Mobile Crane Safety: Key Facts About The Center Of Gravity

Posted on: 25 March 2018

If you're renting a mobile crane for your construction site, safety needs to be a paramount concern. This is especially true if you've never used one of these before. One important thing to remember about mobile cranes is that each of the key components has its own unique center of gravity, but those centers work collectively to keep the machine balanced. Here's a look at some of the basics you need to know to keep your mobile crane stable.

The Main Structure

The main structure of a mobile crane is the section of the truck that includes the cab and the frame. On the rear of this unit, you'll find the counterweights that are used to keep the back stable, and on the front you'll find the boom or any other crane attachments. Since this structure doesn't move aside from rotating, the center of gravity on it will stay consistent at all times. That means that as long as the crane is in a solid position when you're using it, the primary structure should stay stable unless there's another force that acts upon it.

The Undercarriage

The undercarriage of the crane is the foundation. It consists of the wheels or tracks, the stabilizers, and the outriggers. The center of gravity of the undercarriage structure can change based upon the boom's actions. For example, when the boom is positioned over the front axles, the center of gravity for the undercarriage will shift toward the front of the machine. When the boom sits in line with the entire structure, the center of gravity will fall where the center of the machine is. Always be aware of how the boom's movements will affect the undercarriage and the foundational structure of the crane.

The Boom

The boom is just as important as the rest of the crane. It has a constantly varying center of gravity, because it is dependent on both the position and the length of the boom. When you extend or withdraw the boom, it will shift the center of gravity accordingly.

In addition, the center of gravity can change when you add attachments or other tools to the boom. This is important to remember, because you'll need to reconsider the equipment's stability any time you change the attachment on the end of the boom. The weight of the attachment and the position required with the boom will both affect this.

Remembering all of these factors will help you reduce the risk of injuries, failures, and tipping with your mobile crane. If you're looking to add one to your construction site, you'll need to be fully prepared to keep the job site safe. Work with a construction equipment company and hire a skilled operator to be sure that you are safe.