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How To Safely Operate A Crane In Bad Weather

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Even when the weather is good, it may be hard to run a tower crane. But anyone who has worked in construction knows that Mother Nature does not always help. Because of this, it is essential to understand how to use tower cranes when the weather is terrible. If the weather causes delays, a job could take up to four times as long. Every project must be finished no matter what, so tower cranes are sometimes used in less-than-ideal situations. By taking a few precautions, you can reduce the risks of these activities to an acceptable level.



Foggy day


High Winds

Wind is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about using tower cranes safely in bad weather. There is something called a "designated maximum wind speed" for every crane. This is the fastest wind speed at which the crane can be used safely. If the wind speed exceeds this, the crane can not be used safely. There are different wind ratings for various types, makes, and arrangements of cranes. Knowing how different kinds of weather affect your crane or how it was built is important.


When it is windy, the weight of the load might make it less safe to use a lift than it would be otherwise. Think about delaying the lift if the load could pick up a lot of wind or if it would be hard to control. Also, you need to know which way the wind is blowing because gusts from the side or back could cause the load to swing in a way that puts pressure on the crane or lowers the weight it can hold.


Cold Conditions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that tower cranes can also be less effective when it is too cold. Low temperatures can damage many parts of a tower crane, including its hydraulics, rigging systems, and hoists. In addition, a drop in the crane's tensile strength caused by cold weather can, in the worst case, cause a catastrophic breakdown while the crane is in use.


When the temperature hits 0 degrees Celsius, the cold affects hoists and other rigging systems. When it is below zero, the weather can change how the hydraulics of the crane work and how much weight it can hold. When it is very cold outside, the maximum weight that a crane can lift should be cut by 25% because hydraulic systems could break.


When it is below zero, it can be hard for motorised systems to work, but you could fix this by installing electric systems like conductor bars. Conductor bar sections are an alternative to festooning made of box tracks that can be used in cold weather. They are made of galvanised steel and are meant to carry a certain amount of current without getting too hot. In addition, parts of the conductor bar can keep ice and other debris from building up on the joints of the crane.


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Here at Crane and Lifting Services, we have over 100 years of experience supplying a wide range of clients with high-quality cranes, training and safety equipment.


Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements; we’re always happy to help!


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