What is a construction crane?
It is nothing more than just an elevator, but I think anyone hearing this word has an ordinary elevator in front of their eyes to transport people to different floors in the building. Nothing could be more wrong, because the elevator is not only used to transport people. The general definition of a construction crane is that it is a device designed to move people or loads. Transport takes place in a cabin or on platforms along rigid guides inclined horizontally at an angle of more than 15 degrees between defined levels, usually to a great height. All types of construction cranes are subject to technical inspection.
Classification of lifts (elevators)
Due to the type of lift drive:
- electric powered cranes,
- cranes with hydraulic drive.
Due to the design of the lift shaft:
- cranes with a machine room,
- cranes without a machine room,
- lifts with an open shaft (panoramic).
Due to the construction of the crane's driving mechanism:
- cranes with reducer,
- cranes without reducer.
Due to the way the crane is controlled:
- external control,
- internal control,
- pivot control,
- collective control,
- group control,
- control of dispositions.
Due to the design of the lift:
Due to the intended use:
- passenger and goods,
In the following parts of the article, we will explain some types of elevators according to their purpose classification.
These devices are designed to transport cargo between the storeys of buildings. They are usually self-supporting and operate semi-automatically. Operation of the device is limited to loading the goods, closing the shaft and selecting the level of delivery. Freight lifts do not have internal controls and are not used to transport people. They run on vertical guides or guides inclined in relation to the vertical at a slight angle. A certain volume of cargo can fit inside a crane of this type. The weight of the transported load may also be limited. Consequently, this burden cannot be exceeded. The goods are placed in a crane, e.g. by means of a forklift, electric or hand pallet truck.
Freight lifts have a very stable structure and are easy to use. They are used in many industrial sectors. They are used in warehouses and production halls to transport goods necessary for work. These elevators can also be used as a temporary structure on a construction site where heavy construction materials are being transported. To operate them, authorizations issued by the Office of Technical Inspection are required.
It differs from a goods lift in that it can transport people with goods. It therefore has a control panel built into the elevator car. Transport is carried out in a similar way as in the case of a goods lift - with the help of guides. The goods and passenger lifts are characterized by a larger interior space, as they are designed to accommodate the load, in addition to the load.
A goods hoist is a platform with which loads are transported to different heights. This platform is moved on a mast, which is attached to a mobile chassis and lowered in an inclined manner onto the roof of a building. The mast resembles a ladder in its design. Lift trucks, like cranes, are subject to technical supervision and the person operating them must have the relevant licence.
Construction cranes and UDT qualifications
The person operating construction cranes must have the appropriate qualifications. To obtain them, you need to undergo training and pass the exam before the examination board of the Office of Technical Inspection. The courses are available in two categories:
- construction lifts, which include goods, goods and passenger lifts as well as goods lifts.
- goods and service lifts equipped with internal controls and hospital lifts.
Each training course prepares the trainee for both the theoretical and practical exam. The aim of education is also to learn skills such as:
- rules for the operation of devices (in accordance with UDT regulations),
- knowledge of the construction of individual types of lifts,
- knowledge of the basic duties performed before, during and after work.
Before starting work, the operator's task is to check the condition of the lift. He should also know whether the decision allowing its use has not expired. It is also necessary to exercise extreme caution when introducing goods into the elevator and their subsequent unloading. Thanks to the requirement to have permissions, work is safer: we are sure that the operator has been properly qualified to perform the activities. Improper use of cranes carries the risk of accidents.
The license to operate construction cranes is issued for a period of 10 years. When this period comes to an end, an application for renewal of the rights must be submitted. The condition is, however, the need to certify the fact that work as an operator of these devices has been performed for a period of at least 3 years in the last 5 years.
Operation of construction cranes
The Office of Technical Inspection strictly defines the rules and principles of proper use of construction cranes. Compliance with them by device users reduces the risk of breakdowns and accidents. It is necessary to use the lifts in accordance with their instructions and intended use. It is the owner's responsibility to equip the crane with a work manual so that the operator has constant access to it. It is also important to ensure proper maintenance of the device in accordance with the requirements of Annex 2 to the Ordinance of the Minister of Economy of July 18, 2001 on the procedure for checking the qualifications required for the operation and maintenance of technical devices (Journal of Laws No. 79, item 849), with the change of February 20, 2003 (Journal of Laws No. 50, item 426). Technical and maintenance inspections should be carried out periodically at specified times. Each device must have a maintenance logbook.
Construction cranes are devices subject to full technical supervision, therefore they must be periodically tested. During the examination, the technical inspection body checks the revision book, maintenance log, electrical measurement protocols and certificates qualifying operators and maintenance technicians.
Purpose of periodic tests:
- Checking whether the recommendations issued during the previous audit have been implemented.
- Determining whether during operation there were no damages or changes in the condition of the device affecting the safety of use.
- To make sure that the safety and protection devices are working properly.
- Checking the instructions placed on the device, verifying the correctness of their placement and checking legibility.
- Determining if the device requires repair.
Periodic tests for construction cranes are performed at various intervals, depending on the type of device. They can serve you once a year or once every 3 years.
In addition to the tests described above, individual devices are additionally subjected to ad hoc tests, which are divided into:
- control and operational testing,
- emergency or post-accident,
- resulting from current needs.