When your construction business rents a crane, you want to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the lift. Not only are you paying a fee for the crane rental, but you also don't want to run into unexpected problems during the lift that may cause you to miss construction deadlines for your client. Thankfully, crane rental companies provide the necessary lifting expertise – all you need to do is some communication and preparation. To help your lift day go smoothly, here's how to make the necessary preparations for your rented crane.
Communicate All Lift Requirements to the Crane Rental Service
The crane rental service needs as much information as possible about your work site and the lift that you need to be done. Not only does this help the crane rental company decide which crane you need for the lift, but it will make the lift itself smoother. Tell the crane rental company how to access your job site, where the crane needs to be constructed or parked, the weight of the lift and the distance from the crane site to where the load needs to be placed. Good communication in the planning stage helps everything go smoothly on lift day.
Acquire the Necessary Permits for Lifting
It's vital that you work with municipal authorities to acquire all the necessary permits to operate a crane on your job site. You don't want to be fined or to have the local authorities shut down your operations on lift day. Cranes can be dangerous to surrounding buildings when improperly operated, so cities and counties want to make sure that you have planned the lift well before allowing you to operate a crane on your work site. You may need extra permits if the radius of the crane arm extends over a road or sidewalk since this can be dangerous for vehicle and foot traffic.
Prepare Your Work Site for the Crane
One of the most important parts of safe crane operation is to make sure the crane has a strong, stable surface to sit on. If a crane sits on an uneven surface or loose soil, the weight of the crane when it lifts the load can easily cause the soil to rapidly shift, resulting in the crane tipping over. The soil should be well-compacted, and your crane site should not be located over any caverns or open areas in the soil. You can use ground-penetrating radar to check soil conditions on your job site.
If the soil is sandy or uneven, you'll need to use crane mats in order to stabilize the crane. Your crane rental company may have crane mats available to rent. Crane mats are usually constructed out of heavy lumber. Their purpose is to spread the weight of the crane over a large area to reduce the chance that the soil underneath the crane will shift.
Clear obstructions from your work site. Cranes are heavy equipment, and every obstruction makes it more difficult for a crane to be moved into position and hinders operation. Ensure that no objects will be in the way of the crane arm and clear away construction debris around the site where the crane will be placed.
Designate a Lift Leader
You'll need a lift leader to act as the liaison between your construction team and the crane rental team on lift day. The lift leader needs to be present whenever a lift is being performed. His or her chief purpose is to keep everyone safe by double-checking the rigging, keeping all of your workers a safe distance away during the lift and stopping the lift if conditions change mid-lift.
Ample preparation before lift day ensures that everything proceeds safely and smoothly. If you have little experience with lifting, don't be afraid to ask your crane rental company for advice on how to prepare your job site before the lift. Many crane rental companies have thousands of lifts under their belts and are able to give you expert advice as long as you communicate your lifting needs accurately.