Usually when people hear that a mobile crane tipped over, they assume that it was due to the load weight. However, the truth is that loss of stability is inescapable when operators disregard the crane manufacturer’s guidelines concerning crane ratings. Simply put, the cause of a tipping accident is most likely the wrong boom angle or boom length.
A mobile crane is comprised of three basic components: the carrier (chassis), superstructure, and boom. The center of gravity of each component affects the center of gravity of the entire crane assembly. Preventing the crane from leaning too much to one side or tipping forward is the objective of two mechanisms: the counterweights and outriggers.
Counterweights are planted on the cab’s underside, on the back of the crane. The amount of weight needed for a specific operation depends on the load’s weight, the boom’s angle, and radius. Counterweights are removed when the crane is not performing a lift.
Outriggers use hydraulics to lift the whole truck (tires included) off of the ground. The outriggers are made up of the outrigger pad (also known as the “foot” or the “float), and the beam (the outrigger’s leg). Even when you’re working with loads that are under your crane’s lifting threshold, extending the outriggers properly is critical. Occasionally, mats (or wood floats) are lined up to form a base underneath the pad in order to evenly spread the weight over the ground surface, which can help preserve the pavement underneath the crane.
There is a special vocabulary when it comes to improving equipment stability with counterweights and outriggers. Below are a few of the terms you might come across while on the job:
Blocking- Also referred to as “pads”, “dunnage”, “mats”, or “cribbing”, blocking is used to support lattice boom sections and evenly distribute loads to the ground during disassembly and assembly.
Allowable Ground Bearing Pressure- The maximum amount of pressure approved on the supporting surface. The number is measured in Pascals (Pa) or pounds per square foot (psf).
Deflection- Bending of supporting materials as downforce is applied.
Crane Pad- An area of compressed concrete, mats, steel plates, or soil used to support a mobile crane during a lift.
Crush Rating- The amount of pressure that an outrigger is allowed and rated to carry. This depends upon the strength of the materials involved.
Displacement- The difference between the fully-loaded horizontal position of the outrigger pad and the unloaded horizontal positions of the outrigger pad.
Crane Mat- Used to lessen the ground bearing pressure from a crane’s crawler tracks, tires, or outriggers.
Ground Bearing Pressure (GBP)- The pressure that a crane pushes on the supporting surface, measured in Pascals (Pa) or pounds per square foot (psf).
Downforce- The pressure created from the outriggers onto the outrigger pads through the outrigger float.
Ground Load Rating (GLR)- The amount of weight that can be used on the outrigger pad based on the ground’s ability to support it.
Effective Bearing Area- The area underneath a crane mat that is sufficient in distributing the applied load to the underlying surface.
Ground Bearing Capacity (GBC)- The capability of the surface/ground to support a crane and its operation.
Outrigger Pad/Float/Foot- These help even out the load to the supporting surface by attaching to the outer part of a crane’s outrigger. As with several crane parts, they go by many names, typically depending on where you are. You may refer to them as “feet”, “outrigger floats”, “outrigger pans”, or simply “pads”.
Ground Conditions- How well the ground can hold up the crane and its load. These conditions include slope and soil compaction.
Maximum Outrigger Reaction Force- The maximum amount of weight that the equipment can exert through its outriggers.
Supporting Materials- These include cribbing, blocking, and mats, as described in OSHA 1926.1 OSHA 1926.1402(a)(2).
Regardless of how heavy your load is, you should always follow the correct setup procedures. Stick to your crane lift plan when the lift exceeds 75 percent of the crane’s rated capacity or demands the use of more than one derrick or crane to perform. Be sure to ask these questions prior to setting up your crane:
Tower crane base install.
Have you ever been called or sent to take over a job that feels like you just jumped on board of a sinking ship? One that is either losing money, behind schedule or has quality issues? Then you need to try these three easy steps to help get it back on track quickly!
Clean The Job
More often than not an un-organized, messy job is usually behind schedule or poor on quality. If you want an efficient job, it needs to be clean and organized. By cleaning up the job, it not only makes it easier for the crews to work in and around so they can be more efficient, but it also shows progress and change. When you’re trying to change a job this will help with immediate results by changing the environment they work in from a messy, unsafe area to an area clear and free of materials and debris.
Supply Crews with the necessary: Materials, Tools, Equipment and Long Lead Items.
