A Guide to Operating Rough Terrain Cranes

23rd June 2016

Construction sites are places that have a variety of different terrains. Due to excavation and other earth moving tasks you can often be working on unstable, uneven and rough terrains. Muddy, wet and slippery surfaces are also quite commonplace. Some mobile cranes come with tyres that are specifically designed for operation in these types of rough terrains.

Let’s go through some tips for operating your mobile crane in tough terrain conditions. Whether you’re an operator or a site manager the following pointers are good to keep in mind.

Are They Qualified?

You’ll want to ensure that whoever is operating the crane has the correct and current qualifications and authorisation to do so. This is big, expensive, potentially dangerous equipment – and rough terrain adds another risk altogether. For your own piece of mind and for the site’s overall safety make sure that whoever is in the cab knows what they’re doing.

Check the Ground

These slew cranes are suited for all terrain or rough terrain; however the angle of the ground is going to play a role in its safe use. Try to set your crane up on the most even ground that you can. If your crane has added supports or stabilisers then make sure that you use them and that they are deployed correctly prior to attempting your lift.

Also, you should never position a mobile crane on soil that has uncompacted backfill. This type of terrain is both highly dangerous and unstable. Never place a mobile crane on the edge of an embankment for the same reason. While rough terrain cranes are ideal for use on muddy, rough and rocky surfaces they are still very heavy and you want to be sure that the terrain can actually support their weight.

What Are the Requirements?

While this needs to be considered with any lift, it is also very important when operating on uneven surfaces. Figuring out exactly how big your load is in both weight and shape is essential to approaching how to best lift and move it, so check everything first so you’ll remain safe and sound when operating your crane. Not all cranes have the same capacity and reach. Our rough terrain slew crane has a maximum lifting capacity of 20 tonnes, and can reach 32 metres. Please also remember than when a crane is fully extended the maximum capacity it can lift is quite reduced. Please use this handy chart when planning your lift with a rough terrain crane.

If in Doubt

If you have any doubts or concerns about operating a rough terrain crane remember that the manual is the ultimate authority on its correct operation.

If you have any other questions about crane operation please feel free to contact us. We have extensive knowledge and experience and are located in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.