When it comes to completing construction projects on time and within budget, every decision counts. As deadlines and costs are often pre-agreed on, you and your team will likely be feeling the pressure. Without properly planning every aspect of your project, including any crane operations, you’ll often find yourself faced with unnecessary delays which stack on the additional stress from chaotic onsite operations that end up costing significantly more money… Here’s how common improper crane operations lead to project delays and how to best avoid them.
Insufficient crane operator training
Planning and performing successful crane operations requires the right set of skills and experience. If you are using a team without the necessary expertise to plan and perform your lift, you’ll run into trouble early on. Even the smallest mistakes can create a dangerous working environment, a minor miscalculation can prevent the lift from being performed or even worse, put someone at risk.
You’ll also find that improper training is more than just inconvenient on-site, it is dangerous. Team members who lack the right qualifications will take longer to do the job and will often do a worse job, meaning you’ll need to spend more time fixing their mistakes.
The best way to avoid working with an incompetent team is to ask about their qualifications and relevant experience working on similar scope of works. An experienced team will be able to confidently speak about their skills and expertise easily, as well as having detailed information of their previous projects.
Inadequate lift planning
A common mistake made by inexperienced lifting and rigging teams is inadequate planning. While planning crane operations may sound straightforward, there’s multiple factors to consider in order for the lift to be successful.
Although many project managers do plan what equipment and personnel will be required for their lift, they often neglect some of the other details such as considering the conditions on-site, any obstacles and the accessibility of the site for a crane. Overlooking these important details means you may not be able to configure your crane as planned or even get it onto the worksite. This can cause significant delays as you’ll have to scramble to work out these problems such as recalculating your lift and calling in any additional personnel or equipment.
Although it’s impossible to plan for every situation, having a comprehensive lift plan that includes details such as ground conditions and defined personnel roles, will make a significant difference in the efficiency of your lift. Your plan also needs to be able to adapt to changing site conditions. For instance, if adverse weather conditions such as strong winds occur, how will your team respond? You will need to prepare your team to be able to respond to unexpected challenges and successfully formulate a new strategy to avoid further delays.
Using the wrong crane
Hiring the right crane is essential to the success of your lifting operation. When it comes to determining which crane you should hire, there’s multiple factors you should consider. You’ll need to choose a crane that is suited for the weight, type and size of the load needed to be lifted. You should also consider what type of crane will be able handle the conditions of your site and, if you aren’t hiring a mobile crane, then how you will transport your crane to site. For example, if you have limited access on your site, it might be best to choose a Crawler Crane type over a Franna.
Choosing the wrong crane for your lift may mean you’ll be unable to perform your lift as the weight balance will be out of sync. This can cause delays as you will need to recalculate according to the load chart. Hiring the wrong crane and/or not having the appropriate lifting equipment like stabiliser mats, will make your lift unsafe; increasing the risk of the crane becoming stuck or falling over.
To choose the right crane for your job, it’s best to contact an experienced crane expert who can recommend the right size and type for your lifting needs and worksite. Trust with your crane contractor is crucial – ensure you are not being “oversold”. In other words, not paying for a bigger crane than needed to complete the particular job. The designated lifting capacity in the load chart of each crane is one of the main indicators to answer such queries.
To ensure that your project isn’t subject to crane related delays, get in touch with Premier Cranes and Rigging to discuss all your lifting operations.