There is nothing more frustrating for a crew than to be waiting on information, tools, equipment or materials. The whole objective of a supervisor is to ensure all of this is taken care of before they even start work, clear a path for your crew to be successful. So don’t just look at the immediate needs, start looking ahead. Create a schedule with materials, tools and equipment needs for the activities. This will help ensure there will not be any hold ups.
Give them a reasonable objective to hit. If your behind and try giving them un-reachable goals, it will only add to the hate and discontent they have now. Start off with a couple of goals you know they can hit. Build up their confidence, then, start pushing once confidence is achieved. After that they will welcome a challenge and looking forward to what they can achieve now.
There could be many reasons a job starts going south, in order to fix the problem you need to first identify and remove the problem: this could be the wrong supervisor or foreman on the job or it could be a problem with the sequencing and logistics. Whatever it is, once you identify the problem and remove the cause, it is your responsibility to find a solution to get it back on track. The three listed above are just some general items to help you get the job organized.
Talk to the crews, contractors and sub contractors and get their opinion of why the job has not been performing like it should. Remember any feedback you receive can only help you identify the real problem so you can correct it.
What are the results of your hard work?
A result is a consequence, effect or outcome of something. So, if you had to analyze the results of all your hard work over the years, what would your result be?
So how can you build a name that will deliver results? There are three key factors to help build your name.
Reputation: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.
Someone of strong character:
Integrity: Doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.
Honor: Fulfill an obligation or keep and agreement.
Strength: the emotional or mental qualities necessary in dealing with situations or events that are distressing or difficult.
Willpower: the power by which a person decides on and initiates action.
Credibility: the quality of being trusted and believed in.
The quickest way to lose credibility id taking credit for everything, being humble is critical to having people trust and believe in you.
If you want people to follow, you need to be well organized, have a plan, execute the plan, and take action when needed and above all help others be successful.
Performance: the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function.
Try to follow through and execute everything on time and accurately. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish this week, when it needs to be done by and see if you can get it all mistake free.
Help implement the process and procedures your company has setup, and treat them like a living document: timely and accurately.
Showing up and just doing the job isn’t enough. Everyone on site is doing just that. You need to go above and beyond. Earn the reputation you want! Your results and your name will be remembered.
Do it right the first time: As we all know re-work is costly. Something was built, poured or placed wrong and has to be fixed. All the momentum up to this point has been shot. Having checks in place to ensure everything is correct before it's covered up will make you successful. To double check takes minutes, to fix a problem could take weeks or even months.
One way to help you get it right the first time is with pre pour checklist (pour cards).
Pour cards are only as good as the effort you put into them. You have to treat them like any contract document: Use before you think about making the pour and go through them thoroughly.
Click here for free checklist for your use
Here are three steps to help you be successful with your next task.
Start with Planning:
Last but not least is to review.
This is how we become successful.
I want to give a big thanks to this weeks Guest Blogger Nate McMillin, who gives us his perception of the importance of mentoring. A great read you don't want to miss!!!
When you think of a mentor, what comes to your mind? You might think of someone who is a teacher, leader, someone wise, or a parent perhaps? The definition of a mentor is: “An experienced or trusted advisor.” Mentoring can be empowering to a person. A mentor helps you hone your talent, abilities, and skills. They bring out the best within you. They inspire you to do better then you know how. Whether you’re a mentor, or a student you’ll get out what efforts you put in. Having a mentor can be a shortcut to success. As a mentor, you can rise by lifting others. Mentors don’t have all the answers but shares knowledge, and lights a path. A mentor can make or break you. It’s crucial to find the right mentors. Finding the right mentor can be easily acquired with some effort. If you surround yourself with people who are successful, then you’re on the right path.
Some of the mentors throughout my life have been my father, co-workers, supervisors, and friends. My father mentored, and molded me into who I am today. At work, co-workers mentored, and taught me how to hone my production, skill, resources, accuracy, quality, knowledge and strengths. Surrounding yourself with passionate and successful mentors who are willing to share knowledge, will help sharpen your skills. We’ve all found ourselves at work with the people who are at work to make a paycheck. Then there are those that are passionate. More then likely those individuals there to make a paycheck are in the same position, or are no longer employed. But the passionate individuals have moved up the ranks. Surrounding yourself with the passionate individuals, and having the right mentor is a great way to succeed.
