Technical Spotlight #4: Prefab Bathroom Pod Specialized Moving Equipment

In Bathroom Pods by jfieldLeave a Comment

On large commercial construction sites it is common to see cranes seamlessly carrying heavy loads. At Oldcastle SurePods, these cranes are an important part of our process. Building teams use them to lift and place prefabricated bathroom pods into a range of building types, from hotels to dormitories, saving critical time, labor and money on the jobsite. Since cranes and bathroom pods are often considered an unlikely pair, in this post, we’ll answer frequently asked questions about how these heavy lifters work with our modular bathrooms.

Question: What type of equipment will I need?

In addition to a site-based crane, the four main pieces of equipment you’ll need to transfer and hoist our modular bathrooms are a platform, bridle, cage and pallet jacks. To make your job as easy as possible, the SurePods team will provide you with our specialized moving equipment. This refers to all equipment below the crane hook. Take a look below:

Platform

The platform is used to pull the pods out of the back of the truck. This is necessary as loading docks are typically not available at truck height on the jobsite.

platform is used to pull the pods out of the back of the truck

Bridle

The bridle refers to the straps under the pod on the pallet. The bridle is used to help “pick” the pod off the platform when units need to be loaded into a building from the top.

Lifting Cage

The platform becomes the lifting cage when the pod is loaded in to the building from the side versus the top. The lifting cage comes equipped with all necessary connection points and hooks for the crane.

Pallet jacks

Pallet jacks are used to lift and slide the pod off the cage and into the building structure.

pallet jacks are used to unload a pod from lifting cage

Question: What kind of site-based crane will I need for my project?

The type of site-based crane you will need depends on the specifics of your project, which an Oldcastle SurePods specialist will help you work through early during the preconstruction phase.

Question: Will I need to top-load or side-load the pods?

Generally speaking, it is necessary to top-load bathroom pods for buildings where the exterior walls are load bearing and have to go up prior to the next floor being installed (i.e., as is necessary for wood or block/plank structures). This effectively blocks out the ability to sideload the pods. For this reason, in the top-down approach, the crane lifts and moves the pods straight down into the room before the next deck goes on. 

Bathroom pods are typically side loaded in concrete or steel buildings where the exterior walls are not load bearing, such as a curtain wall or other system that is hung on later (i.e., EFIS, precast, etc.). In these scenarios, the pods can be slid in from the side floor by floor prior to the exterior wall facade being erected.

Question: What does the entire installation process look like?

While each project has variations in building construction type, size and location, below are the general steps it takes to install bathroom pods on the jobsite:

  1. Finished bathroom modules are delivered to the job site based on your project-specific timeline.
  2. Bathroom pods are removed from the truck using our specialized moving equipment.
  3. Cranes hoist the bathroom pods into the building (via top-load-in or side-load-in methodology) and left in the center of the room so mechanical rough-ins can take place.
  4. Once the mechanical stacks are complete and floor to floor fire rating is complete, bathroom units are eased into their final position for M.E.P. hookups and final sheetrock of the exterior.

Since seeing is believing, here’s a look at one bathroom pod installation scenario. 

Ready to get started?

Contact our trained team of professionals to walk through a comprehensive set of planning forms during the preconstruction phase. As always, our goal is for this process be as simple as possible for all parties involved. Our staff is ready and willing to answer any of your questions. To get started, contact Bill Seery, Oldcastle SurePods vice president of business development at Bill.Seery@oldcastle.com.

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