Global Specialized Services (GSS), now TAKKION, and Colt Whisenhunt receive high honors!

Global Specialized Services (GSS), now TAKKION, and Colt Whisenhunt receive high honors!

TAKKION team member, Colt Whisenhunt, received a Crane Operator Safety Award for exhibiting exemplary work achievements! 

He was one of 85 individuals representing 16 member companies to receive this award. Requirements included: Certified by a nationally accredited certification body; 10,000 consecutive man hours; Zero accidents or incidents; Zero lost calendar days; and zero failed random or post-accident drug test during the program year.

GSS was one of eight (8) companies to achieve a SC&RA Transportation Safety Award for having no recordable accidents! 

Zero Accident Awards are awarded to companies that meet the Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) criteria, plus zero recordable accidents as defined by the National Safety Council.

We are so proud of Colt and the GSS teams for their commitment to safety and these well-deserved awards!

Exciting News: Legacy Brand Realignment to Takkion Operating LLC

Exciting News: Legacy Brand Realignment to Takkion Operating LLC

We have an exciting development that designates a significant realignment of our legacy brands to a unified entity – Takkion Operating LLC.

This strategic decision is rooted in our commitment to streamline our operations, enhance efficiency, and provide you with an even more cohesive and integrated experience. Takkion Operating LLC will serve as the umbrella for our established brands, ensuring a seamless transition that aligns with our ongoing efforts to optimize our services.

Takkion Operating LLC embodies the values that have always been at the core of our business: safety, integrity, transparency and a dedication to providing you, our esteemed customers, with the highest quality products and services.

Please note that while our name is changing, our commitment to you remains unwavering. You can continue to expect the same level of professionalism, expertise, and customer service that you have come to rely on. Our team remains unchanged, and we are excited about the opportunities this realignment brings to further enhance our offerings and strengthen our partnership with you.

The official realignment will take effect on January 1st, 2024. Throughout this period, you may observe updates to our branding, communications, and online platforms to reflect the cohesive integration of our legacy brands of Transportation Partners & Logistics, Global Specialized Services, Renew Energy & Airway Services under the Takkion Operating LLC umbrella.

We genuinely appreciate your continued support and trust in our company. We look forward to the future as Takkion Operating LLC and are excited about the opportunities to serve you even better under our realigned name.
Thank you for your understanding and continued partnership.

Takkion Operating LLC

GSS Durango Project

GSS Durango Project

Global Specialized Services recently completed a major crane and transportation project in Durango, Colorado. This was the first project that GSS utilized its 500-ton crane, constructing a parking structure for a hotel that is currently in the process of being built. 

GSS was awarded the project in April of 2023 by a longtime partner who continually utilizes TAKKION for various projects, large and small. 

“We developed this relationship with the client a couple of years ago when we did a job for them in Jackson Hole with one of our Demag AC250-5(300 ton),” said Michael Orr, the Crane Operations Manager for GSS. “It was the same type of work – precast concrete – but the job in Jackson was a lot smaller and didn’t require the same type of crane we used with this most recent job. But we developed such a good working relationship with these guys because of that job that they rely heavily on us now for all of their crane and transportation needs.” 

Orr stated that GSS was provided the opportunity to work with this client due to the fact that the company continues to prove itself as the industry leader in providing solutions for heavy haul transportation and crane services.  

“When they first called us about a job in Jackson, Wyoming, it was really short notice,” Orr said. “The guy that contacted me asked if I could come and look at the job in Jackson that very same day. And I did. I went down there and jumped on it on a moment’s notice. I got together with him and went over it with him, and we did some pre-planning for the job right there, on-site. And he told me, ‘Honestly, I didn’t expect you to come down here and look at this job, but since you jumped through some hoops and made it happen, we’re probably not going to ever shop for another crane company. We’re just going to use you guys.’” 

And that’s exactly what they’ve done ever since. 

That’s what led to the most recent project. GSS, for the very first time, utilized its AC7.450 

The AC7.450 is a 500-ton crane with 7-axles. It has the longest reach of any 6 or 7-axle crane and it has a 410’max tip height. It’s got a 262’ main boom, and it is the only crane in its class that can mobilize with the boom attached under standard allowable DOT axle weights. The AC7.450 is as compact as any 6-axle crane, but it has the capacity of many 8-axle cranes, with new features like the SSL (Sideways Superlift) Design. 

“We bought this crane envisioning doing a lot of up-tower windmill work,” Orr stated. “When this job came up, they wanted us to use a crawler [crane], but I went down there and looked at the site and realized that the crawler just wasn’t a good option. So I talked to them, and we came to a mutual agreement that the AC-450 was a much better option because the maneuverability of it allows us to fit into tight spots a lot better than the crawler would.” 

