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How to get Genie lift on a Super Straddle with some steps?

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by dmoes, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. dmoes

    dmoes Member

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    Location:
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    Ok so the trainer is coming on thursday for the Ginie Lift

    we have an AWP25 Gini lift with super straddle and we are about to get trained on its use.

    the guy from Gini wants us to have it set up when he comes ( I thought this was part of the training but I guess not.) the set up is intended to straddle the seats then it rolls back and fourth so that we can adjust the lights.

    we have
    a Ginie AWP25


    The problem is this:

    Each row of seats going back has a small step between them. only one step per row and about 5 inches high so not huge. We can get the super straddle set up, but to get the Ginie lift itself up the steps and over the arms of the straddle at the same time is proving to be a challenge since the Gini has to remain at the same attitude as the straddle arms. in all the videos and photos I have seen the floor is level or sloped with no steps. How do I get it over the steps! we were thinking of some sort of rail system. for the lift to roll up with the straddle in place. then raise the Ginie off the rails with the super straddle. but I can see possible safety issues there. Run away train!

    There is no room to turn it in the area so we cannot set it up on level ground then roll the whole thing into place so it has to be set up in the isle next to the row of seats it will straddle.

    anyone else dealt with one of these were steps are involved? or anyone with ideas?
  2. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member

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    A picture wuld make it easier to answer. The steps, are they a 5in rise front to back of each seat level? I have two dfferent situaions in my area, a rise front to back for each seat level or the big riser but then a smaller step at the back of the riser.
    To get the lift up the steps, I would suggest investing in a section of diamond plate that is reenforced to carry the weight, think dance floor ramp or dock plate. Hopefully your risers are big enough for the Genie to sit on flat, otherwise you will never get it together. It is going to be almost impossible as it is.
    The suggestion I would make is assemble it in front of the seating and have two pieces of diamond plate. Even in a tight space be able to start the swing up the aisle and go up staddling the seats until you have room to line up with the aisle. Then you will have to leapfrog the plates depending how far in the house you are going.
    Thanks for the video, I had never seen how it assemblies.
  3. dmoes

    dmoes Member

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    Ill have to go in tonight and take a picture. I was thinking of using a plate or two pieces of chanel that is wide enough for the wheels on the Gini. once the ginie was on the straddle and raised it would lift out of the channels and be free. then we'd put the channels aside untill dismantle time. there is only one electric over the seats so I would only need to setup and dismantle once between shows as there is level floor to travel side to side once its in place. unfortunatly there is not enough room between the apron of the stage and the first step to assemble the super straddle. That would have been the easy way as I could have had a small ramp infront of each step for the wheels on the straddle. the lead wheels would only have to go up 3 steps to get into place the trailing wheels only one.

    basically there is only one step per row. Its a single step that lines up with the back of the mount for each seat in each row so that there is a flat floor for the patrons feet. the step will only interfere with the setup in the isle since the steps are hidden under the seats. the five inches is a guess as I am not there at the moment if anything its a little
    less than that.

    Ill post a pic tonight.
  4. dmoes

    dmoes Member

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    Location:
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    Sorry that I have not posted the pic yet but I didn't have the camera handy when I was there.

    we did get it into position for training with the help of half a dozen people to get the Ginie up the steps.

    but here is the long term solution.

    we are going to purchase two pieces of 3 inch wide channel steel to use as rails The wheels will ride inside the channel. A winch will be fitted at one end of the rail assembly to pull the Ginie up the rails even though pushing it up the rails by hand would probably be easy a winch would prevent rollback and a runaway You know Safety!
    once the Ginie is in position we assemble the super straddle around it and lift the Ginie off the rails. it should work and be a safe solution.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Location:
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    I have used a super straddle many times but never in a space that had stairs in the isle ways. I personally see no way of setting the thing up in the isle way that will not end in tears. Really, the only way I see of doing it is getting ramps built that you can set in the stairways to turn the stairs into a long ramp. You can "egyptian" the ramps so you don't have to buy a ton. Maybe the guy from genie knows something I don't and there is some magical way to do this. Hopefully they have a plan, otherwise your going to have to go back and fight with whoever sold you/specified this thing. If this is new construction, go back to the architect and ask them how they intended you get to the position.

