Southern Crane Provides Lift to Habitat for Humanity of Orange County

May 2, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. —When Habitat for Humanity swings into action to build a home in our region, having many volunteers’ helping hands can make erecting walls go quickly. When it comes to installing a roof, those hands are no match for one Southern Crane boom truck doing the heavy lifting. Since early 2010, Southern Crane has helped install roofs on 21 houses for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. The nonprofit builds 12 to 15 houses per year for those in need.

According to Habitat’s Construction Director Tyler Momsen-Hudson, without Southern Crane, lifting the 300-pound triangular roof trusses into place requires a crew of eight or nine strong men. Crews must attach roofing materials to the section after it is in place.

With Southern Crane doing the heavy lifting, volunteer crews can sheath the roof while on the ground. The end result is a 600-pound triangular roof section that is easily hoisted into place by a Southern Crane operator.

The crane operator can tackle three roofs in a day. Normally, crews can only install one roof per day, a task that requires many hours and is often delayed in the wait for extra volunteers.

“Having the help of Southern Crane is a blessing and a great savings for us in time and effort,” said Momsen-Hudson. “And it’s not just the speed. It’s much safer when cranes do the heavy lifting.”

Southern Crane has been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity in Orange County and elsewhere in the region for more than 20 years.

“We feel that it’s important to be a part of lifting up the community around us, and Habitat is a direct link to community members in need,” said Earl Johnson III, president, Southern Crane. “We are proud to be part of this wonderful cause.”

Constructing the average 1,100-square-foot Habitat for Humanity home costs $70,000 and takes five to six months. According to Momsen-Hudson, the nonprofit receives a very limited number of donations, so Southern Crane has given them a boost in more ways than one.

“With Southern Crane, it’s not just about their generous help,” Momsen-Hudson said. “It’s the manner in which they work with us. They really try to work within our schedule.”

Southern Crane operators have fit right in with the regular volunteers, Momsen-Hudson joked. “They’ve learned to come on Wednesdays, when another business donates a hot lunch to our volunteers,” he said, laughing. “That being said, we’re all so grateful to have their help.”

Southern Crane is among the state’s most comprehensive crane and rigging service providers and has been serving the industry since 1962. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Industrial Constructors, one of the largest private employers in North Carolina. Southern Crane advocates nationally for industry safety standards requiring crane operators to be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). All Southern Crane operators have been awarded NCCCO certification. http://www.southern-crane.com.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than two million people. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County has built more than 200 homes during the past 26 years. To learn more or volunteer, visit http://www.orangehabitat.org.