Renting a Crane for the First Time? Get Answers to 3 Questions Related to Crane Weight Limits

26 January 2016
 Categories: , Articles

When you rent a crane, it is very important that you understand the weight limits related to the crane you are renting. Failure to do so can cause damage to the crane, property or injure individuals who are in the vicinity of this piece of machinery. Here are three frequently asked questions related to crane rental limits and the information you should know about those questions.

How Much Weight Can a Crane Hold?

Every rented crane must be marked with a load chart. This load chart indicates different factors which the crane operators must be aware of. Those factors include:

  • Dimensions and weight
  • Lift capacity
  • Lift range
  • Lift angle
  • Crane in motion

The dimensions and weight details the height, width and weight of the crane. The lift range and angle have to do with the range of the crane's arm and what angles it can lift items at. When determining how much weight a crane can lift, you want to pay attention to the lift capacity and crane in motion readings. The lift capacity will tell you how much a stationary crane can hold at any given time, while the crane in motion rating will tell you how much weight a moving or rolling crane can support and for how long.

Does the Lift Capacity Have a Safety Factor Built In?

When the crane is inspected and it's lift capacity is determined, a safety factor is built in. This means that technically, your crane can lift slightly more weight than the posted limits. This is to ensure that if a mathematical error is made, or something weighs slightly more than estimated, the crane and job site are still kept safe. However, just because the crane does have a safety factor built in does not mean you should ever attempt to lift more than the load factor on the crane.

First, you never know exactly how much of a safety buffer there is. Secondly, and most importantly, OSHA clearly states in 1910.179 N that a crane shall not be loaded beyond its rated load except when the crane is being tested by a licensed inspector. If you fail to follow these rules and OSHA catches you, you could be fined or your job site could be shut down. Because of this, it is extremely important that you consider how much weight your crane will be lifting and then rent a crane that has a lift capacity that matches up with the weight limits you need.

How Do Hoists Affect the Weight Limit?

The last question you may have when renting a crane is how hoists, hooks and other lifting material affect the lift capacity of the crane. The lift capacity states how much weight a crane can lift and your hoists and lifting equipment always need to be factored into this calculation. For example, if your crane can lift 10,000 and your lifting equipment weighs 1000 pounds, the crane can only lift an item weighing up to 9000 pounds without going over the weight limit. All lifting material, including hoists and hooks, are required to have clearly marked with their weight, making it easy for you to calculate this. Also, it is important to keep in mind that lifting equipment also has a lift capacity. This means that you must carefully pay attention to how much weight your hooks and hoists can lift, or these items can break or snap if overloaded.

There is a lot of information you need to learn before you rent a crane for the first time. But learning about the weight limits when it comes to cranes is extremely important, as damage to the crane, equipment you are lifting, surrounding materials and buildings and people can occur if you don't understand these limits.