3 Things to Do before Operating a Crane

Posted on: 26 August 2015

A crane is an essential piece of equipment on many construction sites. In order to avoid damage to the loads you're lifting and prevent injuries to yourself and others, use the following steps before you start to operate the crane.

Visually Inspect the Crane

The first thing you need to do when you are about to operate a crane is to make sure it is in good shape. Visually inspecting your crane is one way to check whether the crane will be able to work properly when you use it. This will help you catch possible problems early and help reduce the chance of an accident during operation.

Do a walk around of the crane to ensure that the hoists, slings, cables, and other components are intact and free from damage. Look for cracks and signs of rust or corrosion, which may ultimately affect the ability of the crane to lift loads.

Of course, it is also important to make sure the vehicle part of the crane is working well. Be sure that the tires are fully inflated, brakes work properly and ensure all controls are functional.

Know the Crane's Load Limits

Overloading a crane can cause a lot of problems on your work site. The crane itself could fail and drop a load, causing damage and possible injuries. Before you operate the crane, you need to ensure that you know how much weight your crane is capable of carrying. If you do not know the load limit of a crane you are using on a project, contact the manufacturer; many crane manufacturers have load charts posted on their websites.

Once you know the limit of the crane you're using, it's important to be aware of the weight of the loads you plan to lift. To be safe, you might consider having a scale onsite to make sure that your loads are manageable for the crane.

Check Ground Conditions

To avoid cave-ins and mobility problems, it is essential to check the condition of the ground on your work site before operating your crane. You might want to get a soil analysis done to be sure that the ground can support the weight of the crane and any load you want to carry. Be aware of wet ground conditions, which can be problematic as you try to maneuver a heavy piece of equipment across the site.

Now that you have some idea of what you should do before you operate the crane, you can make the tips above a part of your daily routine. Be sure to use the information above to make crane operation safer for you and others on your construction site. For more information, talk to a specialist like Cook Crane Corp.