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Maximize Efficiency with Wagstaff’s Link-Belt 120|HT Mobile Truck Crane


By Gini McKain

Wagstaff Crane Service has been serving customers in the Rocky Mountains and Intermountain West for 60 years.

The family-owned company provides taxi crane service throughout a mountainous region that reaches out as much as 500 miles from its Salt Lake City, Utah, headquarters and includes parts of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada. 

H.R. and Evelyn Wagstaff founded the company six decades ago, and their sons now carry on the thriving business with the dedication to hard work, honesty, and team work they learned from their parents.

Today, the third generation of Wagstaffs is also heavily involved in the company.

Wagstaff prides itself on having a large and diverse fleet of state-of-the-art equipment that offers the right crane for almost any job. For example, the company has two 90-USt Link-Belt rough-terrain cranes that it says many customers particularly like. “A few customers even ask for them specifically when they need a 90-USt crane that can reach farther than some others in that class,” said Ronnie Wagstaff.

One of Wagstaff’s newest cranes is a 120|HT Link-Belt truck crane.

Great Taxi Crane

“The 120|HT is an update from our HTC-86110, which was what we were looking for — long reach plus on-road mobility and versatility,” said Ronnie Wagstaff. “It can travel on the road with more counterweight than the HTC-86110, so the 120|HT often can do a taxi-crane job with just its operator — no second person or additional truckload of counterweight.”

Ronnie Wagstaff said that the Link-Belt 120|HT’s reach, capacity, and ability to go solo on taxi jobs gives Wagstaff a competitive edge.

“When a commercial HVAC contractor needs to lift a unit at long radius, our 120|HT can do the job. We have absolutely found that its reach and capacity let us do HVAC and even cell-tower work easily,” Wagstaff said. “It’s a great crane for cell-tower work, and utility companies love it.”

Wagstaff noted that the 120|HT’s narrow outrigger configuration is good for the area’s 24' wide streets because the crane can get into tight places and its long reach often eliminates the need to use a jib. “In 10-15 minutes, we have 164' of tip height ready,” he said. “It has a pretty impressive chart for HVAC, utility poles, or cell-tower work. You can go to a 100' tall cell tower with one person and no additional truck of counterweight, so you’re saving fuel.”

Ronnie Wagstaff said that the 120|HT meets the company’s need for a four-axle truck crane that can go up and down steep hills and get into tight places. Jordan Wagstaff has 20 years of experience in the business and is the 120|HT’s primary operator. He’s driven it both around Salt Lake City and out 500 miles to a gold mine.

“It starts up like a champ and it drives just like a Cadillac,” Jordan says. “It rides smooth.”

That smooth ride comes from the 120|HT’s new independent air-ride suspension and air disc brakes. 

Added Jordan Wagstaff, “It’s great both in the city and on the highway. It has plenty of power and drives very well both uphill and on downgrades, too, thanks to its Jake Brake. A lot of cranes don’t have that.”

Both on the road, and on the job, Wagstaff finds Link-Belt’s side and back cameras helpful in seeing what’s going on around the crane. And during setup, he says, the V-CALC system’s ability to position outriggers asymmetrically helps the crane fit into oddly shaped spaces. In refineries, for example, Wagstaff has used V-CALC to avoid protruding piping when setting the crane’s outriggers.

V-CALC also sometimes is useful when the crane is setting utility poles. It enables full outrigger extension on one side of the crane and only partial extension on the other side in order to avoid private property, landscaping, or driveway issues.

Jordan Wagstaff also finds the crane’s Bluetooth technology helpful because the wireless remote control lets him spool load line in or out to make rigging the crane easier.

Productive On Site

In the months that Wagstaff Crane Service has had the 120|HT, Jordan Wagstaff has done many jobs while at its controls.

“In a gravel pit, I picked a 60,000-lb. crusher, and it lifted just fine,” he said. “In a Nevada gold mine, I lifted some conveyor belts and a 42,000-lb. crusher at a 25' radius.”

