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Operating Cranes In Extreme Weather Conditions

When you hire a crane, you would want to wish that the task is not challenging and the operation is smooth, but unfortunately that’s not the case. This is especially true when it’s a Sydney crane hire, as the weather conditions could be extremely harsh at sometimes, either extremely hot, windy, heavy rainfall or sometimes hail. It could get worse at certain times, when it’s super windy, such as the horrible crane accident that has recently happened in Sydney’s Barangaroo.

When mother nature is not supporting it, working on a construction site with a crane there can be extremely difficult due to the weather, with NSW hitting record weather conditions as global warming just keeps getting worse. Some cranes get extended hire times due to delays cause by the weather, which can easily double the amount of time it takes to complete the regular crane job. That said, in certain cases jobs have to be completed on time, even though the conditions might be suboptimal or harsh, in which case certain additional precautionary measures must be taken in order to minimise any risks involved with these operations.

Windy Conditions

Windy conditions are frequently found in Sydney, so when you are about to hire a crane, check the weather forecast first. Your crane rental company should also advise the designated maximum wind speed under which the hired crane can be safely operated. If winds are forecasted to exceed this speed, try to reschedule your jobs as the crane cannot be operated safely in such conditions, so you would be risking more than just a crane failure, but rather lives. Crane wind ratings vary according to the chosen crane model and configuration, so in a situation where the hired crane must be operated in windy conditions, several factors would have to be considered.

Usually any crane should not operate if the wind speed exceeds 30kms/hr, however it’s always better to check with your crane hire company. The load characteristics should also be communicated to the crane operator, who will also consider the wind direction to make an informed decision. The higher the lift is planned to be, the higher the wind speed is expected to become.


Extreme temperatures will also affect how the crane is supposed to perform, since extreme cold will affect the crane mechanics including hydraulics, rigging devices and hoists. Temperature can also impact the tensile strength of the crane, and in extreme cases could cause a catastrophic failure during operation, putting assets and lives at risk. During harsh weather conditions, if the life cannot be delayed, the crane operator might need to consider reducing the maximum load of the crane by at least 25%.

Ready to hire a crane in Sydney but not sure where to start or which crane suits your project better? Talk to the team at St George Crane Hire for the best crane hire rates in Sydney.

Date posted: February 19, 2020 | St George Cranes