint Nick will pay you a visit. Just like those stockings, it’s important to hang your signage with care so that your customers can see you and stop in. High quality signage can be a significant cost for any business. Most are willing to make the investment because the return is great. What they must take into consideration is how to get the sign hung properly. There is lots to consider when determining how to install your sign.

hanging sign

Many of the larger sign producers have small boom or sign trucks but that might not be the ideal solution for a larger sign. You need to have the right equipment to ensure the signage is put up properly and stays there. Crane rental saves money in the long run to ensure the sign is hung with no problems.

The main consideration is safety, for any of the people involved in hanging the sign. To help ensure this, you need to first make sure that the sign is rigged properly when putting it in place. It should also have a tag line on it to control the sign. This will also help to avoid the effect of wind. The greater the surface of the sign, the greater the possibility for swing. An experienced team will take these things into consideration.

This process holds true for a variety of sign products from site and neon, LED signs or digital signs. Regardless of the type of sign, it needs to be hung with care. When determining how to install your sign, consider hiring a professional crane operator to do the job safely and efficiently.

Contact Us at 860-528-8252 for your sign needs.

using a crane for tree removal

The Complexity of Tree Work When a Crane is Needed  


Removing trees from a property can be tricky. Using a crane to do the work adds an additional layer of complexity. That is why it’s imperative to hire the right crane operators for the job.

In addition to being licensed, experienced and professional, there are other requirements for crane assisted tree removal.

The tree expert needs to be an expert on the type of trees being removed.

It’s imperative that the crane operator understands the weight of the trees they’re working with. Obviously an oak weighs more than a birch, but what does that mean as it relates to removal?

We recently worked with a tree guy who could tell us the weight of each cut piece to within a hundred pounds.  The project went smoothly because the ground crew was prepared to tell us the job specifications. We then did not have to constantly adjust the crane once the log was picked up.  The expertise of the tree expert saved the client time and money when removing trees.

The crane operator needs to be experienced.

Often tree work requires the crane operator to do work that is not in the line of sight. This can be very challenging for someone who does not have experience in crane assisted tree removal.

They also need to understand how the weight and shape of each log will affect the process. Worst case scenario, underestimating the weight could lead to tipping the crane, or overestimating the weight cold lead to dropping the log where you don’t want it to fall. Our highly skilled operators go through extensive training to prepare them for these scenarios, saving the client’s bottom line.

It’s that time of year when property managers need to address their tree needs. Before the winter storms with snow and wind, they need to get the unhealthy trees cut and removed. Make sure you choose the right team to do it for you. Contact General Crane or give us a call today.

Image for 5 questions to ask your crane operator- Work site at sunset

Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Crane Contractor for a Commercial Construction Project

According to the 2018 Construction Industry Economic Outlook, construction is on the increase. The industry has experienced growth over the last 5 years with expected increases in 2018 and beyond. The strongest area of growth is in commercial construction (offices, parking garages and transportation terminals) which is expected to have a 12.4% increase in starts for 2018. It is expected to continue to grow thru 2021.

To read more about industry predictions overall, check out the entire blog post at Construction Connect.

Understanding this trend, it is critical that construction companies are able to get the people they need, meet tight deadlines and keep the project moving forward. This applies to all phases of the construction process including crane work.

There are three critical considerations when hiring a crane company…

  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Safety


Speed is critical for two reasons. The first is, with the increase in projects overall, timing is tight. The construction company may be going from one project to another and can’t afford to wait on the crane operator. The second reason speed is important is that it’s a cost savings. Since every step of the process leads to another, the construction contractor can’t wait for a crane operator. This backs up the job and could cost them in labor hours for the next person in the process.


Accuracy is similar to speed in that it won’t slow down the process. The columns and beams need to be placed in the right location the first time. It is also necessary to ensure there are no problems, which leads to safety.


Speed and Accuracy are important but they cannot be achieved at the expense of safety. Nothing delays a project more or adds to the cost than an accident. It is critical that safety is of consideration at all times.

Speed, accuracy and safety may seem obvious but they certainly aren’t guaranteed. That is why it’s critical to ask the right questions when hiring a crane operator. Some of those questions include…

  1. How much experience do you have, specifically at a construction site? They may have experience in other industries, tree work for example, that may not translate directly to the commercial construction industry.
  2. How do you determine the equipment to use? Be sure the crane chosen is the right one for the job not the one they have available.
  3. What are the qualifications of your operators? Be sure that they are experienced and licensed
  4. Can you provide a safety record? When was the last time they had an accident?
  5. And always ask for referrals!

At General Crane, all our operators have passed the CT Crane Licensing Test and have over 100 years of combined experience. Most organizations measure being accident free in days and months, at General Crane, we measure our accident free in years. Since opening in 1972, we have proudly remained accident free.

From project estimation to alternative recommendations, General Crane will ensure the job gets done in the most efficient, safest and cost-effective manner. Contact Us at 860-528-8252 with your crane rental needs.