Orr stated that three or four different people worked on the Durango job, including an on-site manager, a rigger, and an on-site transportation trucker. Orr himself would oversee the project a few days a week as well. During the project, the AC-7.450 lifted over 369 panels, and transported every one of them from the origin. 

“When the loads are delivered on time, it saves a lot of headache and it also saves a lot of money because the crane’s not sitting there, waiting on loads to arrive,” Orr offered. “With that being said, the client knows that there’s not going to be a lot of downtime for the crane, because we’re managing the trucking as well. So it’s really a win-win for the customer and for us.” 

Speaking of win-win, this project as a whole was a big win for all parties involved, and it continued to prove that GSS is an industry leader when it comes to transportation and material handling of major structures. By doing such an incredible job building the parking structure outside of a hotel in Durango, the owner of said hotel immediately took notice and asked to work with GSS as well. 

“After completing this project, there was another project that followed that didn’t have anything to do with our previous client,” Orr said. “The owner of the hotel where we built the lot saw the way that we worked, and saw our equipment and our professionalism, and he came up to me and asked if we would be interested in setting the hotel modulars. This is going to end up being a four-story hotel, which will make it the tallest building in Durango. So I told him we were absolutely interested, and we will be going back to set all those modulars.” 

GSS was offered a new, different project simply because the client saw just how well they performed. This is yet another example of GSS setting the standard in this industry. They will begin working on the modulars in December of this year. Orr also stated that because of this project and because of Ashley Thrun’s trucking management skills, GSS now handles 90% of this customer’s transportation needs. 

“This new job shows off our diversity too,” Orr beamed. “We’re going from a precast job right into a modular job, which are two totally different sectors. But we can handle it all. And, right now, our 450 [crane] is actually on a wind farm, working on a generator swapt. So we’re going from a wind job, to a compressor job, and then back to this modular job in Durango.” 

There is a lot that the AC7.450 crane can do and a lot that GSS as a whole can do. The Durango project was proof of that. 

“I think this project really demonstrated our diversity and what our capabilities are,” Orr said. “It showed that our capabilities are basically limitless. We’re able to jump from one sector into another without missing a beat. And it also demonstrated our dependability. We prove ourselves with each and every project we complete.”

TAKKION Named RAP Sponsor

TAKKION Named RAP Sponsor

TAKKION Management Co., LLC was recently recognized as a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor. 

TAKKION is recognized by both the State of Wyoming and the State of Texas. They will now be pursuing a National registration. 

TAKKION has opened itself up to working with countless apprentices, all of whom put in thousands of hours of work to become certified wind turbine service technicians. 

“Being a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor allows us to hire new employees or move current employees into the apprenticeship, and it allows them the opportunity to become a certified apprentice in our program, which is that of a wind turbine service technician,” said Kayla Allen, the Learning and Development Manager for Transportation Partners and Logistics. “Within the RAP, it is 2,000 hours each year of on-the-job learning, and we measure competencies based off of our work process schedule.” 

Within the RAP, TAKKION has a work process schedule with multiple different competencies that apprentices have to meet at the end of the apprenticeship program. The journey workers and the managers at the sites where the apprentices are working are the ones who measure the competencies and ensure that they are completed. Apprentices must also complete 144 hours per year of related instruction, made up of in-person training in any of TAKKION’s three training centers or online courses.

This is a major accomplishment for TAKKION, and it’s one that benefits TAKKION’s customers as well. 

“We have customers all across the country that we provide services for, and because we are now a RAP Sponsor, our customers are eligible for tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act,” Allen stated. “The Inflation Reduction Act has a requirement for registered apprentices to be working on the job site, so in order for customers to be eligible for these credits, we have to be able to provide the apprenticeship labor for them.” 

Being a RAP Sponsor benefits TAKKION and its customers. But it also offers opportunities to those looking to begin a career in the wind industry. 

“This is an opportunity for anybody that is transitioning out of the military into civilian careers,” Allen shared. “We’re able to advertise our apprenticeship program with the Veterans Commission. It also offers an opportunity to graduating high school seniors, giving them the chance to enter into a trade and learn those skills, as opposed to taking out loans and going to college. They can immediately enter the workforce, get the training they need, provided by us, and also get paid while they’re doing it.” 

Becoming a RAP Sponsor is an incredible achievement for TAKKION; it’s one that benefits all parties involved, and it just further proves that TAKKION is committed to being one of the most successful, innovative companies in the wind industry. 

“It shows that TAKKION as a whole is leading the industry,” Allen said. “We strive to be an industry leader, and by becoming recognized as a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor in two states, we are one of the first companies in our industry that is able to offer apprenticeship labor to our customers.”

