MakeShift Challenge: Mounting a Super Cow: “Factor of Safety” Honorable Mention

MakeShift 03: Bobby Joe Snyder’s “Factor of Safety” Honorable Mention
by William Lidwell
November 01, 2005

Bobby Joe’s solution would not permit the crane to function while the cow was mounted, but since I neglected to mention that criterion in the challenge, no harm no foul. Use of the lifting strap is simple, and securing the cow to the crane cable pretty much guarantees that it isn’t going anywhere. Should be ample factor of safety here. Congratulations, Bobby Joe!

The funny thing about a life-size sculpture of a cow is that no one on the ground can see it in great detail, but if the 100-lb beast falls, it is going to catch everyone by surprise. But if an eccentric real estate mogul wants it on his tower crane, he isn’t going to change his mind where he wants it.

Here is my proposed solution:

With the limited materials and mounting the cow safely for $20, placement of the cow is essential. But since the cow is constructed of fiberglass and is a shell structure, I cannot expect the structure of the cow to support its own weight by just attaching the legs to the crane because of a high wind force across the cow’s body.

My solution is to use the harness that is pictured—the harness on the original crane that will lift the cow to the final crane. I am going to turn the harness upside down and put it beneath the cow’s uniform. And then the key part–I am going to use the cable of the tower crane as a suspension wire.

My crew is going to lower the crane closer to the roof. Here, we will feed the hooked end of the crane cable underneath the boom. The cable will be fed upward through the boom at any area that seems fit for the cow. The cable hook will be fitted to the harness of the cow, in order not to break the cow. I am especially concerned with the cow only being supported to the crane with its legs. That is why I elected to keep the harness. I will then weld the hook from the crane cable shut, once it is attached to the cow’s harness.

With my extra materials, such as the packaging materials and cardboard, we will construct a platform. Specifically, we will wrap the roll of chicken wire around the crane’s boom. Around the top of the wire will be a cardboard box in which the chicken wire was woven through and then duct taped for extra support. This is only to create a more secure base in which the cow can be seated on and pressed against during air currents.

Just for sake of more stability, I will cut 4 1-liter bottles of cola in half and place them in holes in the cardboard and chicken wire for increased support. That is the only thing left before adjusting the tension of the crane’s cable (pulling the main support cable tight), and then raising the crane in which the cow is secured to its desired position.

> MakeShift 03: Analysis, Commentary, and Winners