Why Harcon


Harcon's safety record is no accident.

We have a rigorous training regimen for all our field operatives, including the OSHA 10 Hour Construction Training Course, several railroad safety training certifications, and our own fall protection training. We also teach, in-house, the fundamentals of steel wire rope inspection and train our riggers on techniques and practices that exceed the OSHA standards for bridge rigging.

Additionally, we spend weeks training our Tracker operators and our Bucket Boat captains. After they've mastered the basics, we team them up with more experienced operators on active inspections where they continue to hone their skills. When they finally go solo, we select the lesser challenging jobs until they've gotten a few hundred hours operating time and have proven they're ready for more difficult environments.

We strictly adhere to the annual ANSI inspection requirements and certifications for all our lifts. And we inspect daily key structural elements on both our Trackers and our Bucket Boats.

Our clients often remark on the condition and appearance of our trucks, machines and equipment. And we get frequent phone calls and emails attesting to the expertise and professionalism of our employees.

On thousands of structures in our 25 years of providing bridge access, we've earned a reputation as a safe, innovative, can-do company.


Invariably, our new clients over-estimate the number of days required to perform an inspection. After they've used either a Bucket Boat or a Tracker a few times, they learn to adjust. But there's a learning curve. Bridges that took a week by conventional means often take two or three days with our equipment. Or a structure that took all day to inspect now can be completed in a few hours. On our multi-bridge contracts, our clients learn it's wise to schedule two or three structures/day.

Using Harcon for bridge access can add several hours of daily production to many bridge inspection projects. There's no waiting for a lane closure. No limit on the length of the work day because of peak traffic considerations. No need to worry about whether the deck is frozen or the roads are slippery or there's rain impending. No coordinating between an access contractor and a traffic maintenance crew.

But more importantly, our equipment can move from Point A to Point B faster than conventional access equipment. No weaving through truss members to get to the floor system on a bridge. No having to lift and lower for light standards or signs. No reconfiguring to get around the next pier. No working around the utilities hanging on the bridge or worrying your operator is working a little too close to that high voltage line.

Cantilevered sidewalks don't limit our reach. Structures several hundred feet wide can be done in a single go. Which means you won't have to go flipping through a hundred pages of notes to find the other half of Span 14 because the bridge you're on is too wide to be reached from one side, so you've been forced to make two passes. And you're not sitting in your van waiting for the traffic crew to break down one pattern and set it up on the other side so you can complete the other half of the bridge.

Our equipment adds versatility to your inspection project. If you discover a defect in Span 6, it's easy for us to take you back through the previous five spans and focus on that defective element.

We can also help you do your stream bed profile readings, either electronically with our onboard depth sounder, or with drop lines or rods. You can leave your rowboat on the roof of your van.


Add to your list of oxymorons "safe lane closure."

No matter how it's done, no matter the regulations involved, no matter the measures taken or the safeguards put in place, working in traffic is risky business. Too often, it's lethal. Simply put, there is no safe lane closure. Lane closures are dangerous for the traveling public, and they're especially dangerous for the workers effecting them and the individuals working within their limits.

The purpose of bridge inspection is to ensure safe passage for the traveling public. When you unnecessarily endanger the public in the process, you've already failed. Any time you have an alternative to closing a lane, you should give that alternative your highest consideration.

At Harcon, we've got the equipment to help you make your next bridge inspection project safer for everyone.

No lane closures. It's our mantra.

Read more about lane closures and traffic here » http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/09272012Drivers-First


Signs, cones, arrow-boards, electronic message boards, trucks with impact attenuators, public service announcements, coordination with other contractors, police assistance: traffic maintenance can be a time consuming, costly, and complicated affair.

Add a little rain or ice to the mix, complicate it with a flagging situation, and then add time-of-day limitations due to rush hour traffic: the potential costs and risks inherent in traffic maintenance are often hidden and considerable.

Try backing traffic up for several miles, do a lift on a movable span bridge, then watch what happens when the first responders try to make it to an accident caused by your lane closure, or any other emergency for that matter. If you really want to make it ugly, throw in a belligerent drunk or drug-crazed driver.

Complicated traffic configurations require additional manpower. Flagging situations require at least two additional persons and sometimes an additional vehicle.

All of these costs are significant, but they pale in comparison to the greatest risk involved in traffic maintenance: the increased likelihood of the loss of human life. Fender benders are expensive and inconvenient. Injury accidents are worse. But if you ever witness a fatal accident caused by a lane closure, you'll never see lane closures quite the same again.

Not convinced? Google "car accidents due to construction." Count the number of law firms who specialize in accidents occurring in work zones. (When we did this search, the first 18 sites listed were law firms.) Keep that in mind the next time you have a choice to close or not to close a lane on a bridge inspection job.


People involved in the railroad industry understand the cost of delays perhaps better than folks in any other mode of transportation. "Time is money." It's why Harcon is experiencing a significant increase in the amount of railroad work we're asked to do. Slowing a train down and then getting it back up to speed means increased fuel consumption. Schedules for moving people and goods are critical. Parking a high-rail inspection vehicle above a bridge means no train can move on that line until the inspection is complete. If the bridge is a considerable distance from the next siding, hours of track time may be lost just getting the inspection equipment on and off site. On busy tracks, getting even a few hours of foul time can be a challenge.

Obviously, there's a tremendous benefit to inspecting a railroad bridge from underneath and eliminating the need for track time.


Reducing the number of vehicles required to service a project means reducing fuel consumption. On bridge inspection projects that typically require a crane, a crash truck, and vehicles to haul signs, cones, and an arrowboard, Harcon brings one vehicle towing a trailer. That's it. Which means we have a smaller carbon footprint than a conventional bridge inspection operation.

But more significantly, we're not stopping traffic. Create a traffic jam and you reduce the fuel efficiency for every vehicle involved. On high adt roads, which may involve tens of thousands of vehicles, the cost of the fuel wasted in a day from creating a stop and start traffic situation can exceed the cost of the bridge access equipment itself.