When Trekker’s Micah Turner showed up to bid a scaffolding job for the Harbor Village Condominium project, he knew he could save his general contracting client time and money while reducing risk.
Turner took in the beachside scene: Siders worked on one part of what was to be a 10-story condominium, while stucco workers undertook another, and painters and framers yet another. The teams erected their own scaffoldings only to disassemble them before moving on, leaving the next team responsible for their own build.
Understanding that the general contractor would end up paying three or four times more in scaffolding costs if the project continued on the current track, Turner offered to wrap more than just a portion of the building. He offered to scaffold the entire condominium project in Layher Allround® scaffolding.
“Stucco, painters, siders and framers — they are all charging the markup. With Trekker as suppliers, you’ll pay for one scaffold without the markup,” said Turner.
Safety considerations made the proposal even more sensible. Because each erection and dismount increases the risk of safety incidents, a single assembly and disassembly reduces the likelihood of an accident many times over when compared to multiple builds.
It was an offer too good to turn down. Turner bid the entire buildout in 200-foot sections, 10 in total, with 16 workers to build each section and each section scheduled for 10 days. All in all, he estimated it would take 100 days to wrap the entire building.
But a few days later, he learned there was a catch. The general contractor liked the cost savings and risk reduction, but required an accelerated schedule. They’d only accept the proposal if the entire building could be done in 45 days’ time — a head-spinning turnaround for a building of this size and scope.
Turner assured him Trekker could get the job done. Then he hung up the phone and called his supplier representative, Obed Bosch of Layher. “If I send you a material list, how fast … ” Turner started.
“Send me a list,” Bosch interjected.
Turner got to planning. To draw the design and provide a detailed breakdown of supply needs, he turned to Layher’s custom software, Layplan. A mix of AutoCAD and Microsoft 3D Viewer, the software allows scaffolders to see the build ahead of time and design around potential obstacles.
Hours later, Turner output a materials list from the software. The project would require over 40,000 Layher Allround lightweight steel components, including steel toe boards and ladder decks.
Turner delivered the list to Layher on a Friday afternoon. By Monday morning, six trucks of materials had departed from Layher’s supply yard in Ocala, Florida, to the project site in Panama City. It was the first of many more to come.
Bosch noted mindful packing and transport were critical to accommodate the schedule. “We train our crews to be like puzzle-makers, to build semis with materials to maximize not only weight, loaded within DOT guidelines, but as much material as possible,” he said.
Trekker utilized a six-person crew to unpack the trucks and two eight-person crews to perform the buildout. The first crew built out each 110-foot-by-200-foot section, while the second dismantled sections where subcontractors had completed work.
They were done 28 days later, a timetable that nearly split the already accelerated demand in half.
Turner attributes Trekker’s success in part to Layher materials. Layher Allround, made of high-tensile strength steel, reduces time and effort otherwise spent assembling heavier products. Fully interlocking components make numerous combinations possible and eliminate the need for custom pieces.
“Layher material allows us to erect quicker and smoother,” said Turner. “And the way the toe boards and decks fit together is very clean.”
Safety features include a locking wedge to hold the components securely in place, in addition to a locking pin to prevent wind lift and extra perforations on the boards to allow pass-through, which come in handy especially during hurricane season. Ladder decks for material and crew transport also reduce the risk of falls, because all climbing occurs inside the scaffolding as opposed to outside it.
Layher’s custom software played a role as well. “With Layplan, the foreman gets a blueprint of the scaffold. He also gets a 3-D model that shows things that you wouldn’t see on a blueprint,” said Turner. “Just the software has knocked 10 percent off labor [costs].”
Upon reflection, both parties agreed the Trekker/Layher partnership has been particularly fruitful. “Working with Micah and Trekker has always been a great experience,” said Bosch. “Their focus is always set on serving the customer while innovating new methods in order to come up with exceptional solutions that amaze everyone seeing their work”.
“We hold to the Layher product,” said Turner. “Their specialty pieces, their lightweight steel — their service is just untouchable.”
For more information, visit www.layherna.com or call (713) 947-1444.