    The only serious injury I have ever seen onstage was the result of a super straddle failure. I was working a call and a few people were putting up the genie FOH in the straddle. They began cranking and one of the winches failed. The handle swung around so fast that it broke the arm of the operator. Straddles are dangerous things. There are many places for the thing to go wrong. It also doubles the weight of the genie. Its not something to really mess around with. Really push on the people that sold it/specified it to you. There are other ways of access to positions such as a focus chair.
  6. dmoes

    dmoes Member

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    Location:
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    Footer you may be so correct and it will all end in tears, but I hope not.
    I have high hopes for the rail system. since we only do 7 or 8 shows a year we will only need to setup and take down the rig 8 times a year set up after the show closes and take it down three weeks later when the next show opens. once in place it will wheel just fine to all positions since we have only one FOH electric.
    The Guy from Ginie had little advice. he did know the product but had also never been faced with steps. but he agreed that a rail sysem would be good. the problem is not setting up the super straddle but getting the Ginie into position. Once it is in place setup goes just fine. The guy that is building the rail system is a safety advisor for local industry. I know him well and have worked with him at the theatre for years. his style will be to over engineer the rails making them heavy solid and safe. they will never be in place while the lift is in use its just for setup. as to our floor? its solid with concreate underneath the carpet no worries there. the rise of the steps turns out to be only 3 inches per row of seats so its not a great angle. as I mentioned it before we did set up without the rails. and I am sure we could do it again in half an hour if we needed too, Im just concerned about damaging the edge of the steps not to mention pain and injury getting it over the steps. but with a rail system, less people, only two, and no broken backs,

    a Focusing chair could have been another option however part of the problem we faced and why we needed the Ginie or something that supported us from below. is the building structure and local codes would not meet the requirements for fall restraint system anchored from above without some costly changes. the roof and structure is save for its intended use, snow load etc but to retrofit it for the fall restraint would have sent the cost soaring. also the only focusing chair I have seen you needed a lift to get to it anyway but I am sure there are systems that bring such a chair up and down. I cant imagine the cost would have been any less.
  7. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    I think the best solution for this would be a pair of short vehicle ramps for loading cars onto platforms (think show vehicles at like SEMA or something) They are relatively cheap, readily available and rated for heavy loads.

    Something like this with a smooth or diamond plate piece of aluminum welded on top would work well I think. I would recommend at least 4 people however in order to push it up and down the incline and make sure it does not come off the ramps.

    Portable Vehicle Trailer Ramps at Discount Ramps.Com
  8. dmoes

    dmoes Member

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    Location:
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    we thought about the vehicle ramps but the problem is most are to short. the idea of using Chanel iron was to keep the wheels in the channel kind of like a railway upside down. and we could make them to the needed length.

    I will let you know how it works out. the rails are being made this week.
  9. marmer

    marmer Member

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    Sorry to re-open an old thread, but we have the same problem, only worse. We can get the Straddle and the Genie (separately) down a ramp to the bottom with enough people. But when assembled we need to lift it up the steps. It needs to go up one more step. How? I can't think of any safe way to lift this no matter how many people are used. Even if we built a platform the same height as the lowest step so we could move it one side at a time, it's too heavy. Maybe we could lift it with bottle jacks, but we couldn't then move it forward. Vehicle ramps, as suggested earlier, maybe? Here are some pictures:

    Marty EBORH lamp change.jpg Genie_in_organ.jpg

    Thanks,
    Marty
  10. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    Jack it up then slide a platform under it, roll it forward, remove platform and jacks.
  11. marmer

    marmer Member

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    OK, summer is here and I really have to do this now. Do you have any suggestions about how/where to jack and with what? I'd actually like to move it two steps worth if possible, and if I can get away from using a bunch of people to dead lift, so much the better. Can I lift from the outriggers? Can I lift from the frame between the orange wheels? How about using trailer wheel crank jacks on the sides? Any thoughts about the platform?
  12. 2mojo2

    2mojo2 Member

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    I have had extensive experience with the sort of problem you describe. We used to jack up a Genie lift on the straddle kit from level to level using long levers and a lot of man-power. After that, I built some custom ramps out of heavy framing lumber and 3/4 plywood.
  13. marmer

    marmer Member

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    We use a ramp like you describe to get it down the steps to the lowest level. But I don't think we can safely push the Genie plus the straddle UP a ramp over the steps shown in my picture. I think it's way too steep and would be almost certain to get away from us. It would probably be a steeper angle than Genie recommends for using the Straddle, anyway. And could we count on the Straddle casters turned sideways and the outriggers to hold it?

    The manual that came with the Straddle is silent about steps. The newer Genie manual on line says "don't move or use it on stairs," but frankly, it seems safer to me to have it on the steps than on that steep of a ramp. Or are your ramps like car ramps but custom-sized for your step risers?
  14. 2mojo2

    2mojo2 Member

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    No, you don't want to operate the lift while it is resting on the ramps. The ramps simply allow a crew of thee or four to move the lift and straddle from one step level to another.
    If you are hard pressed for manual labor, you could probably incorporate the use of a winch to pull the assembly up the ramps.
    Unfortunately, that puts someone (you?) in the position of Engineer.
    If you don't have the license, then think thrice about being the engineer of record.

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