What Happens When Buildings Go Up but Construction Elevators Don’t?

McDonough Construction Rentals
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

In the construction sector, it’s vital to have everything in order, from permits to enough skilled workers and materials to handle the project from start to completion. However, despite good planning, it can be easy for builders to underestimate the number of cranes and construction elevators required to deliver the most efficient, safe, and cost-effective construction project.

“In the United States, the majority of these projects are chronically under-hoisted, with too few elevators for what the general contractors are trying to accomplish,” says Joe Galatas, President of McDonough Construction Rentals Inc. Fortunately, he says, McDonough is a company that has the tools, people, training, and decades of experience necessary to help customers get it right, finishing jobs safely, on time, and on budget.

“We’re supporting the idea of contractors understanding the value proposition, so that on the front end—when they are bidding projects—they can provide adequate hoisting resources to get their projects done the way they planned to get them done from the outset.”

Construction elevators on building sites are the lifeline to moving people and materials, helping make the construction process as safe and efficient as possible. Even so, Galatas says, construction elevators are often an afterthought. This is one of the reasons why McDonough created the Hoist Efficiency Calculator, available online at onemcdonough.com/hoist-calculator.

By using the calculator, clients can easily weigh the cost of adding an extra construction elevator against the value of not having workers and materials standing idly by. Factors to consider include the average cost and number of tradespeople on the job, project duration, and the average number of trips up/down the building per worker in a day. Customers can see for themselves the daily wait-time cost, which can amount to thousands of wasted dollars and precious schedule. Depending on the scope and scale of the job, just a few minutes wasted per labor hour can add up to well over a million dollars of unnecessary cost.

“It’s based on data that we’ve derived from several different projects we’ve worked on in an attempt to show contractors the value of having adequate hoisting. Our mission is to give them a tangible metric with which they can measure how much hoisting they need,” says Galatas.

Meeting needs
In the construction rentals business, experience counts, and McDonough has plenty. Founded in 1976 and purchased from the previous owner 20 years ago, McDonough Construction Rentals, Inc. is owned by parent company McDonough Corporation, a respected 80-year-old family-owned business engaged in construction elevators, barge rental, marine logistics, wood molding, and stair systems.

Providing best-in-class services, McDonough Construction Rentals, Inc. has grown to five locations to serve its many clients. The company’s service area focuses on the lower portion of the United States. Starting at the mid-Atlantic states on the eastern seaboard from about Philadelphia south, it extends down the east coast into Central Florida and across the Gulf Coast. “We have a big presence in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana, extending west to our sales/service location in Southern California,” Galatas says.

Solidly grounded in almost 50 years of accumulated knowledge, McDonough offers rental of construction elevators, self-erect tower cranes, transport platforms, and mast climbers. As a licensed contractor, McDonough also offers rack and pinion elevator sales for permanent installations in the industrial markets, service, spare and replacement parts, and refurbishment of existing permanent elevators. McDonough truly is the “one-stop shop” for both new commercial construction and industrial elevator needs.

The newest and best solutions
Committed to innovation and advancing the industry, and to offering clients the best and most advanced vertical access equipment, McDonough Construction Rentals, Inc. has a long-term research and development budget to ensure it stays abreast of the newest technology and industry practices.

Providing solutions for virtually any project, the company takes a hands-on approach, with sales managers visiting client job sites to determine the best possible options. This includes options for customers working on bridges and tunnels; on manufacturing sites; in power generation facilities, metals or mining; in seaports and shipyards; in offshore operations; or in the petrochemicals, oil and gas, and refining sectors, among others.

“We really like rental businesses,” says Galatas. “We like businesses that are asset-heavy and require major capital investment, which is where our skill set is. Between that and financial management and sales—I’m talking about selling into our customer base—that’s where our strengths are,” he explains.

For the benefit of its clients, McDonough Construction Rentals, Inc. has purchased ten new self-erecting tower cranes for its fleet from well-known manufacturers Liebherr and Potain. After almost 50 years in the rental elevator business, the company is applying the expertise it has amassed as a subcontractor, and its understanding of construction markets, to these new vertical access solutions.

“It’s a substantial commitment to the future from our owners, and it’s one—specifically tower cranes—that we’ll continue investing in,” says Galatas. “We believe in that market because they’re used actively in Europe by the thousands, and this is a relatively new tool for construction in the United States that will enable labor efficiency and safer vertical access for job sites.”

Transported to construction sites as ready-to-erect units, fast-erecting tower cranes like the Liebherr 125 K and the Potain IGO T 85 are versatile, have intelligent control systems, offer millimeter precision, feature multiple working hook heights, and more. Additional resources are available at onemcdonough.com/construction-equipment-rentals/self-erecting-tower-crane-rentals.

Safety and values
Along with decades of know-how, outstanding service, and the finest equipment available, McDonough’s values—caring about client success, teamwork, and focusing on success and safety—make all the difference.

For decades, safety has been a priority for the company and its customers. All equipment is painstakingly maintained, with proven preventative maintenance protocols in place. In fact, the company recently received a Platinum Safety Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors STEP Program.

“We view safety as a critical thing,” says Galatas. “Everybody can have a safety program and train on a safety program, but in the end, it comes down to individuals to make good decisions for themselves and their teammates. And in our view, that comes down to leadership,” he says. “So where we focus hard is on providing leadership training across our organization at every level, because we believe that everybody can be a leader. And I think that fundamentally, that’s what we attempt to do that sets us apart.”

One of the company’s many strengths is its ability to communicate its values to existing and new employees alike and encourage staff to constantly strive to improve.

“If you’re attempting to create a positive learning environment where people, when they make mistakes, can learn from their mistake and improve their behavior so they don’t make the same mistake in the future, it’s positive—but if you reinforce why that mistake was made as a punishment, you’re sending a negative message rather than a positive one,” Galatas says. “It’s about creating a positive learning loop.”

Fostering a positive work environment has earned McDonough Construction Rentals, Inc. the respect of its many long-term staff, and also growth opportunities. Company President Galatas believes that even someone engaged in a simple task like turning a wrench can practice positive leadership by setting an example to those they work with.

“I would say it’s relatively easy in our context because we come at it from an authentic place,” he says. “We’re not saying ‘we have culture’ just to bamboozle new employees into believing we’re a great place to work; we are a great place to work. We’re authentic about that, and that’s what comes through to new employees. From there, we can teach them just about anything.”



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