SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

We're seeing a number of giant cranes at a number of construction sites in Springfield.

And it takes some skill to operate those tower cranes.
We decided to get a closer look... At this sky-high job.

< SONG: Johnny Nash, "I can see clearly now.. The rain is gone.
"I can see all obstacles in my way.">

Joel Scheppert, "Yeah, you guys never get to see all the beautiful sights there are up here." Joel Scheppert has the best view in the Queen City.
He’s one of two tower crane operators working on
The new patient tower at Cox South hospital.
The stark city man's commute to work is a bit tricky---
A climb hundreds of feet high, to his office skybox.
KY3 photojournalist Cody Nutt was *up* to the challenge.
"woah!"
Depending on your pace--the trek can take nearly a half hour.
Cody did it in 10.
A panaromic view *not* for the faint hearted.
Cody exhales. Joel, "This is my front porch." Cody: "sounds good. Looks nice you got quite a view." Joel, "oh yeah!">
Wind can make the task treacherous.
"James, I'm going to trolley all around.. I'm going to take this guy for a tour, ok?">

"The wind's the worst.">

Joel, "If you look at the local weather and

They say it'll be 10 to 20. It'll be from 18 to 28 up here.">

"uh Joel. Watch your swing right there. .. Coming on down with it."
When wind gusts reach 40 miles per hour--
It's too dangerous for crews to keep working.
and the tower cranes shut down.
"Cable up and cable down... Swinging trolleys in your left hand.
See how I'm moving that over? That's swinging.">
Piece-by-piece... With precision and patience.
Until it's time to call it a day... And make that climb back down to earth.
Cody "what do you think is easier-- coming up or going down?" Joel, "going down by far." (laughs) and Joel’s favorite thing about the job---
"Going home at the end of the day."
It's gonna be a bright... Bright ... Sun shiny day." >

Work on the new patient tower at Cox South should be done by next spring. One operator from Miami decided it was too cold this winter... So he took another job.