Two particularly interesting projects Jordan Wagstaff has used the 120|HT on are the Mayflower Mountain Resort near Park City, Utah, and the Baltic Pointe office building in Draper.

Wagstaff Crane Service has been working at the new 6,800-acre Mayflower Mountain ski resort being developed along Wasatch Back outside Park City, near the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, now a training facility.

The 120|HT is helping build the resort’s Mayflower MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) Hotel, which will offer 387 hotel rooms, a 60,000-sq.-ft. conference space, restaurants, and shops.

Future hotels, homes/condominiums, commercial-retail stores, an ice ribbon with event stage, ski beach, and long chairlift infrastructure will be built there over the next 20 years. At the Mayflower Resort Hotel, crane operator Jordan Wagstaff in the Link-Belt 120|HT lifted materials and panel forms, set columns, and placed shoring materials.

“I was in full-boom mode at 164' all day, working at radii from 30' to 153',” Wagstaff said. “The heaviest pick was a 10,000-lb. ground heater lifted at a 100' radius. The crane works great in the snow.”

One feature Wagstaff mentioned specifically was the crane’s free-swing mode.

“I like the free swing mode,” Wagstaff said. “You can swing and catch your load and swing back into it nice and easy. It makes lifting a load very stable and secure.”

On another interesting project, Jordan Wagstaff helped build the Baltic Pointe office building in Draper, Utah. Utah’s first mass-timber commercial building, the 136,000-sq.-ft., timber-framed Baltic Pointe will feature five stories of office space above two levels of structured parking with electric vehicle charging. It will offer vistas of the Wasatch Front, Salt Lake Valley, and the Oquirrh Mountains.

The mass-timber structure is made from soft boards layered so tightly that they are strong enough to be a low-carbon alternative to steel and cement in load-bearing applications, while also looking good enough to double as interior finishes.

The mass timber CLT (cross-laminated timber panel system) of wood glued together in layers creates large structural panels, posts, and beams.

“The unique wooden building was also like a decking system,” said Wagstaff. “The large deck panels are made in Canada and shipped here horizontally on lowboys. I lifted each flat panel with at least four pick points and set them in place in the building to form the ceiling or floor.”

Each panel measured about 40' long by 8' wide and weighed about 7,000 lbs. Wooden CLT interlocking beams of various sizes support the panels, and are placed much like steel beams would be placed in a steel building.

The heaviest beams weighed about 4,000 lbs., and Wagstaff set them at a radius of about 70' while working with 160' of boom.

As a further example of Wagstaff Crane Service’s productivity with the Link-Belt 120|HT, in one day, Jordan Wagstaff drove it 50 miles from Salt Lake City to Ogden, Utah, to lift a cooling tower system, then to another Ogden site to pull apart an elevator shaft.

“At the Kenneth Burdett School of the Deaf, we lifted an older cooling tower that weighed about 10,800 lbs. and sat behind a wall,” said Jordan Wagstaff. “We had to lift it out over an 8'-tall enclosure and set it onto a semi for take away.”

Wagstaff made the lift at a 50' radius on 100.9' of boom. The rigging was an 8' spreader bar and slings. Wagstaff then picked the replacement cooling system from the parking lot one or two sections at a time and set it where the old system had been.

The second job of the day took the 120|HT about 17 miles away to take apart an elevator shaft that stood 60' tall and had a cross section of 3' by 2'. Wagstaff picked the roughly 6,500-lb. structure at a 57'radius using the crane’s single-part whip line, whose capacity was 16,000 lbs. at that radius.

It was just another of many productive days for Wagstaff and its 120-USt truck crane.

“That 120-ton class range is really important to us here as a one-stop crane,” said Ronnie Wagstaff. “It’s a good, clean, operator-friendly machine that has the ability to work in any setting, from factories to commercial buildings, utilities, and residential buildings.”

Added Jordan, Wagstaff, “Its versatility lets it make long- or high-reach lifts with 164' of boom, yet it travels so economically that it can also step down for a 90-ton or 110-ton job if we are short. It covers three or four capacity classes at the same operating cost as a 90-ton rig. We keep it busy.” 


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.