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Crane Lifting Plan

What Is A Crane Lifting Plan?

A crane lifting plan is a comprehensive overview of the safety risks involved in carrying out a lifting job, including an outline of the relevant precautions that need to be taken to mitigate these risks. A crane lifting plan should be completed before any lifting job commences in order to ensure the safety of staff members, the public, the crane and the work site on which the lift is taking place. A well-thought-out crane lifting plan can also make the lift more efficient, increasing productivity and lowering operational costs.  Crane lifting plans should take into consideration a number of key factors including the weight and dimensions of the load and any relevant height restrictions.


Mobile Crane Lifting Plan Consideration

Dimension and Weight of Load

The most important consideration when creating a lift plan is of course a careful analysis of the load. The load should be meticulously inspected to determine its weight, dimensions, lifting points and centre of gravity. These factors will dictate the safest way to rig the load in order to carry out the lift. At this point it is important to also factor in the weight of the jib, rigging, hook ball and swivel and any cabling or accessories that are below the boom point, as these will all impact the total weight being borne. There should also be a consideration of the nature of the materials being lifted to determine if there is any chance the contents could affect the stability of the load or if they could represent a hazard if spilled. 


Height Restrictions

Once the weight of the load has been determined, the maximum lift height and radius must be considered. Each crane will come with a manual which clearly dictates the maximum boom length based on the load weight and angle. Wind speed will also impact on the safe lifting height and this will need to be factored into any lifting plan. Each crane should come with a recommended wind speed window for specific boom configurations which represent safe limits for operating. 


How To Create A Mobile Crane Lifting Plan?

Job Site Planning

The first step in creating a mobile crane lifting plan is a site visit. It is essential the person creating the plan visits the site in person in order to assess the location where the lift is going to take place. The ground conditions should be carefully observed to ensure that the terrain is able to safely support the weight of the crane and load to be lifted. There should also be careful planning of the best way for the crane to enter and exit the site, taking into consideration its ability to navigate the terrain. The person creating the plan should also take note of any existing hazards or any hazards that might develop during the construction process.

Selecting The Right Mobile Crane

Selecting the right mobile crane for the ground conditions and lifting job is essential to creating a safe lifting plan. Some of the factors to consider when deciding which crane to choose to include:

  • The ground conditions it will need to navigate. E.g. If the site has soft ground, you may need to opt for a crawler crane

  • The load capacity and lifting heights of the crane

  • The dimensions and weight of the crane and how easily it will be able to access the lifting location

  • The methods of lifting the crane can perform

  • Whether or not it requires outriggers and how this factors into the terrain


Mobile Crane Inspection and Set-up

Planning a thorough inspection and safe set-up of the mobile crane is an essential element of any crane lifting plan. Before a crane is used, it should be thoroughly inspected by the project manager and crane operator, in order to check that it is operating correctly.

The inspection should include things like:

  • Tire condition

  • Oil levels

  • Seat belts

  • Airbags

  • Air reservoir

  • Battery

  • Engine checks

  • Fuel level

  • Turn signals

  • Horn

  • Suspension

  • Hydraulic system 

  • Safety system checks including evaluation of the anti-two block, rated capacity limiter and outriggers

Setting up the crane correctly is also essential to safe operation and should be planned for. You will need to ensure you have all the necessary equipment, appropriate permission and access to the site and a clear schedule of when and how the crane will be set up and operated. Careful consideration should also be given to exactly where the crane is going to be set up and this location should be clearly mapped in the lifting plan. 

Selecting Qualified Mobile Crane Operators

Of course, a crane lifting plan should clearly identify who is going to be operating the crane, to ensure the person has the appropriate qualifications, competencies and experience for the job. It’s important to note that the operator should be experienced in operating the specific crane being used, as every crane is very different, with unique controls and features. The operator should thoroughly examine the operating manual in order to ensure they understand the controls and features of the crane they will be operating. Crane operators should also demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of crane safety procedures and must never operate a crane under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 


Mobile cranes are an essential resource on any work site and when a thorough lifting plan has been created, they are very safe and efficient machines. If you’re looking to hire a well-maintained, reliable mobile crane for your next lifting job, contact St George Cranes today. 

Date posted: July 9, 2022 | St George Cranes