Case Study: The Transfer Girder Move – Danny’s Construction

Danny’s Construction rented multiple air skates and a receiving tank from Lifting Gear Hire to move beams inside the Minnesota Timberwolves practice facility. 


The Situation

The new practice facility inside the existing Block E building of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx in Minneapolis required renovations to its structural foundations. So when the time came for building maintenance, they called upon Danny’s Construction to give the facility a little tender love and repair.  Danny’s Construction had to remove some structural steel to install a new truss. To do this, they needed to put two W40x397 60 ft long transfer girders at each end of the building to transfer the weight from the area they were going to demolish. Sounds challenging enough already, right? 


The Challenge

Despite everything else required to complete the job, other issues began to arise. The Project Manager, Kyle Drake, realized the beams they were trying to get inside the building would not be an endeavor easily performed.


Drake explained, “The real challenge had nothing to do with time or weather because the job was conducted inside. It was logistics. These beams weighed 23,500 pounds. I asked myself, ‘how am I gonna get these beams into this building and moved to their locations?’”


Other residual challenges included pumping the right amount of air into all the skates at the same time to maintain a smooth balance on all sides for a safe transit. Additionally, his crew had to limit the loading of the existing floor to be under 150 pounds per square foot and they had to temporarily shore the existing floor system while we rolled in the transfer girders and demolition.Enter Lifting Gear Hire. 


The SolutionDannys

To answer this troubling puzzle, Drake and his team rented (14) 25” Air Float skates and an air compressor from LGH. They pumped the correct amount of air at the correct time and lifted the beams onto the Air Float skates. Powered by the air compressor, they rolled the beams inside the building and into position.


“Lifting Gear Hire was very helpful,” Drake added. “Our rental representative (Chuck Wright) met us at the job site and gave us information and tips on how to properly operate the Air Float skates, pumping the right amount of air into all of them, etc. LGH provided us a lot more help than just simply providing us equipment. More than can be expected of an equipment rental business.” 


The Results

Ultimately, the Transfer Girder Move Project was a success. Danny’s Construction was able to fulfill their scope of the work and the structural steel that needed replacing was swapped and a new truss was properly installed. Both girders were placed correctly and the beams were safely rolled inside the building to fully ensure the project was accomplished efficiently.


“Although, the building is not finished and still a work in progress,” Drake concludes, “our work was done on schedule because we used LGH. We’ve worked a lot with them (LGH) in the past and rented a lot of equipment from them before. The equipment was safe and of great quality as usual. Lifting Gear Hire always comes through for us. Every time.”

Equipment Used:

Air Skates


ABOUT LGH: Lifting Gear Hire is the largest single organization in North America devoted exclusively to the provision of lifting and moving equipment for rent. LGH holds a comprehensive inventory for hoisting, rigging, jacking, pulling, material handling, and safety equipment. Rental equipment is available from over 20 locations throughout North America, and LGH customers are supported by local Rental Representatives.


About Danny’s Construction

Danny’s Construction is an AISC Certified Advanced Steel Erector and Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) serving their customers throughout the United States and Canada for over 40 years. They erect structural and miscellaneous steel, specializing in large complex structures. They have substantial experience in building Bridges, Sports and Events Facilities, Hospital and Medical Facilities, as well as a variety of Industrial and Commercial structures.