Crane service operators like you are in command of multi-million-dollar machines that are lifting multi-million-dollar loads. You are expected to know the best way to make that lift and transport the object to the necessary target location, but you are also expected to know how to execute this in the safest way possible. Working in an industry and with large equipment that is ever evolving and changing, it’s important that you keep up with best practices, as well as local rules and regulations. Here are a few tips, suggestions, and recommendations to ensure you are successful in operating your crane as safely as possible.
1. Always Read The Load Charts
As an experienced crane operator, you will probably be responsible for working on several different types of cranes. It is very important that you read the crane’s load charts before you even turn the key to start the crane’s motor. These charts will tell you how much weight the crane can handle at various heights and using different lift methods. Never lift a load that is heavier than what the chart says the crane can handle because, not only could you break the crane, but you could cause the lift to fall and get damaged or cause injuries to people near it when it comes crashing down.
2. Check All Fluid Levels
Prior to turning the crane on, you should also double check the gas, oil, and hydraulic fluid levels. There is nothing worse than having a 5-ton lift up in the air and then have it plummet to the ground because there is a hydraulic fluid leak that you weren’t aware of or you ran out of gas before you could deliver your lift to its destination.
3. Wear Proper Clothing And Safety Attire
There are reports of crane operators being injured due to falling loads or outrigger failure while making a lift. In order to protect yourself, you should always wear the appropriate safety gear, like clear safety glasses and a hard hat. Depending on the type of industry you work in, you may also need special cribbing and pads to prevent bodily injury while operating a crane. Think as cribbing as a strong cage that surrounds you and protects you against heavy falling objects.
4. Check For Structural, Electrical, Mechanical, and Hydraulic Issues
Always walk around the outside of the crane at the start of your shift and look for structural damage to the crane, such as bent metal or missing bolts. Also check and make sure all wires and other electrical components are in good order. Verify that all parts are oiled and that the hydraulics are working properly.
5. Be Cautious Of Ground Conditions
Another tip that is best done prior to the start of the lift is to look at the ground conditions to make sure it’s dry and solid enough to handle the size of the load. If you are lifting a heavy load and the crane starts to sink into the ground, the entire set-up will become off balance and you could lose the load.
6. Never Override The Computer
Like many things in today’s age, cranes are often have a computer on board. One of the most important things you can do to safely run a crane is to make sure you don’t override its computer. This can be done by trying to move a load that is too heavy for the crane or not watching the angle of the load and causing the computer sensors to be not be level. When the computer is overloaded, you are greatly increasing the risk of the computer malfunctioning and dropping the load or damaging the crane itself.
7. Turn Off Your Cell Phone
Always keep your cell phone turned off while operating a crane. The distraction will do nothing but increase the risk of accidents and mistakes. Your phone may also interfere with the crane computer and affect its operation.
8. Be Aware Of Changing Conditions
It is important to be aware of any changing weather patterns, which can greatly affect the success of your lift. If it’s raining too heavily, the lift can become slippery and unsafe and it would probably be best to suspend the job until things dry up a bit. It’s also important to take note of change among personnel. If a co-worker is hot-headed or agitated, he could overlook something important and make a huge mistake.
9. Evaluate The Lift Plan Every Step Of The Way
As a crane operator, you must always be aware of your surroundings. Throughout the lift job, take some time to stop and evaluate the situation. Make sure the ground is supporting the lift, verify the wind isn’t influencing the lift plan, and make sure the lift remains stable at all times. If necessary and possible, change the lift plan as many times as needed along the way to make sure it is as safe as can be.
10. Beware Of Overhead Hazards
Since cranes can reach high into the sky, it’s imperative that the crane operator is aware of any hazards lurking overhead. This includes power-lines and buildings that are close by. Not only could you damage the lift by bumping into these things, but it could cause an electrical outage or construction damage.
Hauling furniture, lumbar, or equipment may seem like a simple task if you own a truck. However, without proper loading and safe driving, you can place yourself and other drivers at risk. Considering an estimated 25,000 accidents happen each year due to road debris, learning how to properly load and haul bigger items is smart. If you are planning to haul a large item, use this guide to avoid lost items and potential accidents.
Whether driving a truck with a short or long bed, a few accessories and updates are essential for hauling larger items safely. Unfortunately, each make and model of truck has its own standard bed length, so consult your truck’s manual for detailed measurements. However, before driving off with bulky, long items, consider adding the following to your truck for safety:
Equipping your truck with the hauling essentials is a smart investment, but you also need to secure the items once they are in the actual bed.
