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How to Operate a Crane in Bad Weather

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How to Operate a Crane

How to Operate a Crane In Bad Weather

Operating a crane is a job which requires nerves of steel and an eye for precision at the best of times, yet when this profession is combined with adverse weather conditions, the job requires a whole other level of expertise. As we head into the colder months, NMT Crane Hire explains how to operate a crane when the weather takes a turn for the worst?

Strong Winds

Unsurprisingly, the most pressing issue presented to crane operators is strong winds. Being such tall and slender obstacles, strong winds pose an imminent threat to the stability of a crane. Despite being equipped with counterweights of varying sizes to cope with different conditions, cranes are typically restricted to lifting in conditions in excess of 20 mph. The typical industry practice will see most lifts postponed if winds creep up to and around the 15 mph mark to err on the side of caution.

Due to the stature and structure of a crane, there is no definitive answer as to how to operate a crane is windy conditions. The general rule of thumb will be to wait until the wind settles as health and safety is the priority of any lift.

Thunder and Lighting

When storms are brewing, there are a number of other problems which must be considered by crane operators. Although there are no official guidelines which offer guidance for operating in thunder and lighting, it is generally advised to abandon any lifting once thunder is detected at least 10 miles away. If the last sighting of thunder has been detected 10 miles away, the very next strike could be in your location, no matter if it is raining or not. As cranes are large metal structures, they are more likely to be struck by lightning as they are conductors of electricity, which is why abandoning the crane once thunder and lightning have been detected is advised. Do not return back to the cockpit of the crane until 30 minutes has passed since the last thunder strike. Again, it is better to be safe than sorry.


For more information on how to operate a crane or other industry-relevant topics, head over to our news page. If you wish to learn more about our services, contact NMT Crane Hire on 0800 026 6985 or leave us a message via our online contact form.

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