Former Iron Worker Credits Career Change to A1A Software


Brian Robinson’s career journey has been a unique one. Thanks to 3D Lift Plan from A1A Software, LLC, the former ironworker transformed his career trajectory and now serves as the general superintendent for Brewer Crane and Rigging, San Diego, California. 

Robinson began his career in the trenches where he toiled as a post-tension cable and rebar ironworker — a role renowned for its physical rigor within the construction realm. In 2010, amidst the economic downturn that led to the postponement or cancellation of numerous large-scale projects, Robinson, foreseeing the need to enhance his marketability, embarked on a mission to master AutoCAD.

Fast forward five years; Robinson found himself at the helm as Brewer’s project superintendent for the construction of the San Diego Superior Courthouse. The project operated around the clock, running three shifts on a 24-hour schedule.

“The amount of communication that had to happen on that project was unbelievable and if there were ever any gaps in that flow of information it could bring the project to a stop,” Robinson said.

Already proficient in AutoCAD and Bluebeam, a software for steel detailing and document management, Robinson delved into the realm of 3D Lift Plan at the recommendation of a Brewer Crane salesperson. Recognizing the tool’s efficiency in conveying crucial information accurately, he realized its potential in bridging communication gaps across trades, engineers, customers, and field crane operations. This revelation prompted Robinson to integrate 3D Lift Plan into his workflow, aiming to prevent the adverse impacts of unclear communication on crane operations.

From that pivotal project onward, Brewer Crane leaned on Robinson’s adept use of 3D Lift Plan, setting him on a trajectory that ultimately led to his current role as general superintendent for the company. Robinson’s journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of technological proficiency and strategic adaptation in the dynamic landscape of construction.

Since adopting 3D Lift Plan in 2015, Robinson has crafted over 2,700 lift plans. 

Addressing Challenges with Precision Tools

Within Brewer Crane, the Mobile Crane Division plays a pivotal role, boasting a formidable fleet that includes the mighty 450-ton Grove GMK 6400 all-terrain crane. Leveraging the capabilities of 3D Lift Plan, the sales team utilizes this tool to aid in the selection and sizing of cranes for customer bids. Brian Robinson emphasizes the impact on decision-making, stating, “It’s common when configuring (or choosing) a crane for a job to err on the side of caution, but with 3D Lift Plan, we can often show the customer that the job can be done safely with a smaller crane, saving the customer some money,” said Robinson.

For nearly every facet of tower crane setup and tear down, Robinson relies on 3D Lift Plan. Months in advance, he provides stakeholders with a comprehensive overview, showcasing lane closures, direction of truck arrivals with crane loads, adherence to air rights regulations, ground bearing pressures, and the assurance that every lift can be executed seamlessly. This level of meticulous planning instills confidence in customers and site owners.

Safety Matters

While the business advantages of employing 3D Lift Plan are evident — securing bids, furnishing essential documentation, refining work processes, and enhancing communication — Robinson’s top priority is the well-being of field personnel when devising lift plans.

In a recent instance involving the dismantling of a tower crane, Robinson utilized 3D Lift Plan to validate the feasibility of the build-up. This included ensuring that the luffing jib could pass through a gap in the trees, clear the bridge across the street, avoid contact with scaffolding, and maintain a two-foot margin of error at a distance of 174 feet from the tower crane.

“When you think about the tight tolerances and exact placement of loads that take place on job sites every day, the people most at risk are the ironworkers and riggers on the receiving end of the hook. I try to remember that this is the plan that could keep them safe,” Robinson concluded. 


Tracy Bennett is President of Mighty Mo Media Partners, a PR agency serving crane, rigging, and construction markets.


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