Cranes come in all shapes and sizes, from a small truck-mounted loading crane to self-raising tower crane. If you need to hire a crane, there’s some important information you need to know to ensure you get the right machine for the job and for the worksite.
We have some tips to help simplify the crane hire process and ensure you get the right crane for your requirements.
Know the Load Weight
All cranes have a very specific load weight. If a crane cannot handle the weight of the load, you’re risking damage to both the crane and the load. You could also be putting your workers as well as innocent bystanders in serious danger.
Similarly, you don’t need a crane with a high-lifting capacity to move a small load. Cranes with a high lifting capacity cost more and are more difficult to situate and time-consuming to set up. They also require more skilled operators. Hiring a high-load capacity crane when you don’t need one will cost you time and money.
It’s important that you know the precise load weight that you need to move before you start thinking about crane hire.
Know the Lift Height
Knowing the precise lift height is another important factor. Obviously, cranes can different significantly when it comes to lifting height. For low lift work, like lifting loads onto trucks, there aren’t many special requirements. However, for high lifting jobs, like working on tall buildings, you will need to factor in not only the height of the lift, but the angle, wind conditions and counterweight requirements.
Consider the Site Terrain
It’s vital that you know exactly what terrain conditions the crane will have to operate on. To keep cranes and their loads stable, they are designed with certain ground conditions in mind. For instance, some cranes are made for rough terrain, while others should only be used on flat and firm surfaces.
Is the worksite in rough or unstable terrain or on flat paved roads? This will be a significant factor in choosing the right kind of crane for your job.
You may even need to consider how weather conditions may affect the terrain. A gravel or dirt worksite may be accessible enough for a truck during dry weather, but after a few days of rain, you may need a crawler to safely access the site.
You also need to take into account how mobile you need the crane to be. Some projects may require a crane to be particularly flexible and operate in tight spaces.
Consider Access to the Site
While it’s important to make sure you have ample room on the worksite to set up the crane, it’s also crucial that you factor in site access. How will the crane access the worksite? What is the access route? Is there enough space to bring it in? Will it require any temporary road closures. Are there any potential obstacles?
It’s vital that this is factored in before hiring the crane. If your machine can’t reach the worksite, then you’re looking at major delays and wasted money.
Working safely with and around cranes means ensuring both the environment and crane are as safe as possible.
As cranes tend to be large and tall machines, you need to ensure the crane and its load are not damaged by or do damage to nearby features. Pay attention to any overhead power lines or structures, as well as nearby buildings and trees. The crane should be able to safely operate around all these obstacles. You may need to use a smaller crane to avoid problems.
Remember to also speak with workers on site about rules and regulations when working with or near cranes. Areas around the crane may need to be off-limits while the crane is in operation so no one is put at risk.
Cranes are an essential machine for many constructions and developments, but you should always use the right crane for the job. Otherwise, things can go wrong quickly.