Destination Project powers ahead with ‘Big Yeller’

By October 11, 2016Construction

The Destination Project site has welcomed a big, bright yellow buddy to do some seriously heavy lifting. The tower crane, nicknamed “Big Yeller” which stands over 200 ft tall, is owned by PCL Construction Management. PCL Superintendent, Daryl Campbell, says it took some careful forethought and manpower to get Big Yeller on site.

A Birdseye view of Big Yeller hard at work on the Destination Project site.

“The planning process for this crane took quite some time as there are a lot of moving pieces to organize when using this type of crane. Just to physically get the crane here took nine trucks which drove from Nisku, south of Edmonton,” says Campbell.

The tower crane is assembled in sections and stages and once it’s complete, Big Yeller has the lifting capacity of around 26,500 pounds when the load is closest to the mast. At the tip of the crane’s jib, the crane can lift around 10,800 pounds. This kind of lifting capacity will come in handy as the columns and concrete levels start to take shape.

Taking around two days to completely erect and have operational, the tower crane is built by a team of seven people. Not to mention the other crane which was needed to help construct it.

“The red, lifting crane that had been onsite to assist with the assembly of the tower crane has a lifting capacity of around 500 tons and there are very few in Western Canada,” says Campbell.

Apart from standing out on the campus landscape, another unique fact about Big Yeller is that the pad or base of the crane is actually built right into the raft slab of the building. This makes the bottom 8 ft. section of crane somewhat sacrificial. Once Big Yeller has completed its final duty, the crane will be broken down again and a welder will come to cut the base section down to the raft slab and then the final concrete slab will be poured right over the top.

Big Yeller will be joined by another tower crane mid-November, but it won’t stand quite as tall as it’s big brother. Watch Big Yeller do some seriously heavy lifting by checking out the live webcams at