GSS Repower Projects

GSS Repower Projects

Global Specialized Services was recently awarded and completed three Repower projects for a brand-new customer.

The projects – Community Wind South(CWS), Elk Wind, and Hawkeye Wind Farm – involved the transportation of multiple wind tower components across the country. 

The three projects consisted of transporting all above-tower components from the V110 turbine from multiple TP&L locations to project locations in Minnesota and Northeast Iowa. The components were transported over 700 miles, and their successful delivery set the tone for the remaining two projects. All turbines were delivered within the initial budget, on schedule, and most importantly without any incidents or injuries.

“It was a really good, really successful project,” said Aaron Nirider, the Senior Project Manager for GSS. “It really set us up for the next two projects that we did for them.”

The next projects were the Elk Wind Project and the Hawkeye Project. 

The Elk Wind Project involved the transportation of 17 Nacells, Hubs, Blade sets, DTA’s, and Generators – from O’Neill, Nebraska, to Greeley, Iowa; over 400 miles. 

The Hawkeye Project, as the name suggests, was another 400-mile project in which 15 Nacelles, Hubs, Blade sets, DTA’s, and Generators were also loaded out of O’Neill, Nebraska, and delivered to Hawkeye, Iowa. 

All three Repower Projects proved that GSS continues to deliver in more ways than one. 

“We received all three jobs at the same time,” Nirider shared. “But the first project we completed really set the tone. Especially with them being a new customer, it was really good to show them, especially on that first project, what we’re all about and how we do business.” 

Nirider stated that he spoke with the customer shortly after the completion of the CWS project to get feedback on the company’s performance. 

“They were very impressed with us,” he said. “They were very excited for us to start the remaining projects, and afterward, they said they were impressed with those too. Each project kind of compounded on itself and helped the next one. By the end of it, they were extremely pleased with our work and, hopefully, some future work will come out of it.” 

Nirider stated that each project had 12 drivers, as well as a site manager. Nirider said the site manager, Bob Marino, oversaw all three projects and did an incredible job. 

“A lot of the credit is given to Bob for his work on these,” he stated. “With the logistics onsite, keeping good face with the customer, and everything else he did. He did a great job.” 

As did the drivers. Each of the 12 drivers operated efficiently, effectively, and, most of all, safely. Safety, as is always the case with Takkion companies, was the number one priority. 

“It’s the most important aspect of any project we do,” Nirider said. “Everything in our company is dependent on how we put our safety procedures in place. We ran route surveys prior to loading the components to make sure that there were no obstructions, such as power lines hanging low, bridges, construction, and to make sure all the turns could be made safely.

Safety is the number one consideration on any and every project Takkion takes on, and one of the most important aspects of safety and of the success of the project as a whole is communication.

“Another important part of any successful project is communication. These three projects specifically had great lines of communication between the trucks, the site, and the office. There are many reasons why these projects were successful, and the fact that the communication was streamlined was a big driver of that success”, Nirider said.

Altogether, these three projects – CWS, Elk Wind, and Hawkeye – were a big victory for GSS and for Takkion as a whole. They completed all three projects with only two minor incidents. Most importantly, they were a victory for the customer. GSS strives to deliver consistent customer service in each and every project they complete. These latest projects were just further examples of that.

GSS- AC-450

Global Specialized Services was proud to showcase the newest addition to its fleet of cranes – the AC 450 – at ConExpo-Con/AGG, the largest construction show in North America! 

The AC-450 is a 500-ton mobile hydraulic crane that runs on seven axles. This crane is as compact as 6-axle cranes, but it has the capacity of many 8-axle cranes. 

“This crane is one hundred percent mobile,” said Mike Orr, the Crane Operations Manager for GSS. “This cuts down on transportation costs, because mobilization makes this much more efficient and affordable than conventional crawler cranes. A crane of this size, in a crawler category, would probably be in the neighborhood of 25 loads; we can move this one in seven loads.” 

The AC-450’s mobilization is one of its most important features, but it’s not the only thing. 

“One of the benefits of this crane is that it’s got 260 feet of main boom,” Orr said. “Which means all you’ve got to do is pull up onto the job site, hang some counterweights, and you can send out 260 feet of boom and go to work. Or you can put it in 265 feet of luffing jib, which gives you a 410-foot max tip height.” 

Which means, in Layman’s terms, that it can reach really, really tall places. 

“With that kind of setback, you can reach the top of all wind towers for maintenance, gearbox changes, and more,” Orr stated. 

