One week after New York City announced it would shepherd a national database of tower cranes to improve jobsite safety, a crane-rental executive in Pennsylvania has built the world’s first Internet site for tracking crane repairs, inspections and other critical details.
The site is the industry’s first voluntary effort to make crane tracking more transparent in the wake of major accidents last year. “I wanted to get something out there that answers these cries for tracking cranes,” says Frank Bardonaro, president of Bensalem, Pa.-based AmQuip. He has spent about $40,000 and six months developing the site, CraneFacts.com. Bardonaro says he also wanted to “take the spotlight away [from] politicians and put it back on safety.”
The site, which is set to go fully live in late June, will be available as a free service to any crane owner in the world who wants to register its cranes, input work history and upload documentation like repairs and inspections. The site will track cranes by their serial numbers.
Other users—such as contractors, manufacturers or government agencies—wishing to see the data must ask the crane owner for a username and password to enter the private database. “If the Crane Facts.com site is successful in helping to develop...standardized reporting processes, then I feel we will have accomplished something that helps everyone associated with the industry and provides the public with a greater sense of security,” Bardonaro says.
New York City’s Dept. of Buildings plans by the end of June to begin tracking cranes operating in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City in an effort to prevent future accidents. It does not plan initially to put the information on the Internet, and the service will track only tower cranes. A DOB spokesman says the agency may consider using the Internet in the future, however.
CraneFacts.com also will be available to track all types of cranes. “There is no site like this in the world right now,” Bardonaro says.