The Importance of Lifting Capabilities in Crane Trucks for Construction

Gravity and Newton’s third law dictates the capabilities of a crane within any particular locale. It’s therefore crucial that the operator has a detailed understanding of these lifting properties. Gross loading charts aid in this circumstance, as does an in-depth understanding of the mechanical faculties of the lifting apparatus. In the case of the latter attribute, the assembled components of the crane form an overall profile that determines lifting capabilities. The factors influencing the lifting characteristics include:

  • The footprint of the crane
  • Length and width of the lifting boom
  • Quality of the rigging material
  • Other mechanical components. This includes lattice sections in the boom and how many telescoping sections are incorporated within the design

The overall lifting capacity of our hypothetical crane is set by hydraulic power and outrigger length, by counterweight bulk and boom characteristics, mechanical assets that offset the mass of the load and allow it to be lifted without compromising the structural integrity of the crane’s framework.

In making matters that much easier when hiring a crane, manufacturers like to promote lifting capabilities, placing the figure in a place of prominence. Similarly, hiring companies follow this practice, listing the type of crane, the length of the boom and its lifting capacity in one breath. Thus, span of coverage and lifting prowess are closely matched within crane characteristic listings.

Unfortunately, the finer points of a lifting project can’t always be stated as a single figure. First of all, this integer is a maximum lifting value. A seasoned crane driver knows that there’s more to this figure than a load-limiting numerical value. In short, a handful of physical influences can affect the lifting cycle and trend lifting competence downward and away from the maximum limit. Foremost among these influences comes the angle at which the load is being moved. Preferred inclination of movement is straight up or down, directions that simplify the quoted limit. On consulting the load chart that should come with the crane, perhaps fixed in the cabin or appended as part of the hiring documentation, a user will see how the crane performs when the lift is carried out at different angles. Movement components accounted for by the chart include:

  • Angle
  • Jib configuration
  • Inclusion of telescoping sections
  • Outrigger deployment
  • Boom length

Plan to hire a crane that can handle all possible construction site loads as set by the work site you’re employed within. It’s a good idea to add at least ten percent to this figure as a safety margin. Finally, know the profile of the crane, its general footprint, and hire only from a company that understands the complexities associated with the interpretation of a load chart.

The Significance of Structural Steel in Construction Industry

Structural steel is heavy steel (with regard to its chemical composition and properties) which is formed into construction components (i.e.: H-beams, I-beams, T-beams). These components are incorporated into structural frames as load bearing members for building and heavy construction projects. The size, shape, tensile strength, composition, integrity, and other elements of structural steel forms are standardized, regulated, and controlled.

Beneficial Impacts of Structural Steel

Structural steel is commonly used for beams, columns, and building and bridge skeletons. It is the material of choice due to its numerous construction efficiency, safety, durability, and overall cost benefits:

  • Constructability / Productivity – Structural steel is fabricated, inspected, and tested off-site to standard specifications. The materials are delivered to project sites for immediate use. This process supports the construction schedule and improves construction productivity. Structural steel components are bolted, welded, or tied together in construction.
  • Strength – Structural steel is one of the most commonly used materials in commercial and industrial construction due to its high strength-to-weight, stiffness, robustness, and ductile properties. Other materials fail to meet the strength of structural steel even when they are reinforced. For example, structural steel has a yield stress of 50,000 psi (pounds per square inch) in both compression and tension, compared to high-strength concrete that has a compressive yield stress of 12 – 15 ksi (kilopounds per square inch).
  • Sustainability – Structural steel is fully recyclable and can be reused without further processing. The only water used in the production of structural steel is make-up water added to a closed loop recycling process. No water is used in fabrication or discharged into the environment.
  • Fire Resistance – Structural steel is noncombustible. However, when used in high-rise construction, in accordance with the IBC (International Building Code), the steel must be enveloped in fire-resistant materials. Fire resistant material used to envelope steel is typically water resistant.
  • Anti-Corrosive – Structural steel does tend to corrode when it is in contact with water. The result is loss of structural integrity and a potentially dangerous structure. To reduce the potential for corrosion and its effects, structural steel is typically blasted, primed, and painted.
  • Mold- and Mildew-Proof – Structural steel is ideally used in moist, porous environments where mold and mildew propagate (typically in residential buildings). Steel studs minimize infestations.
  • Cost Efficiency – Structural steel remains the most cost efficient compared to other comparable framing and support systems. For example, a structural steel framing system (including decking and fire protection) typically costs 5% – 7% less than a concrete framing system.
  • Design Flexibility – Structural steel accommodates the multiple purposes of function and form / design. The intent of a building design, for example, may be maintained while meeting structural compliance requirements. Structural steel buildings may be more easily modified to accommodate revised load conditions, vertical / horizontal expansion, and configurations that other framing systems cannot accommodate.

