ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — The Rock Island District’s newly christened Quad Cities heavy lift crane is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s million-pound lifting capacity makes it a useful asset to the region but the team of people operating and maintaining it on a daily basis make it a truly valuable resource.
The Quad Cities crane crew, made up of a master, operator and engineer, takes pride in keeping the vessel in a pristine condition. They are constantly inspecting and monitoring all aspects of the vessel to ensure its operational for years to come.
Anthony "Tony" Frost, who serves as the engineer for the Quad Cities, knows every working inch of the crane barge. His career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began May 2017 but he’s been serving in the military since 2005. Today, he continues to serve as platoon sergeant for a U.S. Army Reserve unit, in addition to working for the Corps.
Over the past 16 years, Frost’s military experience as a generator technician, heavy construction repairer and field maintenance team leader provided him with the training and mechanical expertise needed for operation of the Quad Cities. As the engineer for the Quad Cities, Frost spends most of his time behind the scenes in the control room, working on the vessel’s two, 150-kilowatt generators. Since the barge is a self-contained floating workstation and not connected to land-based utilities in any way, all power needed for operations must be produced on board.
“Generators are very valuable in this business,” said Frost. “My technical background of working on generators in the Army has greatly assisted me in my job for the Corps.”