Crane Institute of America


Three Cranes Lifting a Load – What Can Be More Complicated?

Posted on July 10, 2014 • Comments Off on Three Cranes Lifting a Load – What Can Be More Complicated?

VT Halter Marine AccidentSomething went terribly wrong while three cranes were moving the bow section of a ship in a Mississippi shipyard. One crane overturned and several workers injured.

Cranes are designed to smoothly lift and move loads within their capacity with the boom tip directly over the center of gravity of the crane’s load. When multiple cranes are working together, they share the load, but neither have the load positioned over the center of gravity.

As you can imagine, things become more complicated when three cranes are working in tandem, because the movement of a load has to be perfectly choreographed. In this case, the only safe maneuvers made would be to hoist, lower and travel. Hoisting and lowering shouldn’t be a problem as long as each crane’s share of the load is within its capacity. However, traveling induces dynamic forces on the cranes because they don’t travel in perfect synchronization. Like all equipment, cranes travel at random speeds no matter how careful the operators are to synchronize their speed. Being off by a small amount causes what could best be described as a pushing and shoving match between the cranes.

Industry accepted lift planning models for multiple crane lifts would require that no crane be loaded beyond 75% of capacity. This 25% safety margin is used to compensate for the dynamic forces.

Attend our Mobile Crane Operator training to learn safe operating practices.

Read more at Heavy Lift News

CIC Achieves ANSI Accreditation

Posted on July 8, 2014 • Comments Off on CIC Achieves ANSI Accreditation

CIC ncca-osha-ansi02On July 3, 2014, Crane Institute of America Certification (CIC) announced their most recent accreditation. CIC is not only accredited through National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), but they are now American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited in the following crane operator categories:

  • Small Telescoping Boom Crane, Under 21 Tons
  • Medium Telescoping Boom Crane, 21-75 Tons
  • Large Telescoping Boom Crane, Over 75 Tons
  • Lattice Boom Crawler/Truck Crane, 1-300 Tons
    CIC is one of the few Mobile Crane Operator Certification accredited testing agencies in the nation, and is continuing to be a cut above the rest. This recognition will continue to validate CIC testing to the crane and rigging industry.Click here to read CIC’s press release.

Forklifts Working in Tandem

Posted on June 25, 2014 • Comments Off on Forklifts Working in Tandem

dual forkliftHandling a load with one forklift may not be complicated, but handling a load with two forklifts can be very complicated. This job required two forklifts and a scissor lift working together in close proximity to each other. It would seem simple enough to unhook and lower this dragster to the floor, but the forklifts don’t work in unison. The difference in the lowering speed of each forklift could cause the dragster to fall from the forks.

The task would require the forklifts to be positioned under the dragster in a manner that would prevent damaging as well as balancing the vehicle. At the direction of a signalperson, the forklifts would raise the dragster to take the weight of the hangers. Then, it would be disconnected. Finally, the signal person would observe and control the descent of each forklift.

Click here for information about our Forklift Operator class.

See Forklift Foul-Up to see what can happen when things go wrong.

Transporting Mobile Cranes

Posted on June 16, 2014 • Comments Off on Transporting Mobile Cranes


Most country roads can’t support the weight of a mobile crane.

Today’s heavy lift cranes weigh almost as much as the loads they lift, which means getting them to the job site can be a challenge.

Not only do crane companies need to be experts in the field, they need to be experts in federal and state Department of Transportation requirements for getting equipment to the job site. Even a small company traveling within its own state has to deal with load limits on roads and bridges. They have to know about special vehicle registration, when permits are required, and what permits are required. They need to know when to remove weight from the crane, and how to transport the boom and counterweights separately. Larger companies, traveling over state lines, need to know the subtle differences in requirements from state-to-state or may be faced with large fines, travel delays, or accidents.

Extra planning is required if any part of the travel is off-road or on non-paved roads. The travel plan could call for removing weight from the crane in order to stay within weight requirements on public-paved roads. When going off-road, it may be necessary to use wood, metal or cement matting over the full route of travel, or in extreme cases, building a road that can handle the weight of a crane.

Synthetic Rigging Slings: Double the Strength

Posted on June 11, 2014 • Comments Off on Synthetic Rigging Slings: Double the Strength

Slings2large slingSynthetic round, grommet or endless slings are stronger and even lighter than other slings given their rated capacity.

There are two reasons for this. Not weaving the synthetic fibers, but instead, forming a loop of loose fibers that nest together without overlapping, eliminates cutting of internal fibers. Endless slings are inherently twice as strong when used in vertical and basket hitches as compared to their single legged counterparts. Round slings are covered with a non-load bearing sleeve which protects the loops of loose fibers.

Some theatrical round slings, identified by a black sleeve, take this idea one step further by replacing fibers with steel wires that would normally be used to make wire rope.

Manufacturers, like Lift-it, are making round sling assemblies with hardware already included. They may add a hook or link to a single sling or make multi-leg bridles with hooks and links. In order to accomplish this, slings must be manufactured around the hardware.

Our Rigging Equipment Inspector training program includes inspection of synthetic rope slings.

Crane Blocking: How Much is Enough?

Posted on June 4, 2014 • Comments Off on Crane Blocking: How Much is Enough?

