2022 News

Heavy Lift Helicopter Offers Advantages

Heavy Lift Helicopter Offers Advantages

Looking for a quicker, easier and more cost-effective way to get RTUs to the top of a warehouse, Matt Grabau looked to the sky for help.

A Project Manager in the Sheet Metal Business Unit for Baker Group, Grabau decided to pass on a traditional crane lift and instead reached out to CHI Aviation, out of Howell, Michigan, and a heavy lift helicopter.

With their help, Baker Group installed eight RTUs on top of a 300,000 square foot warehouse in less than an hour.

“There were a lot of advantages to using the helicopter for this project,” Grabau says. “It made more sense than a traditional crane lift because of the size of the building, the amount of equipment and access to the roof.”

Grabau estimated a 400-ton crane would have been needed to reach the locations and the project would have taken three or more days and required much more manpower and field labor. Cost savings were significant, but there were other logistical issues that just made the helicopter the better choice.

On the cold April day, there was a 25-35 knot headwind on location. The Sikorsky S61N helicopter and its pilot weren’t affected. It would have shut a crane project down for the day.

Baker Group utilized four workers on the ground to rig the units, each weighing about 7,500 pounds. The doors on the units were removed to meet the helicopter’s weight limit.

Two units were lifted to the roof where eight more crewmembers waited to place the units. The helicopter would land and refuel and go up again with another two units.

“With the bigger buildings, there are a lot of advantages with the airlift versus the traditional.” Grabau says. “Airlifts seem to be the best way to approach them.”

About Baker Group

Baker Group is a commercial and industrial specialty contractor based in Ankeny, Iowa. With more than 1,100 employees, Baker Group is the Midwest’s premier full-service specialty contractor providing mechanical, industrial, sheet metal, electrical, building automation, process automation, security systems, fire alarm systems, parking/revenue controls and 24/7/365 service. For more information, call 855.262.4000 or visit www.thebakergroup.com.


Best of Des Moines 2023

Best of Business Record Award

Baker Group was recognized by readers of the Des Moines Business Record for best Mechanical Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Security Company and Best Company to Work For in 2023.

Top Workplaces

Best of Business Record Award

For a seventh consecutive year, Baker Group was recognized by the Des Moines Register as one of the Top Workplaces in the state.