All of these features and more made the AC-450 the belle of the proverbial ball at the ConExpo-Con/AGG, which took place from March 13-17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

“We’ve been talking about this crane for about eight months,” Orr said. “We secured the deal with Crane Works a couple months after we started talking about getting something in the 500-ton class. So, we partnered up with Crane Works and Tadano, and we found one that was going to be delivered and we found out that it was going to be the same crane that was coming to ConExpo, which really made them push it to get delivered overseas.”

It was delivered and it most certainly did deliver.

“It was actually the centerpiece of Tadano’s exhibit at ConExpo,” Orr said. “The expo itself was great. I went out the week before to make sure that the crane was in good shape and looked good for the show. And then we had really good conversations with Tadano and Crane Works and just went over a lot of the functions, processes, and procedures that go along with a crane of this magnitude.” 

At the expo, GSS also participated in a ‘passing-of-the-keys’ ceremony, as well as a customer appreciation dinner along with Crane Works. 

“It was a really neat experience,” Orr said. “I know for a fact that this crane in particular – there’s probably a hundred cranes in that show – and this crane here got, by far, the most attention.” 

As it should have. The AC-450 is a massive piece of equipment, but it moves like a much smaller crane. It has a capacity of 52,500 pounds at a 294-foot tip height and an 80-foot radius. It also has a 330,700-pound maximum counterweight.

“It’s a 500-ton crane that you don’t have to remove the boom from in order to move it,” Orr revealed. “It’s the only crane in its class, so you don’t have to remove the boom, which cuts down on a ton of transportation and it’s just a really neat looking crane. It’s just an amazing piece of equipment. It’s very impressive.” 

Despite its size, the mobility of the AC-450 is really its key defining feature. 

“This crane is 100% mobile,” Orr reiterated. “We can pull up to a job and get to work. It’s literally two hours from the time you pull up to the job, to the time you start working. It’s really raised our platform as a crane company and a crane provider.”

Orr, as well as every person who attended ConExpo, is in awe of this new crane. It’s a game-changer, and GSS is proud to have it. 

“The AC-450 will probably be the most versatile crane in the industry as of right now,” Orr stated. “Obviously they keep building things bigger and taller, but for what we’re dealing with right now, for everything that we’re working with, this is the crane. It’s the most versatile, heavy-lift crane that we have.”

Haul Box Movers

Haul Box Movers

At Global Specialized Services, one of the biggest services we offer are heavy haul transports. This includes Haul Box Moves, which involve moving and offloading oversized loads of coal, iron, or other materials to different sites across the country. 

One of the key people involved in Haul Box Moves is Condo Edwards, the Dispatch Permitting Specialist for GSS. 

While working for Austin Engineering, Edwards developed a close relationship with GSS and eventually wanted to make a career move. So he came to the company and began working primarily in the permitting department. 

When moving heavy loads across the United States, getting the correct type of permits are required in order to actually perform the transport. That’s where Edwards comes in, which is why he’s such an integral part of Haul Box Moves. 

“When I worked down at [Austin Engineering], I was sending quotes to Matt,” Edwards said. “Now that I work for GSS, they’re sending quotes to me, and I’m quoting them. Matt has just kind of handed that off to me to take care of, seeing as how I know how to load them, what we can haul, what type of equipment we’re going to need for the weights and widths we haul, etc.” 

There’s a process involved in Haul Box Moves, and that process illustrates how pivotal Edwards is to the entire operation. 

“Austin will send me a quote,” Edwards said. “I’ll figure out what the miles are, what we’re gonna charge per mile, the fuel costs, the permit costs, the pilot car costs, and the police escort costs because some states require police escorts. So I have to figure out which states they are, and then I have to go through my big book telling me what permits we need and what we’re going to be allowed to haul and where we can haul it, depending on the size of these things. 

GSS performs route surveys to ensure that drivers won’t run into any powerlines or telephone poles, or bridges, or any other obstruction. 

“The route survey will pinpoint all those obstacles, and then, when we get to the mine site, we make sure to do a complete job safety analysis,” Michael Orr offered. “We get everybody on board and have a nice 10-15 minute discussion of any hazards, anything to watch out for, and we ask if anybody has any questions, they need to be addressed before we do the job.” 

Safety is the utmost priority, and it’s something that GSS – something that Michael Orr and Condo Edwards, personally – take seriously. 

GSS’ commitment to safety is just one of the reasons why Austin Engineering continues to hire them to perform these Haul Box Moves. 

“We’ve got the equipment to do what we need to do, and we can haul just about any size that is requested,” Edwards said. “We’ve got 10 years of experience hauling these things. The drivers that we’re putting on these projects have years of experience hauling these haul boxes at this width. We’ve become very proficient at hauling these and hauling them safely for the public and for everybody else involved in the process.”