How To Boost Productivity With The Right Lifting Equipment
If you have a new construction project coming up, one where the need for heavy lifting equipment is spread throughout the whole construction programme, a little pre-planning can go a long way to improving your site’s construction efficiency and productivity.
Plan Your Lift Requirements
In an age where modular construction is becoming increasingly popular, the need for large mobile cranes to assist in construction is also increasing. Jotting down in your diary that you need a mobile crane on site on that day, in that month, is not sufficient unless you want to risk the wrong type or size of crane turning up.
At Emerson Crane Hire we stock heavy mobile cranes, hi-abs, crawler cranes, spider cranes, and city cranes, so we need to know a little about the project before we can suggest the best crane for the job. Things like, are we operating indoors or outdoors. Is the room tight? Are there any overhanging projections or other hazards such as high voltage cables?
Access, mobile cranes are big and bulky, so they won’t fit through small gateways. What is the terrain like? Unless it’s thick hardcore, concrete, or tarmacadam, you might need a crawler crane. You also need to make a note of what is being lifted. Heavy materials to the second or third level? Steel roof trusses or modular roof sections to be lifted, and fixed by the fitters? And most importantly, the weight of these materials and sections.
Prepping the lifting area
Don’t wait until our crane turns up on-site before you start prepping the lift area, it wastes time, and time is money. Clear the lift area of all unnecessary materials and equipment the day before, cone it off, and sign it to keep it clear. Don’t just check where the lift is to start, but also where it is to finish. Have any hazards been put in the way such as newly erected scaffolding, or temporary high voltage cabling or pipework, which are likely to snag the crane’s cables or what is being lifted?
If the site consists of, for example, two new modular warehouses, have you planned to add the roofs of both units on the same lift. If so clear and prep both lifting areas at the same time, ensuring the crane can complete one job, and move straight onto the other.
Lift operation signallers
In many situations, crane operators are often out of view of where the load is, in relation to where it has to be. For instance when lifting large roof sheets that have to be positioned and fixed. In these situations, they need to have a fully competent and qualified crane signaller, who can direct lift operations via hand signals to the crane operator. The more complex the lift the greater the need for absolute trust between operator and signaller.
If the crane operator is in any way unhappy about the signalling, he is perfectly entitled to halt the lift on safety grounds under H&S legislation. More time lost, while a competent signaller is found. At Emerson Cranes, we have a range of courses in all aspects of crane operating, slingers, and signallers. Please contact us for further details.
On the day of the lift
On the day of the lift, while the crane operator is checking and preparing the crane prior to the lift, your site foreman or competent person should be giving the lift area a final once over. Ensure only required personnel are within the lift area, and any obstructions or hazards removed. If the lift has to be suspended for a period of time as part of the operation, ensure all employees are aware and designate it a dangerous area and out of bounds until the load is moved.
Architects, project managers, and material procurers are continuously looking into how to improve productivity in the construction industry. While they can reasonably estimate material costs, there are a number of unknowns. Building time and the cost of the contract and in-house labour is one. Weather hold-ups, serious accident stoppages, and poor planning can also substantially increase overall costs. By following these planning, prepping, and safety protocols on every lift, in your section, you can ensure the use of heavy lifting cranes is carried out safely, quickly, and in the most cost-effective manner.
Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with a member of our team today.