February 9, 2019

How Does Winter Weather Impact Cranes?

Cold temperatures, whipping winds, snow, and ice have all made an appearance in New York City. This raises the question: how does winter weather impact cranes?

Snow & Cranes: Working in the Winter

Snow, sleet, and ice all complicate crane operations. One issue is visibility. If a crane operator cannot see the signalmen, the materials being lifted, or the point the materials are being lifted to, this is where communication between team members is crucial to ensure that the job is done safely despite the weather.

Additionally, snow and ice can add weight to a lift, and the crane itself, potentially causing capacity issues. Accumulated snow and ice can prevent lifted objects from being placed as desired. Any issue related to accumulated snow and ice must be resolved before the lift can begin.

Winter Wind: The Crane Operator’s Biggest Challenge

Wind is the biggest challenge crane and rigging companies face. Winter winds can create wind chill, which makes operating cranes more difficult and dangerous. Additionally, gusts up to 20 mph will cause the cranes lifting capacity to be derated. Once winds hit 30 mph, city regulations prohibit operating a crane altogether. All cranes must now be fitted with a special wind speed gauge and continually monitored to ensure safe operation. Rest assured, all of L&M Crane & Rigging’s cranes and boom trucks are outfitted with the equipment needed to get the job done safely!

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