Operating a Mobile Crane in Severe Weather

13 Apr 2021 Mobile Cranes

When it comes to mobile crane operation, there are several safety standards that must be adhered to before and during operation. These safety standards become even more important in the presence of severe weather conditions such as wind, heat, snow, or lightning. Any of these conditions drastically impact safe handling procedures, so it is important to understand how to deal with them. At TNT Crane & Rigging, they take mobile crane and site safety seriously. That is why their experts have provided some information on safety while operating a mobile crane in severe weather.

Types of Severe Weather Conditions for Mobile Crane Operation

For some operations, the job needs to continue even if the weather is not ideal. The following types of weather conditions require enhanced safety precautions and certain considerations:

Powerful Wind

Though most mobile crane manufacturers include the maximum wind speed for safe operation in their technical manuals, this number is just a guide. The most important factors to consider when dealing with wind are the size and weight of the materials and how high they need to be lifted. Wind speeds increase with height, so it is important to ensure that your crane has an anemometer fitted on the jib. If the speeds are too high, it is best to wait until the wind settles down before performing the lift.

Extreme Heat

Summer heat can greatly increase strain on mobile crane fluids and the operator. A close inspection of all fluid levels and the condition of seals is crucial for each lift, as heat can cause expansion or leaks. If the operator is not adequately prepared for the heat, they may become queasy or lightheaded. If this occurs, operations should be halted immediately until the operator recovers.

Heavy Rain or Snow

Heavy rain or snow can drastically reduce visibility, making most lifts more prone to safety risks. Rain and snow can also reduce traction for mobile cranes, affecting total lift capacity and maneuverability unless the unit is outfitted with tracks. Rain or snow are often the most subjective weather conditions, as every operator will have a varying level of comfort. That said, if rain or snow ever cause doubts, it is best to wait until conditions improve.

Thunder and Lightning

If thunder or lightning are present, operations should cease immediately until the storm has passed. A crane can act as a lightning rod during a storm, posing a major risk to the operator and all nearby personnel. A lightning strike can also cause immense damage to equipment, potentially even rendering it inoperable.

To learn more about safely operating a mobile crane in severe weather, reach out to the team at TNT Crane & Rigging. Their experts will work with you to provide a safe and efficient solution for your precise site requirements.