Northern Strands
Northern Strands Latest News

Latest News

Northern Strands Designs a Unique Custom Swing Stage For Children's Hospital Construction

Northern Strands is currently working with multiple contractors on the new Children's Hospital in Saskatoon, where the footprint demands alternate solutions to scissor lifts and boom lifts. Aerial lifts are not always the solution. Swing Stage platforms are often times more economical than other access solutions. With no less than 10 Suspended Access work platforms on site in various configurations, here's proof that Northern Strands has the swing stage equipment and expertise to get you up to your elevated work areas.

Think that Suspended Access Platforms only go straight up and down? Think again!

Northern Strands also installed this unique rigging system (seen below), for an international contractor at the Children's Hospital construction site in Saskatoon.  This contractor needed the elevated work platform to have the ability to move in and out in relation to the wall, as it was sloped in design.  To complicate matters, the crowded footprint of this project did not allow for the use of boom-type man-lifts. With very little fuss, Northern Strands supplied extended reach outrigger beams that utilize a secondary rolling trolley system, which gave the contractor exactly the abilities they needed.  This was not the first custom solution Northern Strands has provided to the multiple contractors on at the Children's Hospital.

Northern Strands offers the largest rental fleet of suspended access equipment in Saskatchewan. Northern Strands Suspended Access Division rents and sells:
- Swing Stages
- Man Baskets
- Portable Electric Winches
- Under Bridge Access Platforms
- Blade Access Platforms
- Boiler Maintenance Platforms
- Specialty Rigging Products
- Rooftop Hoisting Solutions

To inquire about renting please contact Northern Strands Suspended Access Division:
Call 306-242-7073

Under Bridge Inspection Equipment Available for Rent at Northern Strands

Narrow bridge? Low clearance bridge? No problem. The Northern Strands HP 32 Hydra Platform is able to work in tight confines with ease. Recently deployed on a secondary highway just 2 lanes wide with no shoulders, the Hydra Platform was able to complete the project well within the confines of a single lane, with minimal disruption of traffic flow. This particular bridge project also had a fairly restricted amount of clearance from underside of bridge to the water, but our HP 32 was able to get the workers safely under the bridge to quickly and easily complete their tasks.  

Our customer had us scheduled for 2-3 days on the project, but due to the Hydra Platforms quick deployment time, our portion of the work was completed in less than 1 day!

The Northern Strands® Hydra Platform trailer-mounted model HP 32 is a comprehensively equipped under-bridge access and work platform, mounted on a mobile trailer for versatility. Each Northern Strands® Hydra Platform trailer model features a patented Tower Separation System, which includes hydraulically adjustable cross-linking arms between the main outside vertical tower and the turntable sub-frame, mounted on the trailer. This allows operators to erect and extend the tower and the platform over pedestrian sidewalks and other barriers without restricting the under-bridge operations. On all its trailer-mounted models, Northern Strands Hydra Platform offers standard Dual Side Hydraulic Outrigger Stabilizers, providing maximum stability and an added level of safety. It’s all part of the commitment of Northern Strands Hydra Platform to provide the utmost in safety and quality to its customers.

The Hydra Platform is the ideal under bridge access equipment:
  • Repairs
  • Bridge rehabilitation
  • Stripping operations
  • Painting and sandblasting
  • General maintenance
  • Replacement and maintenance of bearings
  • Installation and maintenance of under-bridge pipes and cables and more!
To inquire about renting please contact Northern Strands Suspended Access Division:
Call 306-242-7073
or see the attached brochure
Hydra Platform HP 32 Brochure.pdf (1.1MB

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

Northern Strands HP 32 Under Bridge Access Platform Successfully Completes Challenging Bridge Inspection

So, you have to complete a structural inspection of the piers and pile caps of a bridge over a live and busy train track….how do you complete this safely?
You use the HP-32 Hydra Platform, that’s how.

With the challenge of not being able to erect scaffolding from below a bridge, not being able to park a man-lift of any kind on the tracks, and the time constraints of only 1 day to complete your inspection, your options are limited. Fortunately, our HP-32 Hydra Platform completed this task successfully, requiring only 1 traffic lane of closure on the TransCanada Highway.  Being a self-contained unit with very short deployment time of less than 10 minutes, we were able to work around the trains schedules, sometimes given only 30 minutes between trains.  And yet we were still able to get the inspection contractor down underneath the bridge to perform a variety of tasks, and back topside safely without impacting the trains schedule.

