Cranes are probably one of the most versatile construction machinery you can get. They can be used for myriads of applications such as building or moving heavy loads of material.
Perhaps you’re a homeowner who’d like to do some renovations on your home and you need a sturdy machine to help you with the task. You can either buy your own machine for the job or to save on costs you could use crane truck hire services.
Whatever the task is you’ll need to know more about these innovative mobile machines before you get started on your project.
What is a Crane?
A crane is a plant machine used to raise or lower heavy loads such as building material, cars and even large quantities of sand/soil. They’re designed to move objects horizontally or to lift material up on to buildings.
A crane usually has a long arm with a cable and a hook attached to the end. They come in a variety of sizes and types. You get fixed cranes that are planted onto the ground and you get mobile cranes that have wheels on them so they can travel from one place to another.
Fixed cranes are designed for the following applications:
- Tower building
- Bridge construction
- Mounting vessels
Mobile cranes are designed for the following applications:
- Vehicle loading
Cranes come in a variety of sizes that you can either buy or hire out. Because cranes are designed to lift heavy loads safely they need to be properly maintained.
Maintaining your crane is imperative because it ensures you’re adhering to certification. Crane maintenance is also to ensure project success, safety and maximizing the service life of your crane.
Before you start on your project, always do a full inspection of the crane. A visual inspection is required to ensure all crane parts are in excellent working condition. You should subsequently go on to do a functional test as well.
The functional test is to ensure that all the mechanical parts are working. You should also do a load test. The load rating should not be more than 80% of the maximum load during the test. An inspection should include:
- Leakage from valves, drain pumps and tanks
- Hoist chains and end connections for wear or twists
- Distorted links
- Check hooks for cracks or twists
- Loose bolts or rivets
- Inspect all pins, bearings, locking and clamping devices
It’s advised that a professional with at least 2000 hours of experience in crane inspection should come out once a month to check the crane. You should always be sure that your crane is in top working condition before you use it.
Selecting a Crane
Before you select a crane for your project there are many factors to take into consideration. To ensure you get the correct crane to suit your needs consider the working space and the type of project you’ll need the crane for.
You can discuss your project ideas with the company you’re hiring your crane from. They will inform you of the best crane suited for the job. Before buying or hiring a crane always mull over the following factors:
- What is the life cycle of the crane?
- How long you can keep the crane for?
- How often will the crane be used?
- What conditions will the crane work in?
- The maximum load a crane can move
- Seat design and back support
- Safe access points such as ladders, steps and grab rails
- Environmental controls such as A/C functions
- Windscreen, mirrors and window design
Now that you know the fundamentals, how do you go about hiring a crane?
Hiring a Crane
Cranes can be hired whether you’re licensed crew or if you’re an untrained operator. When you hire a crane consider hiring a licensed crew to operate the machine if you don’t know how to.
If you’re unsure about crane specifications, operational requirements and limitations perhaps speak to your crane supplier. They’ll be able to provide you with all the information you need. When you hire your crane provide your supplier with the following information:
- The approximate weight of the lifting project
- Working environment
- The nature of the project
- The type of application you need
In order to hire your crane, you’ll also need to have some documentation ready. Depending on the environment the crane will be working in, you’ll need documentation for safety and record purposes.
Work involving areas where there is any movement of powered mobile plants can be high risk. You’ll be working under strict regulations and you’ll need documents to specify the risks & hazards involved in the project.
The documentation will also include risk management. The risk management will describe the measures that need to be implemented to control the risks and to monitor your environment at all times.
Contact your local crane hire company in your area today to get the help you need to complete any building or moving project. Make sure you have the correct documentation and that you adhere to the regulations if you operate in a hazardous construction environment.
Speak to your supplier if you’re unsure about documentation. They will always walk you through the hiring process. The supplier will give you all the necessary information you need before they hire out equipment to you.
Follow these guidelines and enjoy the results of a safe, effective project.