Operating a Crane in Windy Conditions?

12th April 2016

Mobile crane operation is not without risk. You are operating expensive, complex machinery that requires specialised training and skills. You need to operate it in a busy construction site and pay attention to a number of different factors: nearby structures, people, your load weight and height, the terrain you are on and the weather.

The weather in particular can have a large impact on crane operation. Wet weather can make your terrain unstable, lighting can present a safety risk and wind is a major factor – especially in higher lifts and loads.

Here are 5 things that you need to know about operating your mobile crane in windy conditions.

When to Stop Work

The first thing that you need to know is that there is a restriction on crane operation in high winds in Queensland. Anything over 54 kilometres per hour, or 15 metres per second is considered to be too high to safely operate your hire crane in Brisbane or elsewhere in Queensland. If the wind reaches speeds like this, then simply stop using the machinery until it has settled down to a safer speed.

Although some tower cranes are currently being designed for use in higher wind, they are not yet operational and your hire crane is certainly not safe to use in such windy conditions.

Confirm the Wind Speed

A smartphone app is not the best official source of weather, or wind speed. You need to be basing any decisions around mobile crane operation in windy conditions through the official Bureau of Meteorology’s website or another reliable forecast site.

Will The Wind Pick Up?

Even if the wind is at a safe level at the start of the day or the beginning of the lifting job, there must be no immediate risk of it picking up any further. If there is a sudden change, storm or increase in wind speed on the horizon then consider rescheduling your lift for a calmer day.

The Size and Shape of Your Load

Another factor that needs to be considered is the geometry and weight of your load. How much of it will be exposed to the wind, and is it going to be difficult to control on a windy day once the lift has begun? Your operator should have the experience to be able to determine these factors.

How High Are You Going?

The wind speed is going to increase with height. You need to factor in exactly how high your load needs to go when operating on a windy day.

Surf City Crane is your go-to company for all crane hire questions. Please get in touch with us for more information about safe mobile crane use.