Cranes are tremendously powerful machines. While they offer numerous advantages to various industries but can be life-threatening as well if you play around with them. So, here are some important things related to crane rigging and crane operation that need to be done before operating a crane.
Read Operator Manuals
The first thing that needs to be done before operating a crane is reading the operator manuals. Even qualified personnel with years of experience and skills need to go through the operator manuals. It might seem that every crane functions more or less the same way but different manufacturers offer varying features that differentiate each time.
This means that you might have two cranes from different manufacturers that look exactly the same but will differ in terms of features and functionality. Plus, reading the operator manual gives you an idea about the loading capacity, operator controls, and safety mechanisms.
Cranes can lift and move heavy loads. If they are working round the clock, it’s natural for the components to experience wear and tear. This makes it important for the operators to perform an inspection before they can operate the crane.
While running an inspection, you should be looking out for cracks, leaks, or damage. Sometimes, the leaks can be minor but lethal. Therefore, you will need to use a flashlight to check narrow and tight areas. And if you come across anything unusual, you should get it fixed before operating the crane.
Never underestimate the intensity of the leaks, damage, or cracks. Even a 1-inch crack or leak can cause the boom to fail and the load falling to the ground.
This is perhaps the most important tip you need to keep in mind before operating a crane. According to international rules, cranes should not have anything that they can collide or come in contact with while working. This means that you will need to clear or remove any obstructions that might lead to an accident.
As a general rule of thumb, the crane should be at least 10 feet away from the power lines and other permanent obstacles. Additionally, a signal individual should be present on the ground as well to alert the crane about danger zones.
Understand Load Radius
Understanding the load radius is key to operating a crane. Before you can step inside the operator’s cabin, you need to understand how a crane works and the forces that are working against it. The load radius is a concept that states that when a load is further away from the crane, the crane will be able to manage less weight without collapsing or tipping over.
Furthermore, the load radius is primarily dependent on the length of the extensions and the angle of the boom. The load tends to be closer to the crane’s center line when the angle of the boom is higher. As a result, the boom can carry more weight.
However, if the angle of the boom is lower, the load is further from the center line and the boom can hold less weight.
Pay Attention To Load Limits
The latest cranes come with all types of features such as rate capacity indicators and load moment indicators. However, the operators should still know how to read the loading charts before they can lift the load. There are some important tips to keep in mind that help operate the crane safely.
For instance, a crane can hold more weight if the boom stays over the front of the crane while lifting, whereas if the crane needs to make a rotation or take a swing, it won’t have that much capacity. Additionally, a crane is able to hold much more weight on its outriggers than the tires alone.
Plus, the crane should always be parked on a leveled surface especially if outriggers need to be used. Loading and unloading weights on an uneven surface can imbalance the crane and cause it to tip over.
Before operating a crane, you must ensure that you are as safe and secure as possible. The tips mentioned above will surely help and keep you from serious accidents that could otherwise be a result of ignorance and negligence. Work with crane rentals VA to get cranes that are safe to operate.