In the UK, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. The morning may be sunny and warm, but the afternoon will bring heavy clouds and a rainstorm. For crane operators, the ever-changing weather can be frustrating. In this blog, we’re going to outline tips for operating a mobile crane in extreme weathers.
When using a crane or any access hire equipment, health and safety should always be the top priority. In bad weather conditions, a crane can be a very dangerous piece of equipment.
If you ever feel unsafe when working with a mobile crane, whether its due to extreme weather or other factors, always abort the job. The safety of yourself and your work colleagues is paramount.
CHECK GROUND CONDITIONS BEFORE OPERATING A MOBILE CRANE
The weather can have a huge effect on a site’s ground conditions. If there has been extreme weather such as heavy rainfall or snow, it is always best to double-check the ground conditions of the site before operating a mobile crane. If the ground is unstable and potentially dangerous, it is best practice to postpone the lifting job.
OPERATING A MOBILE CRANE IN HIGH WINDS
Wind can be a hazard for crane operations as it can cause loads to swing and can hamper the stability of the crane. Cranes can operate in winds up to a certain speed (this differs for each crane).
As a crane operator, you should always follow the instructions given on the machine you are operating. Each crane is different, some can operate better in winds than others. If you are hiring a mobile crane with an experienced operator, the operator should be able to advise on what is best to do when it is windy.
Bear in mind that the higher the crane reaches, the stronger the wind will be. If the wind is extremely high, always stop the lifting operation as quickly as possible and postpone it.
OPERATING A MOBILE CRANE IN HEAVY RAIN OR SNOW
We’re used to having plenty of rainfall here in England. Most crane lifting operations can go ahead as planned when it’s raining, providing the ground isn’t compromised and visibility is still good.
However, if there is heavy rain or snow, it will reduce visibility. If heavy rain, sleet or snow prevents the crane operator or any other site worker from seeing the load, machinery or lifting locations, the operation should be stopped. Visibility can be difficult to measure, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Once the rain or snow has eased off, crane operations can carry on as long as the ground condition is OK. If there is heavy rain or snow, site workers should take extra when working on the site as the ground may be slippery.
OPERATING A MOBILE CRANE IN THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
Operating a mobile crane when there is lightning in the area is incredibly dangerous. Because of the height, cranes are likely objects to get struck by lightning. The sound of thunder nearby should be the only indication you need to down tools and postpone the job.
As soon as you are made aware of the thunder and lightning, lower the boom of the mobile crane and switch off the crane’s power.
If weather reports are predicting thunder and lightning storms, its often best to leave the lifting job until the weather improves rather than taking the risk.
OPERATING A HIRED MOBILE CRANE IN EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
Here at Altida, we offer mobile crane hire with an experienced crane operator. Our crane drivers and operators all have either CPCS or NPOSR accreditation and are experienced in operating cranes in various weather conditions.
If you require a crane for various jobs or a prolonged period, it may be best to opt for CPA contract lift hire. CPA contract lift hire includes a qualified and certified mobile crane, crane operator, appointed person, lift supervisor and slinger/signaller. If extreme weather is predicted, the appointed person will provide advice based on their experience and knowledge.
GET IN TOUCH WITH THE MOBILE CRANE HIRE EXPERTS
Here at Altida, we are experts in everything to do with lifting and can make the process of hiring cranes simple and straightforward.
We are the UK’s leading provider of mobile cranes and contract lift hire and can offer an excellent service with fantastic operators and a world-class fleet.
Whether you are planning a large construction job or a small-scale event; we have the right crane hire service for you. We will do all we can to ensure the safety of your lifting operations.