8 Mobile Crane Safety Precautions To Take

Cranes are an amazing human invention. These machines are designed to lift and shift extremely heavy weights, cutting time and ensuring construction projects meet their deadline. However, if you underestimate or take them for granted, you are calling for trouble. Cranes can be as dangerous as they are beneficial. And, the last thing anybody wants is a crane accident that does not only cause structural damage but also loss of life. To prevent such serious situations, we have compiled a list of some safety tips you need to consider when dealing with crane rentals and performing crane operations.

Hire The Right Crane For The Job

The first and the most important safety precaution that most contractors tend to overlook is selecting the right crane for the job. Almost all cranes are designed to lift extremely heavy weights but not every crane is similar when it comes to design, features, and specifications. This means you need to select a crane that is specifically suited to your needs and preferences.

Plus, cranes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. While some cranes are fixed, others are mobile. Fixed cranes can lift relatively heavier loads than mobile cranes but need to be assembled and disassembled each time when they are transferred to a different location.

Selecting the right crane for the job is also about getting familiar with the types. The most popular types tend to be crawlers, carry decks, rough terrain gantry cranes, etc. If you are not able to make the right decision, you need to analyze and think about the task and purpose you need the crane for.

This will help you narrow down the options instead of wasting your time and effort going through each type.

Always Pick Certified Cranes

While on the hunt for the right crane, you also need to consider if it is well-maintained and approved by professionals. Because cranes lift and shit extremely heavy weights almost every day, it is normal for them to experience some cracks, minor leaks, and damage.

This is why some states and regions have strict regulations pertaining to maintenance of the cranes to prevent accidents. That said, you should only pick cranes that are approved, meaning they have been thoroughly inspected by the experts and are good to go.

These cranes as compared to the rest may be slightly expensive, however, they are safer. You do not want to spend your money on a crane that risks the entire project let alone the lives working as a team on the ground.

Always Hire Qualified Personnel

Hiring qualified personnel is as important as hiring an approved crane. As mentioned earlier, cranes come in a variety of different types. From the outside, all cranes might look the same but they vary in terms of handling. Although modern cranes tend to be loaded with safety features, you still cannot take chances.

This means you should hire qualified personnel who are specifically trained and have gone through special training and skills to operate cranes. This is because such people already have experience of working in stressful conditions and know how to handle things.

Then again, hiring a qualified operator is going to add to the costs but will significantly reduce risks and increase productivity.

Perform Daily Operator Checks

A crane operator must perform daily inspections and maintain a daily inspection checklist as well before operating the crane and after. These checks are extremely important and can make the difference between life and death in extreme cases. The operator should check for any cracks, damage, and other issues.

At the same time, the crane should be turned on and observed for any unusual noises or sounds. Furthermore, the hydraulics and other important features and components should be inspected closely as well. Instead of lifting weights as soon as the crane is started, it is better to test its functions to make sure everything is good to go.

Avoid Or Clear Obstacles During Travel

Part of ensuring everything goes smoothly is clearing or avoiding obstacles before the crane can be shifted to its new location. Some cranes such as gantry cranes need to be assembled and disassembled on the job site. Plus, such cranes require multiple machines to carry them.

That said, you must make sure the route is clear and nothing is obstructing the passageway. Moreover, the crane operator should also keep a close eye on the surroundings and maintain a safe distance from the power lines and all. Plus, there should also be a worker on the ground helping the operator make safe maneuvers especially if there are blind spots.

Stabilize The Crane Before Rigging

Mobile cranes tend to use outriggers to stabilize and prevent from tripping over during operation. When using a crane with outriggers, you need to make sure the ground is stable and can provide the crane with the grip it needs. The best way to do that is by following the manufacturer’s and the crane for rent DC company’s guidelines.

Plus, never place outriggers or the crane itself over depressions, voids, or unsteady ground. There have been many incidents in the past where cranes have tipped over due to being unable to handle the weight at certain heights. So, you need to be double-sure about stabilizing the crane before you can operate it further.

Rig The Load Correctly

Properly rigging the load keeps it from detaching or falling which can lead to death, injuries, and asset or structure damage. The first thing you can do is hitch the loads, which means attaching slings to lift the objects based on their weight. Basket hitching and choker hitching tend to be the two most common hitching techniques.

In addition to that, you need to keep in mind that whenever an angle other than vertical is used, the slings undergo additional forces that reduce their overall weight-lifting capacity. This is why you should only use slings that are made to handle the weight at a particular angle.

For this, you will need to clearly understand the concept of weight distribution, force, and rigging to safely lift some extremely heavy weights.

Understand Load Radius

To safely operate a crane, you need to understand how weight lifting works combined with the forces that act against it. One of the most important concepts you need to become familiar with is the load radius. This concept states that the farther the weight is from the center of the crane, the less load it is going to be able to manage without tipping over or collapsing.

The best way to calculate the load radius is by going through the crane’s user manual. The load radius is affected by the boom angle and the extensions attached. This is why you need to hire a qualified operator in the first place. Such factors might be minor but play a huge role in terms of safety.


You need to exercise all the safety tips you can get your hands on. Remember, you can never be too safe. So, make sure you keep the tips mentioned above in mind and take your time when choosing a crane from small crane rentals VA and operating or managing crane operations. Even a slight mistake can cost you a lot and you don’t want that. Think things through and carefully plan your next move.

Next PagePrevious Page
Similar Posts

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *