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Crane News

How Weather Conditions Impact Crane Performance

Crane Safety | Mar 10 / 22

While it may be easier to wait for a clear day to perform a lift, some project schedules may not allow for this. That is why it is vital for crane operators and other site personnel to understand how weather conditions impact crane performance and how to properly address the risks presented by them. As a leading provider of quality mobile crane rentals for all types of applications, the team at Eagle West Crane & Rigging knows how difficult certain weather conditions can be to operate in. That is why we have compiled a list of severe weather types to demonstrate how they impact crane performance and the precautions that should be taken in these conditions.

Read our mobile crane safety inspection checklist.

Types of Severe Weather Conditions for Mobile Crane Operation

The following types of weather conditions require enhanced safety precautions and additional considerations:

Excessive Rain and Snow

Heavy rain or snow can drastically reduce visibility, making most lifts more difficult to perform. Rain and snow can also reduce traction for mobile cranes, affecting total lift capacity and maneuverability unless the unit is equipped with tracks instead of wheels. While every operator will have a varying degree of comfort with rain and snow, it is best to wait until conditions improve if there is ever any doubt about performing a lift.

Heavy Winds

Though most mobile crane manufacturers include the maximum wind speed for safe operation in their technical manuals, this number is meant to be an estimate for reference. In addition to wind speed, it is crucial to account for the size and weight of the materials and how high they need to be lifted. As wind speeds increase with height, it is important to ensure that your crane has an anemometer fitted on the jib as this will help you determine if the wind speeds are too high to safely perform a lift.

Extreme Heat

Summer heat can greatly increase strain on operators and every type of fluid within the crane. All fluid levels and the condition of seals should be regularly checked as heat can cause expansion or leaks. If the operator is not adequately prepared for the heat, they may become lightheaded or ill. Should this occur, operations should be halted immediately until the operator recovers.

Thunder and Lightning

Cranes should never be used during a thunderstorm as they can act as a lightning rod and pose 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. While it may put your project off schedule, it is always better to wait until the storm passes before performing a lift.

To learn more about crane safety or for assistance choosing the perfect mobile crane rental for your project, get in touch with the experts at Eagle West Crane & Rigging. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.