When it comes to the operation of mini crawler cranes, it is of the utmost importance that you follow some very simple safety precautions to ensure your own safety, as well as that of nearby workers and property. We have outlined these precautions here – all crane operators should take note!
- Make sure that you are dressed neatly and wearing protective gear (such as a helmet, steel capped boots and gloves). Never wear baggy clothing or accessories that could become caught or catch fire.
- Make sure that you have inspected the crawler crane before operation and that you undertake periodical inspections during use. Make sure that any issues are rectified immediately.
- Check that no safety covers have been removed. It is incredibly dangerous to start and operate the crane with these covers removed, as the driving mechanism will be exposed.
- Make sure that the engine is stopped before refueling and supplying or changing lubricants. A fire source (such as a cigarette) is also prohibited when undertaking these tasks.
- When starting the engine in a small, limited area or indoors it is vital that windows and doors be opened for ventilation. Poor ventilation can actually result in exhaust poisoning.
- Make sure that the crawl lever has been shifted to ‘crawl’ when you want to begin using the crane. The equipment will not actually work unless the lever is in this position.
- Take care to not overturn the crane when driving on unlevel ground, as the equipment has been mounted to a small truck and, therefore, has been built with a high centre of gravity.
- When operating the equipment, ensure that the outriggers and the hook are properly stored. You should also avoid driving when a cargo has been hoisted or not properly secured.
- Take special care when making a sharp turn or driving on rough terrain – run the crane slowly. The same goes for driving over a bump – direct the equipment straight at it as well.
- When driving on a slope, make sure the crane is moving slowly and avoid making an abrupt start or stop and changing direction. Make sure you use a rubber pallet against the equipment when parked.
- Do not run the equipment over a bumpy area, rocks with sharp edges, rough solid rock, small broken stones, edges of steel plate, steel bars, scrap metals, or waste materials.
- Do not park the equipment over an area where withered grass or straw have been spread. The heat of the exhaust pipe or the exhaust fumes may actually cause a fire.
- Make sure that the crawling lever has been returned and that the engine is running at a low speed. You will then need to shift the crawling lever to the ‘crane’ position.
- Stop the engine and remove any dirt or dust that has gathered on the equipment. Pay special attention to the battery, electrical wiring and engine related components, as this can start a fire.
- Cover the crawler crane or place it into storage to prevent it from being accessed by unauthorised persons. Be sure to only cover the equipment when the heated areas have cooled down.
- Remove the key and keep it in a secure location. Disconnecting a battery cable before long periods of storage can also help to prevent accidental starting or other issues.
By ensuring that you have followed each of the above safety precautions when operating mini crawler cranes, you can rest assured that you have done everything possible to avoid injury and other accidents. If you see someone operating a crane against these precautions, be sure to report them immediately.
This is written on behalf of Australian cranes, provider of crawler cranes