7 Tips For Using Cranes Safely In The Wind

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Using a crane always comes with a few risks, but those risks are heightened in the wind. If you're renting a crane and you're worried about how the wind may affect your work, check out the following tips. They will help you stay safe.

1. Schedule Your Rental Strategically

To be on the safe side, you may want to check the weather forecast before you schedule any crane rentals. If possible, try to avoid renting your crane on days when the wind is forecast to be high. In cases where that's not possible or if the wind kicks up after you've already rented the crane, you need to explore the rest of these tips.

2. Review the Manual

Ideally, when you rent a crane or any other type of heavy machinery, you should ask the rental company for a copy of the manual. This has critical safety advice that you may need. For cranes in particular, you need to check the maximum wind speeds in which you can safely use the crane.

If the wind is blowing faster than those speeds, you may need to delay your project. Remember to take into account general wind temperatures as well as gusts. Even a single gust could destabilize your entire operation or hurt someone in the area.

3. Rent Cranes With Built-in Anemometers

If possible, try to only rent cranes with built-in anemometers. An anemometer is a device that reads the speed of the wind. If the crane doesn't come with this gauge, you may want to invest in a standalone anemometer.

This can be more accurate than relying on weather reports. Remember that in most cases, weather reports including wind speeds and temperatures are taken at a specific location, and even if that's just a few miles from your work site, there may be discrepancies.

4. Take Into Account the Wind Resistance of the Load

In addition to paying attention to the wind limits advised by the crane's manufacturer, you may also want to think about the shape of the item being hoisted. Different shapes engage with the wind in different ways.

To take a simple example, imagine that you are using a crane to lift a sail boat that has the sails open and unfurled. If the wind is blowing quickly, it may hit the sails and cause the load to swing wildly. In contrast, if the crane is hoisting a relatively small, dense object such as a heavy crate, the wind won't affect that load as much.

5. Give the Load a Wide Berth

Regardless of the load being hoisted, you and anyone else in the area may want to give it a wide berth as you are lifting it. Give the load more space than you would in non-windy conditions, and give it even more space if it is prone to blowing in the wind as described above.

6. Prioritize Communication

When you're operating a rented crane, it's always important to communicate with the people on the ground. This is even more important when you are working in potentially dangerous conditions such as windy weather. To make communication easier between the ground crew and the crane operator, you may want to invest in a few walkie talkies.

7. Make Sure the Ground Is Level

Finally, to avoid destabilization, you may want to take extra precautions to ensure that the crane is on level ground. When the crane is tilted and unlevel, it is more likely to be affected by a gust of wind, but when it's stable, that's less likely to have an effect.

To illustrate that concept, imagine yourself standing in the wind. If you're solidly standing on two legs, it's easier to resist the wind than if you are trying to balance on one leg.  

To get more tips, contact a crane rental company directly. Whether it's windy or not, they can help you.