Crane Day! Part 1: Putting the Modular Cabin on the Foundation

Crane Day! Part 1: Putting the Modular Cabin on the Foundation

The crane was rescheduled because of weather. First thing yesterday morning the dogs lost their minds. Trucks and a crane were pulling in. We are finally going to have the cabin out of the mud and sitting on the foundation!

A crane and trucks showed up just before 8:30 yesterday morning.

It had been beautiful for days. The mud had dried up. Even the forecasted rain had been pushed off till later.

They took down part of the silt fence and drove the crane halfway between the foundation and the cabin stuck in the mud.

The first crane company said they were going to have to move the cabin incrementally, since it was further from the foundation than it was supposed to be. This company said it was no problem to move it just once.

They took down some of the silt fence, drove the through the grass (without sinking!) and parked about halfway between the cabin and the foundation.

Then a truck backed in

One of the trucks that was following the crane backed in.

FiberMax Crane Pads: a level, load-sustaining base

It brought the rest of the equipment the crane was going to need. These are FiberMax Crane Pads.

Cables, chains and spreader bars

This is a pile of chains, cables, spreader bars and lifting beams.


These are counterweights. The crane operator sits in a cab onto the rotex gear that turns. These weights are put in behind him. They turn with the cab.

The rotex gear spins side to side. The boom is the part that sticks out. It lifts up and down and telescopes in and out. The operator uses foot pedals and joysticks to control everything.

Detachable counterweights are placed on the crane’s back and help prevent the crane from being unbalanced during the lifting operation. There is a specific formula to help determine how much counterweight is needed based upon the boom radius, load weight and operational boom angle.

Outriggers extended

They extended the outriggers a little bit right onto the ground to stabilize the crane.

Setting up crane pads

They lifted the crane pads and set them further out from each outrigger. Then they moved the outriggers out and “stepped” on the pads.

Taking the counterweights off the truck

Next they took the counterweights off the truck. They go in a specific order, so the one on top was set on the ground, then the bottom one was put into place on the crane and the one on the ground was lifted into place on top of it.

Measuring the cabin

Meanwhile they walked through the cabin to get an idea how the weight is distributed. They measured the outsides. This helps them know where to put the cables that will suspend the cabin.

Removed the wood that pushed things out of the way during delivery

While they worked on that, someone took off the wood thing that pushed branches and utility lines over the roof during transportation.

Slid a cable under the little Westwood Cabin

They put cables on the spreader bar and slid them as far as they could under the cabin.

Used wood to protect the cabin from the cable

They made sure to keep wood under the cable so it didn’t damage the roof.

Sliding the cable under the cabin

Once the cable was under the cabin and connected, the crane slowly started to lift.

More wood to protect the cabin

They stopped and adjusted the wood because when the cable was taut it wasn’t where it seemed like it would be.

Lifted on end of the cabin out of the mud

Once they had one end out of the cabin out of the mud, they started sliding a second cable under it.

Wood keeps the cable from damaging anything

More wood was wedged in to keep the cable from sliding over anything.

Put blocks under the cabin

They placed blocks and timbers under the cabin. Then they set it back down.

This post ended up way too long, so I broke it into two parts. The rest of the story is at Crane Day! Part 2: Putting the Modular Cabin on the Foundation.

The cabin is from Westwood Cabins. You can see more photos and floor plans at and

The work is done by Fowler Excavating. Taylor Fowler has managed all of the subcontractors.