Have a similar challenge, or any bridge that requires maintenance or inspection?  Interested in learning more about how Northern Strands under bridge access equipment can make your bridge inspections and repairs easier and more cost effective? 

See the link to our Hydra Platform Brochure below.

Northern Strands Hydra Platform HP 32 Brochure.pdf (1.10 mb)

Contact our Suspended Access Division to discuss renting our Hydra HP 32.  Email , call 306-242-7073 or visit our webpage

Picture of the Hydra Platform HP 32 deploying under a bridge.

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

Northern Strands Launches Saskatchewan's First Hydraulic Bridge Platform

Northern Strands is excited to announce the launch of Saskatchewan’s first Hydraulic Bridge Platform, the Hydra Platform HP 32! This specialized piece of bridge construction equipment has the potential to greatly reduce inspection, maintenance and repair down time of bridges throughout Saskatchewan.  Likely reducing bridge traffic lane down time.  This is very significant, in that bridge and road construction delays are always an area of concern for Saskatchewan residents. Not only will the Hydra Platform reduce down time, it was also designed with worker safety in mind. As opposed to traditional bridge inspection and repair methods used in North America, not a single worker death has occurred while using the Hydra Platform HP 32.

 The official launch took place last Friday at 1pm on Highways 16 and 11 overpass in the south end of Saskatoon.  A press release was sent out to media, municipalities and companies that would benefit from the usage of an under bridge access platform.  In attendance were construction companies, government officials and the media.  

We were very pleased that the Mayor of Saskatoon, Donald Atchison attended the launch of the Hydra Platform HP 32 and showed his support for a local company investing in Saskatchewan worker safety. 

CTV covered the launch of the under bridge aerial access platform, with it airing the same day on the 6pm news!  CTV does not have the link to Friday's news broadcast on their website for us to post.  However, we are still trying to procure the original broadcast footage and will hopefully have it to post in the future.  It was an excellent piece, with the opening line being, "A local company, Northern Strands is investing in Saskatchewan worker safety!"   

Below are a handful of pictures from the launch of Saskatchewan's first hydraulic bridge access platform:

Northern Strands Suspended Access Division employee Jason Okotinsky explaining the benefits of using the Hydra Platform.


 The Hydra Platform starting it's deployment over the edge of the overpass.


 The Hydra Platform arm extending away from tower


 Northern Strands Health and Safety Manager Terry Zerbin being interviewed by media.


 Mayor of Saskatoon, Donald Atchison discussing the Hydra Platform with Northern Strands employees.


Mayor Donald Atchison volunteers to take part in the Hydra Platform demonstration and climbs down the tower to take in the view from the platform arm.

We would like to thank all who attended, helped and participated in this important Northern Strands event.

Please see the link below to our brochure to learn more about how your company can benefit from renting the Hydra Platform HP 32:  

Northern Strands Hydra Platform HP 32 Brochure.pdf (1.10 mb)

 Or visit Northern Strands Suspended Access Systems webpage for more information:

Should Outrigger Tiebacks for Powered Suspended Access Equipment Be Wire Rope?

In the industry there is a misconception that portable outrigger beams and parapet clamps being used with powered suspended access equipment can be tied back using fibre rope, and often times it is old vertical lifeline rope that is used for this application.  However, using rope in this application is an incorrect practice.

Under the national CSA Safety Code For Suspended Platforms, the tieback cables for portable outriggers and parapet clamps must be of equal strength as the primary suspension rope.  Since most powered climbers use a 5/16” or 8.4mm diameter wire rope that has a breaking strength of 10,000+lbs, the use of 5/8” polysteel lifeline (which has a breaking strength of only 9,000 lbs when new) is not adequate.  In addition to that, ropes are usually terminated at the anchors with knots, and ANY knot will reduce the strength of rope by at least 25%.  While ropes of the proper strength and construction (and when terminated with the proper approved knots) can be used with rope access systems and manual bosun’s chairs, they should never be used with any powered suspended equipment that has wire rope as the primary suspension line.

At Northern Strands, we will always supply the proper tieback cables and wire rope clips for this connection, and provide complete instruction on proper rigging of tieback cables as part of our Suspended Access Equipment Training course.

The picture below shows an example of a correct outrigger tieback with wire rope

For more information visit

"Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated."


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Saskatoon (Head Office)

  • 3235 Millar Avenue
  • Saskatoon, SK S7K 5Y3


  • 125 Henderson Drive
  • Regina, SK S4N 5W4
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