The Importance of Load Testing in Crane Operation Within AU

21st May 2024
Crane boom picking heavy load

Load testing in crane operation is a crucial process that ensures the safety and performance of cranes and verifies their load-bearing capabilities, identifying potential issues before they escalate.

This Surf City Cranes blog delves into the purpose, procedures and regulatory requirements of load testing, offering comprehensive insights into its critical role in upholding the highest safety standards in crane operations within Australia.

Purpose of Load Testing: Validating Strength and Safety

The primary objective of a crane load test is to validate the crane’s capacity to handle specified loads safely and efficiently. This process is vital for identifying mechanical issues or structural weaknesses and ensuring that every crane meets or exceeds industry safety standards and operational benchmarks.

Crane Load Test Procedure

The crane load test procedure involves a series of meticulously planned steps, starting with preparation and moving through execution, monitoring and thorough evaluation.


This stage includes a thorough inspection of the crane to ensure it is in good working order, identification of the test load (which is usually 110% to 125% of the crane’s maximum rated capacity) and planning the test lift including the path, clearance and any necessary safety measures. All personnel involved in the test should be adequately briefed and equipped with necessary safety gear.


The crane operator gradually lifts the test load to verify the crane’s performance under load. The load is typically lifted slightly off the ground initially, then to a predetermined height, held for a specific period to check stability and finally moved through the planned path if applicable.


Throughout the test, the crane’s operational parameters such as lifting speed, braking, load stability and any signs of distress in the crane structure or lifting mechanisms, are closely monitored. This may involve both visual inspection and the use of monitoring equipment to record data on the crane’s performance.


After the load test, the data and observations collected during the test are analyzed to assess the crane’s capability to operate safely at its rated capacity. Any anomalies or issues identified during the test should be addressed. The crane should not be put into regular service until it has successfully passed the load test and any necessary repairs or adjustments have been made.

Crane Load Test Requirements: Compliance with Safety Codes

Crane load test requirements are governed by rigorous regulatory standards and safety codes, which dictate how testing should be conducted to ensure comprehensive evaluation and safety.

ISO standards, such as ISO 23814:2020, cover crane inspection, maintenance and load testing provide guidelines for ensuring the safety and reliability of crane operations worldwide.

Adherence to these regulations is a legal obligation and moral imperative to prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of all personnel involved in the crane operation.

Load Testing of Cranes: Averting Failures, Protecting Lives

Load testing of cranes is critical to safe operations. By identifying potential equipment failures and ensuring cranes are operated within their safe load limits, load testing is vital in preventing accidents and enhancing the safety of construction sites and other environments where cranes are essential.

The Critical Role of a Crane Load Test

The significance of load testing in crane operations cannot be overstated. This essential process ensures that cranes can safely and efficiently perform their intended tasks, protecting the equipment and the individuals operating and working around them.

By adhering to strict procedures and regulatory requirements, load testing contributes significantly to maintaining safety and performance standards, underscoring its indispensable role in crane operation.

Prioritise Load Testing for Optimal Safety

We encourage all crane operators and construction professionals to prioritise load testing in their crane operations. If you want more information on safety checking and ensuring your equipment meets standards, contact Surf City Cranes on 0421 665 654 or 0402 269 535 or visit our contact page for comprehensive crane solutions tailored to your needs.