Hiring or buying a self-erecting crane for your next construction project can provide ease in transporting heavy loads of material within the project site because, in most cases, this type of crane can be operated remotely by a certified crane operator.
As the name implies, a self-erecting tower crane is a kind of tower crane that can be prepared for use faster, especially in projects with restricted or limited space. Hence, it is recommended for use in smaller construction sites as it can easily enter areas with spatial challenges.
To maximize the benefits of a self-erecting crane, it is imperative that the builder creates a site plan. This will also ensure the safety of personnel and other people going in and out of the construction site.
How to Prepare the Construction Site for Crane Use
Contractors who are planning to use cranes for their construction project must prep the site and the people who will work on it ahead of time. Below are six steps that should be followed in doing so to achieve the optimal benefits of using a crane:
Step #1: Know the Machine
Cranes are as different from one another just as they are collectively unique from other construction machines. Among the most important things you should learn about is what type of machine you are using (in this case, a self-erecting crane), including its range and capacity, the control mechanism, and specific limitations on what it can do.
To ensure that this is achieved, it is imperative that builders read the operation manual and other documents containing instructions and precautions provided by the manufacturer. These documents contain information on how the machine works and the different factors that may affect its efficiency.
Step #2: Create a Rigging Plan
After you educate yourself and the crane operator about the machine, it is time to come up with a rigging plan — a document that indicates how you plan to accomplish specific activities using the crane. It should also come with a lift and safety plan to ensure that the intended operation can be accomplished using the said equipment.
Rigging plans are crafted according to the type of lift for the construction, namely: ordinary lifts, crucial lifts, and pre-engineering lifts. The type of lift can determine which evaluation concepts should be used in the rigging plan to ensure a safer lifting and rigging process.
For ordinary lifts, preliminary rigging and lifting meetings and subsequent verbal planning should suffice. This type of lift requires minimal documentation and is considered the easiest one to deal with. However, it is still vital that you perform safety precautions within the construction site, even with an ordinary lift.
Meanwhile, critical lifts require more thorough planning before the actual execution. This means that you would have to create a written procedure and undergo a rigorous approval process before executing the plan.
On the other hand, crafting a rigging plan for pre-engineering lifts can be a bit more complicated than the first two. This is because contractors need to specify rigging points, identify components that must be managed individually, and define a lifting procedure to ensure safety and minimize issues during its execution.
Step #3: Assign a Certified Crane Operator
Pick a certified crane operator with extensive training and experience to ensure safety within the construction site. Make sure to follow the regulations and standards set by local authorities when doing so. This will not only save you from having any issues and work delays but also ensure the safety and security of your project site and workers.
Step #4: Inspect Everything
Next, inspect everything involving the crane use process and verify for them good measure. Confirming that the crane has been examined is only the beginning of a rigorous inspection process – you must also personally check if everything is working as it should and that there are no defects in all the components of the machine.
Step #5: Deal with Obstructions
Having obstructions is hazardous for a construction site and can lead to a tremendous amount of work when not dealt with early on. Because of this, contractors must make sure that these hindrances are removed before the crane arrives at the site.
Clear a path within both vertically and horizontally between the origin and destination areas of the load to be lifted to ensure that the crane can be used safely. If there are blockages that cannot be removed, make sure that the operator is aware and come up with a plan to work around them while keeping safety your top priority.
Step #6: Plan for the Crane’s Swing Radius
Aside from lifting heavy objects, cranes also make a swinging motion to transport load from point A to point B. This means that you should also prepare for the swing radius when clearing for obstructions.
Make sure to determine the specific arc the crane will be needing and barricade it off to ensure no one gets in the way while the machine is working. This should be checked before the beginning of each working day during the project to avoid any untoward incident caused by objects or power lines being hit by a swinging crane.
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Always Plan for Safety
Ensuring safety in a construction site means you have to know what you need to do even before the crane arrives and plans for it. This will help you avoid unnecessary headaches and potential setbacks during construction.
Hermann Buchberger is the Founder and CEO of Active Crane Hire (ACH). He’s taken the company from start-up to Industry Leader offering the largest fleet of construction cranes in Australia. ACH launched a new type of crane previously unheard of in the Australian market: electric tower cranes. The company’s infrastructure and associated services now comprise a fleet of trucks and trailers, a crane-rigging team, mobile crane technicians, a fleet of service vehicles, and an extensive range of crane spare parts.