C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features, Products, Technology

Understanding 3D lift planning

Cranes and Lifting Magazine spoked to A1A Software LLC President Tawnia Weiss about the company's history and plans for the Australian market.

For over a decade, A1A Software has been designing software for crane and construction owners. Cranes and Lifting Magazine spoked to A1A Software LLC President Tawnia Weiss about the company’s history and plans for the Australian market.

With several lift planning tools available to assist crane users create lift plans, choosing the right lift-planning product can be difficult.

A1A Software LLC, Fernandina Beach, Fla., launched its first product, 3D Lift Plan, in 2008.

“I’ve spent my entire career combining my understanding of equipment operations with technology implementation skills. Today, A1A Software offers other business management tools specific to the needs of crane and construction equipment owners, including telematics solutions and iCraneTrax, a fleet and personnel management software designed for the needs of equipment rental companies,” President Tawnia Weiss explained.

After managing her parents’ trucking company, working in automotive service, then as a sales rep for another crane lift planning provider, Weiss saw a need for web-based applications. 3D Lift Plan was launched as an easy-to-use platform that made lift planning accessible to people who didn’t necessarily know how to use engineering-based programs like AutoCAD.

“There are several lift planning tools available to assist crane users with crane configurations and creating lift plans. But the right lift planning product is more than that,” Weiss said.

“It’s also a communication tool, sales tool, and risk management tool. Some lift planning provides incredible detail and accuracy but require extensive training to be able to use. 3D Lift Plan can be used by people with all levels of crane and rigging knowledge and computer/technology savviness. It can also be used as a communication and sales tool for use in making bid proposals, communicating with other contractors, and presenting information in a way that non-crane users can understand,” she said.

As far as iCraneTrax goes, there are many fleet management tools on the market, but iCraneTrax was designed to be robust enough to manage mixed fleets of the most complex equipment, such as cranes used in rental applications.

A1A currently employ seven developers and are looking to add a few more in 2019. The developers have experience in computer science and engineering, mathematics, telematics integration, 3D graphics, and Unity – the engine that drives A1A 3D software.

3D Lift Plan is subscription based, with different levels depending on the customization required for your fleet. All crane data is from actual load charts, not sales brochures, so information is highly accurate.

“Standard features include crane data from sponsored OEMs (Link-Belt, Manitowoc, and Tadano Mantis), the ability to select cranes, show the assembly area, and account for sling and rigging designs. Additional crane data can be purchased. From Altec to Zoomlion, we estimate that our library contains load charts for at least 60% of all crane brands and models ever manufactured.” Weiss said.

“With the standard platform you can create a Quick Lift Setup, display jobsite dimensions, create lift simulations, and produce detailed printouts.”

Advanced features include ability to share lift plans with other users, ability to select crane mats based on ground bearing pressure, plan multi-crane lifts, and access to advanced rigging.

More than 30,000 users and 700 corporate customers in 191 different countries currently use 3D Lift Plan. North America is A1A Software’s biggest market, with Australia the fourth largest, and growing.

Australian customers have access to 24-hour email support, the same as customers anywhere else in the world. In addition to English, 3D Lift Plan is available in seven other languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese. Data can be reported in metric or imperial, and international date, time, and number formats are available.

“We are looking for a local representative in Australia to provide sales, support and training. In addition, we are considering scheduling a three-day Boot Camp in Australia in 2019,” Weiss said.

These intensive training programs are limited in class size in order to maintain one-on-one instruction. The first day covers basic lift planning, while Day 2 and Day 3 teach advanced lift setup and advanced rigging, how to import Google Earth and CAD images, understanding ground bearing pressure and applying crane mats, and how to create video animation of a lift plan.

“Anyone interested in either the support position or in attending a Boot Camp should contact me directly,” Weiss said.

“In our experience, once a single user starts implementing 3D Lift Plan into their sales, documentation, and planning operations, contractors and construction owners begin demanding it from all crane providers, and wide-spread adoption happens fairly quickly,” she said, “in just over 10 years, nearly all of the North American crane companies that are on the American Cranes & Transport Top 100 list are users of 3D Lift Plan.” 

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