Proper Crane Set-Up and Inspection

18 September 2017

Safety-aware crane setup procedures produce incident-free lifts. What does that preparation work entail? A perfectly maintained crane is certainly a must. Of course, a truly diligent setup policy begins before the lifting gear arrives on site. We’re referring to terrain inspection, ground compacting, and all the other steps that create a safe operational environment. Beginning with staging area awareness, let’s establish a sound set-up and inspection strategy.

Spatial Awareness

A navigable route kicks off our preparation work. This is an irregularly shaped vehicle, so its path to the site must be mapped out by the driver. Low bridges should obviously be avoided, as should the tight turns that confound multi-axled cranes. Then, when the large chassis and its accompanying boom arrive, the area has to accommodate the full radius of the articulating boom. The location of overhead electrical cables, if any are present, must be determined so that an approach distance can be resolved. Basically, every height risk factor requires assessment before the vehicle even wheels its way onto the worksite.

Weighing Grounding Concerns

Regular crane trucks combine the features of an all-terrain crane with those of a regular highway-approved vehicle. Essentially, these heavy-duty lifters assume many form factors, so the ground must be prepared for any one of these multipurpose crane profiles. Ideally, the terrain should be level and absolutely capable of supporting the chassis. Some amount of overhead is required here, for a crane’s centre of gravity alters when its boom is fully extended. In order to accommodate this safety factor, compact the soil, drain muddy pools, and fill any potholes with gravel. If the crane is equipped with outriggers, use them while adding weight distributing plates to their ground contacting pads. These crane mats are small and portable products, but they’re built to save the day by adding ground supporting strength to the heavy chassis’ outriggers and wheels.

A crane-oriented set-up and inspection procedure acts as an essential preparation phase. It dynamically outlines the static spatial risk factors and the potential risks that exist when the boom extends to its rated limits. In theory, load charts and dimensional parameters merge with equipment maintenance routines to pave the way, but only a properly conducted site inspection assures lift safety. Assess ground conditions and identify boom radius obstacles. Adopt a situational awareness mindset. Finally, run out a few dry or trial runs with dummy loads to absolutely validate this carefully established site lift safety factor.

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