November 5, 2018

Mini Cranes Can Be a Big Headache: What You Need to Know

When time means money and keeping a project on budget is a top consideration, having a mini crane on site to handle all of the lifting the job requires sounds like a fantastic idea. Under current NYC regulations, you don’t need a licensed operator for mini cranes with a capacity of less than 3 tons— this can be a significant cost savings, but don’t forget about the stamped engineered drawings, which are required by NYC DOB. Here are a few other things you need to know about mini cranes.

Job Site Safety

Keeping the workplace safe for all workers, as well as any members of the general public who may be on or nearby the site, is always of paramount importance. Operating a mini crane isn’t necessarily an intuitive process. An inexperienced operator can make mistakes that result in injuries to themselves, others, or property. Depending on the situation, you may be liable for some or all of the expenses related to these mistakes. If you are going to have one or more of your team members operating mini cranes on your job site, it is a wise investment to have them trained to do so safely.

Mini Cranes Are Heavier Than You Think

Even though it says “mini” right in the name, a mini crane is not lightweight. Give or take a few hundred pounds, they average around two tons. Mini cranes can lift building materials from one level to the next inside structures. However, one must ensure that the mini crane is positioned on a floor that’s strong enough to support its weight and the weight of the items being lifted.

Mini Cranes Can Only Lift So Much

Mini cranes come in a variety of sizes, with lifting capacities ranging between 2 to 10 tons. People have been known to attempt to lift loads that are slightly or significantly heavier, even though these capacities are clearly marked. This can result in a number of bad outcomes, such as catastrophic crane failure and dropped picks. Additionally, other negative outcomes include injuries to the operator or other nearby personnel and damage to property. On top of these problems will come additional expenses in the form of DOB and OSHA fines for workplace safety violations.

A Little Knowledge = A Lot of Peace of Mind

Mini cranes do have a role on the construction site. They’re maneuverable and affordable. Plus, with a skilled operator at the controls, they can be a very useful tool. This is especially so in situations where you need to elevate small loads on a recurring basis. There are a few ways to mitigate a lot of the risks involved with mini cranes. Having properly trained operators and stamped, engineered drawings are of utmost importance. Have questions? Give us a call. We can help you determine if you need a mini crane for your site or if there’s a different lifting solution that will serve you better.

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