Since you already have anchors in your truck bed, be sure to have a few sets of rope or bungee cord to tie down cargo. Visit your local home improvement or automotive parts store to purchase tie downs. If possible, purchase a set of good quality ratchet straps. These straps are perfect for securing heavy-duty items in your truck bed and locking them in place using the ratchet system.
Covering your cargo prevents smaller parts and pieces from flying out of the bed while driving, which may create accidents or cause damage to other vehicles on the road.
If you are hauling multiple pieces of long lumbar, wrap the wood using cling plastic. The plastic wrap will prevent wood chips or splinters from flying out of the truck bed.
A tarp or net is a great option for covering equipment, stones, or smaller items. By covering this type of cargo, you are stopping pieces from flying out of the bed.
Your truck’s cargo weight capacity and the speed you travel all play an important role in safe equipment hauling. Since cargo adds additional weight to your truck bed, your truck will handle in a different manner. Adjusting your speed, brake time, and acceleration is imperative.
Turning and driving up hills and steep driveways will require a higher level of acceleration. This speed is necessary, but also dangerous when it comes time to using your brakes. With heavy cargo, your truck will need additional time to stop. Drive below the speed limit, allowing yourself extra time to stop your truck. Also, do not travel too close to other vehicles on the road.
Without proper precaution, you are increasing your risk of dangerous accidents.
Hauling lumbar, furniture, and heavy equipment is possible in your pickup truck. However, safe driving and the correct truck equipment is essential. With these tips, you can safely haul the big items without harming yourself, other drivers, or cargo.
It’s early in the morning and you’re headed out the door for work. You turn the key in your ignition, but your car doesn’t make a sound. The scenario just mentioned is one that many car owners, such as yourself, are familiar with. Addressing the repairs your car needs is an expense in itself, but adding towing to the mix can be downright frustrating. Fortunately, there are ways you can save money.
Carefully Inspect Your Auto Insurance Policy
Current market forecasts show that the towing industry has seen a rise in both market size and revenue between 2009 and 2014, and those numbers are expected to continue rising. It is because of that fact that many auto insurance providers offer comprehensive policies in which you can add towing and roadside assistance.
Although adding towing and roadside assistance to your policy will increase your monthly rate, it can save you money in the long run when you experience car trouble. Set up an appointment to talk with your insurance provider to determine how much money you can save. An insurance agent can help you set up a plan that works best for you and your budget.
When you select an auto insurance plan, make sure you read the fine print. For example, if the plan covers your car, but not the driver, you may not be eligible to save money on towing if someone other than yourself is driving. If you have a spouse or a teen driver, you want to make sure they are covered for towing services, too.
Do you have more than one vehicle? When you add towing and roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy, make sure the package includes all of the vehicles you drive, including rentals. Many car rental companies offer towing as part of their rental package, so make sure you sign up in case you run into an emergency situation.
Contact Your Auto Dealer
If you have recently purchased your car, whether new or used, from an auto dealer, speak to the dealer about possible towing and roadside assistance coverage. Many automakers offer towing services for an additional price, but you will quickly find that it is well worth the purchase price.
A towing service can cover you if your car breaks down, if you happen to run out of gas, or if you accidentally lock your keys in your car. Keep in mind that towing services provided through the manufacturer may dictate where the tow company takes your car. In most cases, the towing company will be instructed to take your vehicle to the nearest dealership or manufacturer.
Make sure you ask the dealer or the manufacturer how many tows you are allowed per year. If you have consistent problems with your vehicle and you use up your allotted tows, you could find yourself facing an unexpected expense. Keep track of how many times you have your vehicle towed so you can prepare yourself in the event of an unlikely emergency.
Find out how far you can have your vehicle towed. Despite the fact that dealers and manufacturers prefer to have your vehicle towed to a certain location, that location may be beyond the allotted distance. Have the dealer explain the distance and any extra fees to you.
Some dealers only allow towing coverage within a few miles, so unless you are fortunate enough to break down just a few miles from your home, you may find yourself paying more than you expected. Save yourself time, frustration, and money by ensuring you have all your questions answered by a professional. Additionally, when you call a towing company, make sure their services are covered by either your insurance company, the dealership or the manufacturer.
For more information, contact a local towing company, like Connolly’s Towing Inc.