Six Safety Tips for Using Cranes in Muddy Conditions

If you've hired a crane and you need to use it in a muddy area, there are a number of safety tips to keep in mind. To protect yourself, your crew, and the equipment, take a look at these tips. They'll help you avoid messy and dangerous situations.

1. Clean Off Mud When Possible

If you are working on a hard surface that has mud, snow, or other debris on it, try washing those substances off before putting your crane in the area. Use a pressure washer or a even just a hose to clean up the area. Then, let it dry a bit before working.

2. Consider Cranes With Tracks

In some cases, it isn't possible to clean off the mud. If you have to work in a muddy pit, consider looking into cranes with tracks rather than wheels. The tracks disperse the weight over the crane over a larger surface area, and that helps to reduce the chance of the crane sinking into the mud. Alternatively, with tires, all of the weight is concentrated in just a few areas so the crane is likely to sink.

3. Clean Mud Out of Tyres and Tracks

Whether you opt for a crane with tracks or tyres, make sure to clean the mud out of the spokes on a regular basis. The mud can add to the weight of the rig, increasing the chances of sinking. It can also disrupt the correct functioning of the crane's tyres or tracks. Keep in mind, you may need to adjust the tension of the chain if too much mud gets in the tracks.

4. Use Large Outrigger Pads

Outrigger pads go under the supporting limbs of your crane, and the larger the pad you use, the less likely the crane will be to sink into the mud. This is based on the same concept explained above. Talk with the crane hire company about which sizes it offers and which pad material it recommends for working in muddy conditions.

5. Clean Boots and Gloves Before Operating Crane

If your workers get mud on their boots or gloves, they should attempt to clean that off before operating the crane. Mud on boots, even if they are slip resistant, can cause a crane operator to slip and fall whilst climbing up to the cab, potentially causing serious injuries. Additionally, muddy gloves could cause slippage during the operation of the crane, leading to injuries or crashes.

For more tips on using cranes in the mud, rain, wind, or other conditions, talk with a crane hire company directly.