Today, highway construction in urban areas is almost always performed at night. State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) around the country have discovered that night jobsites are safer and more efficient for a number of reasons.
Roadways can be closed at night without major public inconvenience.
Traffic is not an issue.
Worksites can be expanded.
Cranes have more space in which to operate and swing.
OSHA and DOTs have developed comprehensive safety measures for nighttime jobsites, and modern construction lighting systems create a work environment that is as luminous as working in daylight. Crane-owning companies are adjusting to the increase in nighttime work, and crane manufacturers are looking for ways to adapt cranes to these conditions.
At ConExpo in March 2014, Link-Belt introduced its first crane with a standard lighting package, the 210-ton capacity ATC-3210. The lighting package on the new all-terrain crane makes it easier to set up and rig the crane in the dark hours of the early morning or dusk. There are high intensity LED lights on the front of the operator’s cab and at the outriggers. The engine bay now has lighting as do the ground control stations for outriggers and suspension. Other optional lighting includes high intensity work lights above the operator’s cab, lights that illuminate the walkways on the upper, a right-side, forward-facing high intensity work light and left and right high-intensity work lights mounted atop the upper to illuminate the swing area. Plus, remote-controlled single and dual boom floodlight options are available.
Albuquerque, NM-based Crane Service Inc. recently took delivery of a new Link-Belt ATC-3210 and has already seen the value in the new lighting package, according to Bob Warianka, business development manager.
While his company doesn’t do that much night work, he said it is becoming more prevalent. Warianka pointed to a recent job that involved the company’s ATC-3210 and ATC-3275 setting bridge girders at night.
“The contractor had the job lit up really well, with four light plants illuminating the work area of each crane,” he said.
While the crane’s lighting package isn’t really a factor in lighting up the worksite, it’s still a great convenience for rigging the crane.
“The lights are really an asset when you are rigging the crane or setting it up in the early morning hours, or sometimes we will assemble a crane at night,” Warianka said. “We envision more crane companies offering better lighting packages in the future. I can see them being used on rough terrain cranes too.”
He said crawlers cranes would be the least likely cranes to be equipped with comprehensive lighting packages because the type of work they do at night generally involves a well-lit jobsite, and rigging a crawler is different than rigging a mobile crane.
“Tower cranes have lights on them,” said Warianka. “Tower cranes are sometimes on a job working 24 hours a day and two shifts. With mobile cranes, we can see a need for a lighting package for the short days of winter or when you want to keep working at dusk or during cloudy weather. These lights will also come in handy when doing concrete pours, like on a high-rise job. Sometimes concrete pours go into the night or start early in the morning. The lights you use on a crane will be job specific.”
In a few cases, Crane Service has provided lighting equipment, for instance when the crane might be grabbing on and needs to be tied to the load for a while.
He has been impressed with the remote-controlled lights on the new ATC-3210.
“The light on the boom can be operated by remote control so that you can actually rotate the light and spotlight something below the crane,” he said.
Courtesy of KHL Group - American Crane and Transport Magazine - July 3rd, 2014