Operating a Self-Erecting Tower Crane in Windy Conditions
As we head into Winter the frequency of wind and storm warnings is on the increase. We take a look at how to remain safe when using self-erecting tower cranes in windy conditions. The power of the wind and the potential for accidents when operating a self-erecting crane in stormy conditions should not be underestimated.
Strong winds affect the stability of the crane and even moderate winds will have an impact on the load being lifted. Height is another important consideration when operating a crane in windy conditions as wind speed rises with height above ground level. Wind speeds are also conditional on the surroundings of the site and are impacted by neighbouring buildings, hills, and mountains.
Outlined below are the key considerations when operating a self-erecting tower crane in windy conditions but crane drivers should always consult and follow the specific instructions provided by the crane manufacturer for the model of the self-erector being operated.
Every make and model of crane has its own limits set by the manufacturer and these are based on the specific crane and its configuration. These wind speed limits should never be exceeded.
The crane operator should be familiar with the manual for the specific crane being operated and they should refer to the wind conditions section.
Always ensure that the anemometer, readout, and warning light are all working properly before beginning to operate the crane.
Gusting wind speeds
Maximum wind speed refers to gusting winds and not to mean wind speed. Gusting wind speeds will always be higher than mean wind speeds.
Large Surface Area Loads
Care should be exercised when lifting loads with large surface areas as the permissible wind speed when lifting these types of loads will be reduced significantly.
If the crane operator believes that they are not in control of the load being lifted, they should stop operating the crane as it is unsafe to continue.
Out of Service
When crane operations cease the trolley and hook must be returned to a safe position.
It is important that crane accessories, and chains, must not be left suspended from the hook.
When approaching the crane to adjust the slew brake, ensure that the crane is as close to weather veining as possible. A gust of wind from a different direction will cause the crane to move when the slew brake is not engaged (out of service mode).
If you have any further questions about using Flat Top Tower Cranes, Self Erecting Tower Cranes or Luffing Tower Cranes in windy conditions cranes please contact us at www.mantiscranesgroup.com