Preventing Crawler Crane Collapse: Analysis & Measures

Crane collapse incidents can have devastating consequences, leading to severe injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. Understanding the causes behind crane collapses and implementing effective preventive measures is of utmost importance to ensure safer crane operations. In this blog, we will analyze the factors contributing to crane  incident and discuss practical measures to prevent such accidents.

Crane Collapse Reason 1 - Unstable Leg Foundations

One critical factor that can contribute to crane collapse is an unstable leg foundation. The stability of a crane relies on a secure foundation during its operation. If the leg foundation is compromised or not adequately supported, it can lead to imbalanced weight distribution and ultimately result in a crane collapse.

How to Prevent this crane accident?

To prevent this crane accident due to unstable leg foundations, the following specific measures should be implemented:

Adhere to strict guideline

  • Follow detailed requirements for the load-bearing capacity of the crane’s installation site.
  • Consider soil conditions and potential subsidence risks when determining the guidelines.

Regular monitoring during the operation

  • Continuously observe the leg pads to detect signs of sinking or significant uneven settlement.
  • Conduct visual inspections or use specialized measuring devices to monitor stability.
  • Immediately halt the operation if abnormalities or uneven settlement is detected.

Proper preparation before the operation

  • Use suitable-sized wooden blocks, foundation boxes, or steel plates as additional support under the leg pads.
  • Ensure the supports are correctly positioned and aligned to distribute the weight evenly and stabilize the crane.
  • Verify that the supports are in good condition and have sufficient load-bearing capacity.

Take necessary adjustments and reinforcement

  • When significant uneven settlement is observed, add more supports, such as wooden blocks or steel plates, to reinforce the leg foundation.
  • Level and align the crane properly to ensure even weight distribution across all leg pads.
  • Involve experienced personnel, such as engineers or crane specialists, to assess the situation and provide guidance on corrective actions.

Regular inspections and maintenance

  • Conduct inspections of the leg foundation, including leg pads, supports, and foundation components.
  • Check for signs of deterioration, such as cracks or corrosion, in the leg foundation.
  • Promptly address identified issues through repairs or replacements to maintain structural integrity.

Crane Collapse Reason 2 - Operator Errors

Error, particularly among crane operators, can contribute to crane collapse incidents. Inadequate training, lack of experience, or failure to follow proper operating procedures can result in disastrous consequences. Operators must be proficient in crane operation techniques and well-versed in safety protocols.

The basic crawler crane operator guideline

To prevent crane collapses due to operator errors, it is crucial to establish comprehensive training programs and follow specific guidelines. Here are the key points to consider:

Comprehensive training program

  • Implement training programs that cover both theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to crane operation.
  • Ensure that operators receive thorough training on crane setup, including stabilizing the crane and positioning the outriggers correctly.
  • Train operators on proper load management techniques, including calculating load capacities, using appropriate rigging methods, and securing loads safely.
  • Provide training on emergency response procedures, such as how to handle equipment malfunctions, power failures, or sudden weather changes during crane operations.

Emphasize safety protocols

  • Familiarize operators with safety protocols specific to crane operations, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and following site-specific safety regulations.
  • Train operators on hazard identification and risk assessment techniques to promote a proactive safety mindset.
  • Educate operators about the importance of regular equipment inspections and maintenance to ensure safe and reliable crane operations.
  • Encourage operators to report any safety concerns or potential hazards they observe during crane operations.

Crane Collapse Reason 3 - Overloading and Improper Load Management

Overloading a crane beyond its rated capacity or improper load management practices can exert excessive stress on the crane structure, leading to collapse. Neglecting load calculations, using incorrect rigging techniques, or failure to adhere to load limits can significantly compromise crane stability.

To prevent the crane accident which due to overloading and improper load management, strict adherence to load capacity limits is crucial. Operators should be trained to perform accurate load calculations, considering factors such as weight, size, and center of gravity. Rigging practices should follow industry standards, using appropriate equipment and techniques. Regular inspections of load-bearing components and safety devices should be conducted to ensure their integrity and functionality.

Crane Collapse Reason 4 - Adverse Weather Conditions

Crane collapse can also occur during adverse weather conditions, such as high winds, storms, or lightning strikes. Strong winds can exert significant forces on the crane structure, causing instability and potential collapse.

To mitigate the risks associated with adverse weather conditions, it is essential to establish protocols for crane operations during inclement weather. Monitoring weather forecasts and implementing strict guidelines for permissible wind speeds is crucial. Operators should be trained to recognize and respond to changing weather conditions, including suspending crane operations when necessary.

Crane Collapse Reason 5 - Component Failures

Crane collapse can occur as a result of component failures, including mechanical failures or defects in critical crane parts. Components such as booms, cables, hydraulic systems, or structural elements can experience wear and tear, leading to catastrophic failures during crane operations.

Choose the high-quality crane parts

Value Crane is committed to providing high-quality crawler crane parts, including track shoestrack roller, track chainscrane wire ropecrane sheave, and more. We understand that component failures can lead to crane collapse, posing significant safety risk. That’s why we emphasize the importance of choosing high-quality crane parts for your crawler crane. To prevent these crane accidents caused by component failures, we recommend the following measures:

Regular inspection

  • Establish a routine inspection schedule for all mechanical components of the crane.
  • Thoroughly inspect components such as booms, cables, hydraulic systems, and structural elements for any signs of damage, corrosion, or excessive wear.
  • Promptly address any identified issues to prevent further damage or failure.

Maintenance routine

  • Implement preventive maintenance routines tailored to your crawler crane’s specific needs.
  • Regularly lubricate moving parts, adjust tension in cables, and check hydraulic systems for leaks or malfunctions.
  • Adhere to manufacturer guidelines and recommendations for maintenance and replacement intervals.

Prompt repairs and replacement

  • If any issues are detected during inspections, take immediate action to address them.
  • Carry out necessary repairs or replacements for damaged or worn-out components.
  • Ensure that only high-quality crane parts are used as replacements to maintain the reliability and safety of your crawler crane.
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  • Promptly address any identified issues to prevent further damage or failure.

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