Why Should Safety Be A Priority In Crane Hire and Construction?

If there’s any gauge of how important safety is in construction, you can see it on day one of the job in front of a TV. To clarify this strange statement, an apprentice construction worker has left school and is enthusiastically awaiting a first lesson on how to swing a hammer. Instead, the foreman sends the new recruit into an office with a video recorder and television. In here he watches dramatized recounts of terrible accidents and bloody mishaps on the construction site. Why is this strange approach taken when all the new worker wants is to start his labours? Because safety is the number one focus in any work place. You see this in posters full of safety at work regulations, the hard hat signs dotted around the work area, and, of course, in those gruesome video tapes. They’re only overly dramatized examples with fake blood and actors, remember, but they’re also based on real accidents at work. In short, safe work is the only kind of acceptable work.

Lessons taught by experienced workers and technical colleges tend to focus on the multiple dangers within a construction zone. There’s a proverbial minefield full of potential dangers out here. Loose nails could puncture a hard-toed boot. Bricks and buckets are being held high by workers on overhead platforms. These items could fall and cause a head fracture. It’s a hazardous environment, which is why every worker is taught how to work safely. This means being aware of your surroundings and being aware of all potential hazards around you. Now, having established safe working practices and read all of those regulations as instructed, the construction area has decided to add a crane to the scenario. Crane hire Melbourne is a wonderful service, but it also multiplies the above safety risks we’ve so judiciously covered. Overhead angles are especially underscored here because huge loads are passing above you.

All our metaphorical hired labourer can do is ensure he or she stays out of the lifting path of the crane. It’s up to the hiring agent and the operator to keep the crane working in accordance with safety regulations. The actual hiring installation also plays a part in this working dynamic by initiating a periodic service strategy and keeping the crane maintained, but even highly maintained cranes are still under the control of an unknown operator. That operator should be familiar with AS/NZS 4801:2001, the occupational health and safety management system as applied to Australia and New Zealand. This individual should also be familiar with the type of crane being run and be ticketed for the safe handling of oversized loads. A general construction site card (blue or white card) and advanced rigging experience is also advised.

Crane and construction safety begins at the topmost part of a company’s hierarchy and descends all the way down the line to the lowliest labourer. Cranes lift life-threatening loads. Construction sites play host to those cranes and many other danger areas. Train your workers to be safety experts in both of these risk zones by instigating a strong safety policy.

Crane Hire Checklist: Most Important Things to Look for in a Crane Hire Company

Dealing with a crane hire company isn’t like talking to a car rental firm. You’re not sitting down to hire a comfortable interior, a booming stereo and good mileage. Instead, you’re about to conduct a business arrangement that will ideally result in the temporary proprietorship of heavy construction machinery. Use a checklist to evaluate and define the most important assets of your hired working vehicle.

As soon as you hire a crane in Melbourne, you’re in possession of a machine that caries inherent dangers, risks that can end in disaster if the lifting equipment is mishandled. Remember that, but also remember that the task begins before ever taking a look at a single crane. It begins and ends with research.

Conduct a Credential Check

That glossy brochure shown to you by the hiring company is impressive. It’s full of in-focus photographs and grammatically correct descriptions of superior services, but is the documentation legitimate? Ask for a portfolio of past work. Research the hiring company online and evaluate the local reputation of the firm.

