Engineering Archives - Sheedy Crane


October 15, 2020by Sheedy Crane0

First developed in the 1970s, seismic base isolation is a retrofitting technique that gives buildings the flexibility to stand up against the lateral forces of an earthquake.

When positioned against a load-bearing column of a building or bridge, base isolators act like large motor mounts, absorbing the impact of seismic events and thus lowering the seismic forces transmitted through the structure.

It’s a popular practice in several countries, including China, New Zealand and a number of South American nations. In Turkey — where earthquakes are common and often deadly — officials have undertaken a $13.6 billion project to build new hospitals using seismic base isolation.

In America, seismic retrofitting hasn’t been quite as popular. But it’s something building owners should consider, particularly in the Bay Area.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of seismic base isolation in the Bay Area and discuss how Sheedy Crane has been involved in some of the region’s most high-profile seismic retrofitting projects.

Why Should We Invest in Bay Area Seismic Retrofitting?

The key reason for investing in seismic retrofitting is safety. By making your building more durable in the face of earthquake damage, you’re keeping your employees, customers and visitors safer.

You’ll also be protecting the investment you’ve made in your building and business. The cost of making repairs following an earthquake is substantially greater than the cost of a Bay Area seismic retrofitting project.

And if earthquake damage renders your building uninhabitable, you’ll not only have to worry about the cost of repairs, you might find yourself searching for a temporary space and paying for those costs as well as any normal businesses expenses.

Bay Area Seismic Retrofitting from Sheedy Crane

Although we’ve made a name for ourselves as a leader in cranes and hauling, Sheedy Crane is also an expert provider of seismic retrofitting.

We have been instrumental parts of several key Bay Area seismic retrofit projects, including San Francisco’s City Hall, the largest building in the world ever upgraded with seismic base isolators. We also installed what were — at the time — the largest friction pendulum isolators on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

Some of our other projects include:

  • Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena, CA. Completed in April 2007, this project involved the installation of 238 friction pendulum isolators, column loads up to 450 tons.
  • Oakland City Hall, Oakland, CA. Completed in 1994, this project involved the installation of 113 isolators, column loads up to 1,900 tons.
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center, Long Beach, CA. Completed in November 1994, it involved the installation of 113 isolators, column loads up to 1,900 tons
  • UCLA’s Kerkhoff Hall, Los Angeles. This project, which concluded in December 1995, involved the installation of 128 isolators and 36 sliders, column loads up to 281 tons
  • Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. This project was completed in May 2002, with the installation of 196 rubberized isolators. Column loads up to 600 tons

When you work with Sheedy, you’ll get:

  • Complete column base isolator, slider, and flat-jack installation services
  • Column isolation, temporary support, jacking system installation, and load transfer engineering
  • Complete project management and engineering services performed directly by Sheedy Drayage Co. personnel

Contact us today to learn more about our Bay Area seismic retrofitting services.


October 18, 2019by Sheedy Crane0

CAD software is integral to many engineering projects. It is equal parts design as it is precision in regards to creating detailed schematics, 3D models, and blueprints for projects. At Sheedy Crane, our engineering services are sharpened by skilled CAD technicians who can design highly precise and structurally sound blueprints! Let’s take a look at some of the ways CAD software is used in engineering projects.

What is CAD Software?

CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. AutoCAD software allows for the precision needed to create designs that are able to be executed on. The software is highly advanced and allows for more than just design work. For example, you can run simulations through CAD software which would allow you to understand how something like water might run through or affect your designs.

What’s more, is that since industries that require a strong engineering aptitude have so thoroughly embraced CAD software that tools have developed around it. CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) applications can be used to analyze how components of a design will work together using sound mathematical principles and formulas.

For example, CAD/CAE can be used to analyze how much stress is being placed on various aspects of your designs, as well as how stress may be distributed depending on where it is applied.

One of the greatest benefits to CAD software that any business can get behind is that it can save a lot of time. When diagrams were originally done on paper, editing something would be time-consuming since things would have to be redrawn to accommodate new changes.

This also made tinkering with changes much more of a hassle, which constricts your ability to think. Consider how much freedom being able to type instead of write gives you, if you are proficient on a keyboard, you can quickly put things out to see how they look and delete them on a whim if they don’t pan out.

CAD Software For Heavy Rigging and Crane Operations

A lot goes into planning a rigging job or executing an operation using a crane. Coordination is everything, which means everyone needs to be on the same page. CAD software can produce accurate drawings that other workers can rely on to know how the operation will proceed. It is also useful for ensuring the safety of all staff through the prevention of equipment failure. While inspections are an important part of a work site, it’s also incredibly useful to know how lifts place stress on equipment, and CAD software can simulate these stressors in an artificial environment where many different factors can be tweaked.

More importantly, aspects of the rigging or crane work can be calculated ahead of time to get an estimation as to how things should go. For example, a crane seems like a simple device at first in terms of its function. However, there’s more to it. You must calculate the load capacity of the crane to make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Then, consider how important the shape is in addition to the weight of the load being lifted. These are all questions of physics, and if it comes down to crunching the numbers, CAD software and the proper plugins can do that for you.

Heavy Rigging and Crane Services in the Bay Area

It’s amazing to consider that people got anything done before we had all of this fantastic technology. Sheedy Crane can remember that time, we’ve been in business since 1925 when Joseph D. Sheedy founded Sheedy Drayage Co. With just a single truck and a lot of grit, this company has grown to be one of California’s leading crane, rigging, and hauling service contractors. We have countless successful projects under our belt if you’d like to add yours to the list of a job well done, contact us here and let’s get started today!