One of the rules of heroes is they usually have a mentor to help shape and mold them. Instilling them with a strong moral code. For example, Spidermans “With great power comes great responsibility.” Mentors teach heroes how to become the hero they are destined to be. It’s the same principle in any trade. A mentor teaches you to become who you are destined to be. Mentors are used in many areas of life including goal setting, physical fitness, weight loss, stress relief, financial planning, marriage, and education to name a few. Mentoring is a great tool to be used in any industry whether its construction, a sport, and can be used in many aspects of life. Sharing knowledge and expertise as a tool is beneficial for individuals and corporations alike. That’s why the “Importance of mentoring” should be embraced and practiced, not just in life, but also in construction trades, to broaden our skills, and knowledge.
Learn More about Nate by Clicking the Link Below
Have you ever had to make a tough decision, one that could be life changing? I'm sure we have all been there. I have recently had to make a tough decision, and if there is one thing I learned it's don't overthink or second guess your final decision. You can take your time, break it down, pull a spreadsheet, and make sure you are covered. When you come up with a decision you feel confident about, go for it! Don't second guess yourself as it will only make it more stressful and confusing. I mean, in construction we make tough decisions all the time. In fact we make decisions where if we make the wrong one, it could be a loss of thousands and thousands of dollars or worse, a major safety incident. So, I started thinking even though this is a life changing event, it's no different than some of the decisions I make at work. I asked myself, how do I make tough decisions at work?
First: Break it all down, go through: risk vs. reward, cost analysis, schedule impacts, steps, etc.
Second: Having a plan B or backup plan is essential. (even though you always plan for success and not failure).
Third: Make a decision and be willing to stick with it if you truly believe it's the right one. You will do whatever it takes to make it successful.
Why wasn't I able to do the same with my current decision? One of the things that affected my decision was all the personal factors causing changes to my original decision. In turn, led to frustration, stress and uncertainty.
So a lessons learned for me is yes, it's ok to change your mind. However, once you have decided, don't second guess yourself. Instead embrace, enjoy and run with it. The decision might not be easy, but in the end, it's your decision.
How important is organization on your job site? Have you ever thought about what it costs to be unorganized? Most all of us could use some improvement in this area. More jobs than not are in some serious need of organization. However, it doesn't stop there. Not only should a job be clean and organized, but efficient as well. I mean, what good is it to hurry and strip footings and place them in nice neat stacks where a crane or forklift can't get to them until after the backfill is complete. Sometimes it's a simple as stacking the material on one side or the other of a footing that can make all the difference.
Take a look at the pictures below, If this was your job what would you change? Are there any you feel you wouldn't change?
Just some things to look for:
Do work areas look ready
Are there too many or not enough people working in the work areas
This is a broad subject, it could be anything from logistics of the job to paperwork on your desk. Each area of organization could be costing your job money, if it takes you an extra 5 minutes to find the drawings you need then another 5 extra minutes to find paperwork for one of your crew members. That time can add up and is completely preventable! It might sound like much to worry about, but think about the whole jobs wasted time. If your logistics aren't planned out and organized we start talking about real money wasted. The construction industry as a whole wastes millions in double handling materials.
How well organized are your crews with tools and materials? It might be time to re-think the job logistics.
Hopefully you are noticing a reoccurring theme with a lot of the Constructorator blog posts, we can’t stress enough the importance of the planning portion of your job. As a supervisor it’s your responsibility to plan for all activities your crew will be performing and your crew is responsible for executing the plan.
I am not trying to sound like a broken record, but it’s the most important part that gets overlook the most often. The continuous planning is the first task to be neglected when we are feeling pressure either from schedule challenges or overrunning budgets. We feel the need to “jump in and help” or we just get caught up in moving from one fire to the next.
The first step always is to create the plan - schedule, manpower, materials, logistics. That part takes some serious effort, but if you slack off on your planning you will pay the price later. After you plan the work it's time to execute and maintain the plan. The continuous planning and plan maintenance are often not given the attention needed. We all know that in construction with so many moving parts and prerequisite work that needs to be completed before the next trade can start, we need to be flexible. This means we need contingency in our planning, nothing will ever go exactly as planned we need to be ready for a breakdown in the plan and react to it accordingly. You should always be adjusting the plan, don't let the hard work of creating the plan go to waste when a hiccup occurs.
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