Mobile Crane Safety: What Factors Influence Crane Strength and Stability?

If you are planning on acquiring mobile cranes for your construction project, you should think about safety in your worksite. Accidents involving these machines will cause unexpected delays, injuries and property damage. There are different issues which can compromise mobile crane safety. However, most incidents are caused by the loss of stability and poor estimation of the equipment strength. Therefore, consider these simple factors which could affect your cranes when creating your lift plan:

Machine Configuration

Mobile cranes have specific load ratings which must be considered when choosing the ideal equipment. However, the exact strength and capacity of the machine will be determined by the configuration. In simple terms, the ability of the crane to withstand specified weights can only remain the same if the lifting rig is set up as defined by the manufacturer. If you make changes to the configuration, the equipment could fail and cause accidents.

Therefore, when you are setting up a mobile crane in your worksite, you should adhere to the exact specifications provided by the fabricator. You should make sure that the right attachments such as jibs, booms, wire ropes and counterweights are obtained and installed correctly. Also, the outriggers should be extended in the manner specified in the manual. For the best results, you should hire operators who have experience with your selected mobile crane.

Soft Worksite Footing

You should evaluate the ground on which the mobile crane will be used for optimal safety in your worksite. In general, if the surface is soft, the stability and the load-bearing capacity of the equipment will be compromised. For example, numerous construction projects have uncompacted backfill. This substrate is unstable, especially under the weight of cranes. Where possible, you should avoid using your equipment on grounds with the soft footing. However, if this is not a valid option, you should make adjustments in your lift plan to accommodate the changes. For example, you might need to handle smaller loads for worksite safety.

Loading Practices

You should note that your loading practices will influence the stability and weight-bearing capacity of your mobile crane. Typically, the load capacity ratings which are outlined by the manufacturers apply when the loads are freely suspended, and the material is picked from directly under the boom tip. If you lift the loads from the side, stability is compromised. Also, you should avoid increasing the loading radius of the crane.

For optimal safety, you should discuss exact lifting requirements with your equipment supplier for ideal mobile crane selection.