Boom Deflection: What You Need to Know

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Boom deflection is a phenomenon that occurs when a crane is lifting a load and its boom appears to be bending. All booms have this ability to flex so that they can absorb the loading forces that come from lifting a heavy weight.

Boom deflection happens to all cranes, both hydraulic and lattice boom. Even though it’s a normal result of lifting, there still must be safety precautions and awareness. Let’s go over what you need to be aware of for boom deflection during your lifts:

Before the lift

  • Every crane has a specified safe working load defined in the load chart. As a general safety guideline, be sure to check each crane’s load capacity before any operation begins.

During the lift

  • When a crane takes the weight of a load, understand that the radius will increase due to the stretch in the pendant cables and deflection in the boom. Riggers should take the appropriate cautions by standing to the side of the load and out of the way of the expected swing.
  • Make sure both the operator and rigger understand the crane’s limitations—the further a load is moved from the center of the crane, the less weight it can lift. Additionally, lowering the boom decreases the crane’s load limit because the load moves further away from the crane itself.

After the lift

  • To minimize any boom deflection after a heavy load is landed, the crane operator must lower the boom/jib slightly.

Though the bend in the boom may be unnerving to witness, all members of a construction site crew should understand the inevitable curve while simultaneously remaining safety conscious throughout the entire lift process. Knowing your workers are well informed isn’t the only crucial aspect. Keeping up with and maintaining your equipment is of the utmost importance. Proper maintenance and care ensures that there are no issues with your crane to complete a lift and lowers the chances greatly of an accident resulting from the lift.

Here at Crane Service, Inc. we take great pride in giving our customers the most effective and quality lift equipment available. If you want to know more about our vast fleet of available equipment to rent or buy call us at (800) 233-2763 today.