Certifications to Reinforce Reputation

Place the reputation of the hire company alongside the recognized status of the workforce as defined by authoritative award bodies. Ascertain those awards are the real deal, and use both of these factors, credentials and reputation, to ensure you’re receiving the services of a professional hoist rental establishment. Every other action from this point forward hinges on checking off these initial points, for no other aspect of the hiring process can be determined for veracity unless you know the hiring company conducts its business professionally.

Taking Care of the Paperwork

There may be reams of paper and red tape to be buried under when dealing with safety and the lawful contracting of heavy equipment. A reputable business will escort you through the process, highlighting certain passages in the documentation. This includes safety guidelines, the signing of insurance documentation, and the overall supervision of the rental policy. A conscientious crane hire company only wants to ease the hiring process, though emphasis will be placed on safe operation of the equipment.

Does the Hiring Company Utilize a Maintenance Program?

Cranes tower above buildings and lift high-tonnage loads, meaning they have to be kept in good working order at all times. Using our car rental metaphor, this would begin with engine, body, and drive system maintenance, but crane inspections go much further. There are checks that ensure the crane is capable of carrying its stated load. Certain inspections are mandatory. They ensure the crane is in compliance with industry regulations. Other inspections are governed by the staff, set in place to keep the fleet clean and ready for work.

Contact the crane hire company that’s built on pride and reputation, for these values will be reflected in the condition of a varied lifting fleet. Pair local reputation and certifications with research and discrete observation of the hiring firm’s industry knowledge. Consider all of these factors before ever asking about load capacities or the rigged lifting spans of the cranes.

What are Pre-cast Concrete Panels and Its Significant Uses?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never swung a hammer or don’t know the handle from the pointy end when you pick up a screwdriver because some construction terms just mean what they say. There’s no subtle second definition for pre-cast concrete, for example, because the label is already an apt descriptor for this workflow-compressing gift to the construction trade. The product quite simply leapfrogs standard concrete pouring techniques, placing the manufacturing of building segments within a controlled environment. It’s a methodology that’s drawing the curious eye of many construction industries as space becomes a premium resource and the concept of finite control becomes so attractive, so let’s turn our spotlight on pre-cast concrete to investigate the form and its applications.

Business is booming in the construction industry. New generations of modern buildings are replacing the aging concrete structures that first poked the sky between the 1950s and 1970s, sending ripples of change clear across the globe. We clear all evidence of these structures from view, fence out a building site, and set to work with fabricated steel beams, new fastening and welding techniques, and clad this superstructure in pre-cast concrete panels. The advantage of this approach is that a construction firm can take the architectural plans and begin ‘forming’ the panels within a plant floor. The concrete is poured without interference from work site obstacles, meaning weather and construction site logistics become a non-issue while the concrete is poured into a mould and cured.

The incorporation of all physical features is managed and regulated at the moulding stage. The eventual dimensions are set by the mould, with other factors steadfastly taken into account within the offsite workflow. This includes the pre-stressing of the final product and the incorporation of all features. We’re talking about apertures for municipal water lines, the façade panels that clad attractive structures, and the storey-height panels that require heavy-duty lifting cranes. For more on this subject, check out the Associated Rigging page on powerful lifting tools, mobile cranes that can start lifting 3 tonne panels and not pause even when lifting weighty 150 tonne loads.

If you’ll excuse us for that last quick promotional sentence, we’ll hasten back to the topic. Pre-cast concrete is gaining traction within construction communities, a level of popularity that signifies a swing away from on-site concrete mixers. The advantage of this offsite manufacturing process pairs quality control with the ability to monitor the curing process, leading to a final product that’s created with superior uniformity. These panels are built as single layers or as sandwiched double-layered panels. The single thickness panels make for excellent exterior cladding panels, pre-stressed retaining walls on civil engineering projects, and countless other applications. Meanwhile, sandwiched pre-cast concrete panels increase soundproofing and other environmental factors, thus situating the product as the optimal solution for interior panels within a home, each complete with moulded door openings and window apertures. Indeed, this puzzle piece approach can fit any application while simultaneously adding high-quality finishes, a speedy construction workflow, and other features that only come from a factory floor production environment.