Mobile Cranes Hire and Rigging: Best Practices for Safety

15 February 2018

Taut lines strain, loops of rigging cable secure a load, and a latticed boom moves carefully towards a predetermined lift site. Sure, some variables change, so the boom could be solid or articulating, the cables rigged in some alternative manner, and the load secured via a lifting bucket or a wooden pad. Still, a best practices rigging strategy is always in place, acting as the one safety-unifying common factor.

Safety Centric Rigging: Best Practices

Some loads are heavy. Elsewhere, far across the worksite, an eccentrically shaped cargo presents some interesting challenges. We need a rigging plan, a means of assessing each situation on a case-by-case basis. This is mobile crane hire at its most forward-looking best. The right crane has rolled up for work. It’s fully maintained and ready for the heavy jobs. Incorporating a best practices for safety approach, we look at the crucial interlink that ties the mobile lifter to the grounded load. On that premise, we address rigging requirements. Is this a complex lift? Is there a three-part line and appropriately selected hook block in service? What about the chosen wire sling or lifting web? Are these components part of the crane’s maintenance log? These and other rigging conditions all require careful appraisal.

Incorporate a Safe Lifting Plan

Even if the crane hire service provides the latest and greatest model, a market star that’s renowned for its safety rating, that reliable machine won’t perform predictably if it’s rigged incorrectly. Apply a rigging plan, find the load’s centre of gravity, and use a lift pad when the load is hard to secure. A pile of wrapped bricks, for example, will likely shift unless it’s properly loaded onto a flat platform. Above all else, the lift operation must stay horizontal. Otherwise, a potentially hazardous hoist operation is imminent. Distribute the load, lengthen or shorten the rigging slings, and exercise great care so that the heavy cargo does not tilt. A list of basic lifting angles and centre gravity (CG) mandates continues from here to cover pages of engineering text. In the end, though, it’s the job of the rigging operative to properly determine these lift factors.

Beyond the engineering criteria, the angles and load vectors, a best practices approach keeps the entire operation safe and secure. Never overload the sling. Overloads cause tilts, a phenomenon that can impact the rigging and the crane. If a mobile lifter isn’t anchored to the ground properly, a poorly rigged load could even tilt that large chassis, so please do stick to any and all site/hire rigging guidelines.

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