500 Ton Crane-OverIt is always important to consider ground support around the entire working area, not just where the load will be lifted.

It is common to think that if the ground is firm enough under the outriggers toward the lift, then the crane will be supported. However, this 500 ton All-Terrain crane has several tons of counterweight being supported by the outriggers on the opposite side of the crane.

If the crane swings over an outrigger, thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure impacts the float and the ground beneath it. Generally, the times three rule for blocking is adequate, but the actual load pressure on the ground for a crane configured similarly must be calculated. Additionally, a compaction test should be conducted to determine ground support.

After obtaining this information, a proper size blocking can be chosen for lifting the load safely.

Read the entire story at

Crane Institute Publishes Wire Rope Inspection and Crane Operation Ready Reference Cards

Posted on May 29, 2014 • Comments Off on Crane Institute Publishes Wire Rope Inspection and Crane Operation Ready Reference Cards

May 27, 2014 (Sanford, Fla.)—Crane Institute of America announces the release of the first cards in the new Ready Reference Series. The laminated, pocket-sized cards cover topics that are useful for lift directors and crane and rigging inspectors, as well as others with responsibility for overseeing crane activities on the job site.

The first three cards in the Ready Reference Series feature Wire Rope Inspection, Crane Setup, and Working Around Power Lines.

“Both ASME B30.5 and OSHA 1926 Subpart CC for Cranes and Derricks in Construction discuss the job site responsibilities for controlling entities, site supervisors, lift directors, assembly/disassembly directors, crane owners, and others. The Ready Reference Cards are designed to provide these individuals with technical and safety guidelines that are reflection of industry standards and regulations,” said Jim Headley, President and CEO of Crane Institute of America.

The Wire Rope Inspection card makes it easy for inspectors to determine when the wire rope must be removed from service. The card lists wire rope sizes from 3/8” to 1-3/4” (10 mm to 45 mm on back) and the minimum diameter allowed in both fractions and decimals – taking the math out of the inspection.

Crane Setup addresses site preparation, one of the most important aspect of crane operation and explains who is responsible for ensuring the ground will support the crane and loads lifted. Additional information is provided on positioning the crane, maintaining clearances with power lines, and avoiding potentially unstable ground.

Working Around Power Lines summarizes key information about the clearances required when working near or driving under power lines, how and when to use signalpersons. It also includes reminders about how operators and other personnel are to respond in case of contact with live lines.

Future Ready Reference cards will cover Assembly/Disassembly and other topics for individuals with responsibility for crane activities.

The Wire Rope Inspection card is $2.95. The Crane Setup and Working Around Power Lines cards are $3.95 each. Discounts are available for bulk orders. Ready Reference cards can purchased at the Online Store at

About Crane Institute of America

For almost 30 years Crane Institute of America, Sanford, Fla., has offered training for operators, inspectors, safety managers, lift directors, and riggers and signalpersons working with mobile cranes, overhead cranes, tower cranes, aerial lift and forklifts. It is an authorized CIC written and practical exam testing site. For information, visit

Ready Reference Cards

The Ready Reference Series from Crane Institute provides pocket-sized resources for lift directors, site supervisors, inspectors, and other job site leaders.

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Tracy Bennett
Mighty Mo Media Partners LLC

Terex/Genie Bi-Energy Hybrid Scissor Lift

Posted on May 27, 2014 • Comments Off on Terex/Genie Bi-Energy Hybrid Scissor Lift

Hybred1Genie’s first rough-terrain, high-performance electric scissor lifts with an on-board integrated generator to charge its batteries has just been released. It has an expandable 69 inch platform, a 40 foot drive height, and a 1,500 lbs capacity.

The Genie BE scissor lift series features two operating modes for increased jobsite versatility. This selectable feature meets the needs of both outdoor jobsites with no onsite power, and indoor jobsites with sensitive noise and emission environments.

Click here for information about our Aerial Lift Operator class.

Ukraine – Cranes Assist in Chernobyl’s Containment

Posted on May 21, 2014 • Comments Off on Ukraine – Cranes Assist in Chernobyl’s Containment

ChernobylArchA structure resembling something from a science fiction movie is being built in Chernobyl, Ukraine. This impressive arch is being assembled to cover the remains of the Chernobyl power plant’s reactor number 4 in the continued effort to contain and cleanse the area from a catastrophic disaster over 28 years ago.

Four tower cranes and several mobile cranes are assembling sections of the arch on-site. Once assembled, overhead cranes will be mounted to the under belly of the arch to be used later in the dismantling of the decaying nuclear power plant. The completed massive structure will be pushed on Teflon pads to encompass the existing plant.

Once in place, the arch will serve as a tomb to encase whatever radio active material is still emitting from the plant. It will limit human exposure now and for future generations.

Watch a computer simulation of the projected plans.

Read more about the story from the New York Times.

Forklift Foul-Up

Posted on May 19, 2014 • Comments Off on Forklift Foul-Up

An impatient worker jumps the gun and accidentally rams his forklift into a shelving unit in a Russian Vodka warehouse. The shelving unit toppled onto him as well as another forklift in operation. As the shelving collapsed another shelf was hit and a domino effect echoed throughout the warehouse.

One of the forklift operators walked away from the incident unscathed, the other operator suffered a foot injury.

Click here for information about our Forklift Operator class.