Choosing the right crane for your project is vital to making sure the operation is a safe and effective one. If you select a crane that is improperly rated, or that is not designed for the type of ground it is going to sit upon, your project could experience some potentially dangerous and expensive issues. To choose the best type of crane for the job at hand, you should answer a series of questions.
What Load is Being Lifted by the Crane?
Loads can shift at random intervals, and they may be balanced in unusual ways. One important part of deciding which kind of crane to use is to determine what type of load you are going to move. This inquiry process needs to include both the materials inside, and the method of containing them. A liquid inside a tank is going to have dramatically different movement characteristics than a flat car trailer full of tightly packed solid objects. Exploring the entire fleet of possibilities can benefit you if you are unaware of the types of cranes available to you.
How High is the Work to be Done?
The height of the work is going to impact how the boom is set up, as well as what kind of boom will be necessary. Furthermore, the extension of the crane’s boom can be affected by the wind, which increases exponentially as the height increases. In addition, the amount of counterweight needed to heft loads to ever-increasing heights needs to be calculated differently versus if the height is lower. Tower cranes now have dramatically higher capacity than they once did, and they can often lift over 1,000 meters into the air.
How Far is the Load From the Crane?
The counterweight, the support structure and the stability of the boom are all affected by the distance from the load’s origin point to the base of the crane. As well, the rated load weight also varies based upon the distance from the crane’s base to the load at the end of the boom or jib. Every crane has a load chart that explains how much load can be hoisted at one given point, and exceeding this level of weight can cause problems with the operation. In some instances, such as in factory or other tightly confined spaces, overhead cranes can be your best bet.
What Material and Condition is the Ground Beneath the Crane?
Cranes need a solid support structure beneath them to support the load and to keep their movement stabilized. While truck mounted cranes are often useful when there is concrete to support the crane itself, outriggers are sometimes not enough on unstable terrain. Rough terrain cranes offer the necessary mobility for grass or dirt surfaces without compromising most of the strength. When there is an uneven substrate, you need to consider the width of the crane’s base.
What Kinds of Obstacles are There?
In many environments, especially urban and suburban ones, cranes need to be adapted to circumventing obstacles. In addition to winds, there may be power lines, other buildings and other obstacles that can keep a crane from being able to simply raise the load directly from its origin point to its destination. In some instances, even the control scheme the crane uses can be difficult in the presence of obstacles, with pendant station cables getting caught. Radio controls may be more effective and less potentially hazardous.
How May the Crane Affect the General Public?
Just like how tower cranes are affected heavily by windy weather, the public in the area the crane is operating may be affected by this operation. If the crane’s size impacts the flow of traffic beyond a reasonable threshold, this can cause problems for the entire construction site. Further, if the crane is likely to cause issues with the operation of nearby buildings, this needs to be taken into consideration prior to selecting the type of crane you are going to use for your project.
How Will the Site be Accessed?
While using a boom truck may be good for when there is a paved road, driveway or other foundation where the crane can sit, in some cases access may be restricted to a narrow area. In the case of a tower crane, physically attaching it to the building being worked on may be necessary to prevent the crane from tipping or from swaying too much for safety.
Choosing the right type of crane is vitally important, but it can also be dauntingly complex. If you would like a second opinion, or if you are completely lost for the best type of crane for your project, contact TNT Crane & Rigging today to learn more.