On the cover - West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller, Local Hero - Fargo Police Sergeant Kevin Pallas, Having a Beer with Radio Host, Scott Hennen, Hunting with Bret Amundson and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.
“EVERY JOB IS DIFFERENT. IT TAKES DIFFERENT RIGGING AND DIFFERENT SETUPS. IT’S A DIFFERENT CHALLENGE EVERY TIME.” – TODD BREIDENBACH hanging off the end of your crane. MRI machines being placed inside hospitals, for example, back in the day were million dollar picks.” Getting His Start As one might imagine, Breidenbach didn’t just one day wake up and decide to climb into “the upper” of a crane — the control seat of the crane itself, vs. “the lower” where, on a truck-mounted crane, you actually drive the crane down the road to the job site. He worked his way up, gaining experience on job sites, learning how to maintain the cranes and set up the rigging required to operate a crane and safely get the job done. “I wasn’t really interested in cranes at first,” Breidenbach admits, “I was actually working at the penitentiary in Sioux Falls, S.D., as a stepping stone into a law enforcement career. But I happened to see an ad in the paper for a crane company and decided to apply for a rigger roll. Later on the company announced that they needed a driver, and I had a CDL, so I started helping move the cranes around… eventually I started doing maintenance on the cranes, and soon enough I started the process to become a certified crane operator.” 16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com Fast forward 20 years, and Breidenbach knows the whole process start to finish and continues to do his own maintenance on his fleet of truck-mounted cranes, which range from the 50-ton crane he started his company with, all the way up to his largest crane which is a 265 ton. On the Job On any given day, Breidenbach and his crew from High Power Crane can be found moving any number of large items, including ethanol plant equipment, rooftop heating and cooling units, trusses for new commercial construction, large propane tanks, hot tub and even pools. “We’ve moved some crazy stuff,” Breidenbach said with a chuckle. “Typically, a contractor calls us up because they need something fairly heavy moved on a job site and there’s usually some elevation involved, so they need a crane to move it. A lot of the contractors when building apartment, they’ll call us to set the trusses on top of the building. A lot of heating and cooling guys will call us to set their units on top of the roofs… take old ones down and put new ones up.”
Like most things in life, there’s more to it than simply picking things up and putting them back down. When the crew pulls up to a job site, they get to put on their detective hats and inspect the challenge that lay before them. Every job is different, but more importantly every job site is different, presenting unique challenges for setup and rigging. “Experience helps. The biggest thing with running a crane is knowing where you can put it, where you can set up and where you can’t, because every time you pull up to a job site there are different challenges,” Breidenbach said. “That’s what makes it so enjoyable — every job is different. It takes different rigging and different setups. It’s a different scenario every time. “We just got done setting a 40,000 pound propane tank,” he continued. “We came in with the right amount of counter weights, the right size crane, the right size pads and the right rigging. We were in and out of there in about two hours. Everything went like clockwork.” And that’s the good life for a crane operator. When you’ve got a million dollars hanging off your hook, clockwork precision is exactly what you need. “I’ve been blessed to run my business alongside my wife and a great team of operators,” Breidenbach said. “I get to work with so many great customers I’ve met over the years. Everyday, doing what I do, because I love it.” • urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17