By: Amber Grennan On: May 30, 2023 In: Blog Comments: 0

GGR Group have the expertise and know-how in plant machinery for helping all their customers with choosing the best crane for a lift. With over 25 years of experience, GGR Group have become an industry leader in providing bespoke solutions for all types of projects.

Operating a crane means knowing how to use it safely. As part of that you should know the Safe Working Load of your crane and when you are at risk of exceeding it. There is no reason to chance lifting too much weight with your crane due to the dangers it can cause. Especially since GGR Group supply a range of cranes with varying SWLs.

Excessive Loads

Overloading your crane can cause an array of issues and hazards. Risks include the crane toppling over, parts breaking,

The MCC805 Mini Crawler Crane holding shuttering in place.

The MCC805 Mini Crawler Crane holding shuttering in place.

and injuring yourself or others. While you may think you can save time by exceeding the SWL it is never worth the risk. Knowingly violating the SWL restrictions is against the law and risks lives.

Ways to identify the Safe Working Load include consulting the crane’s load chart. Typically, a crane with have this available on the technical specification sheet and on the crane itself for easy access. You can also contact the manufacturer or supplier if you are unsure.

A crane’s load chart will typically include the SWL for the majority of ways in which the crane can lift. This will factor in boom length, working radius, and whether the crane is static or mobile during the lift.

Safe Working Loads can vary massively between similar cranes and even on the same crane if positioned differently. For example, two of our Mini Crawler Cranes, the MCC804 and MCC805, had the same maximum capacity but can lift that max load to different heights. Then with a crane such as the URW-295 Mini Spider Crane different outrigger positions can change the SWL.

Equipment to Increase the Efficiency of Your Safe Working Load

There are plenty of tools and additions to your crane that can assist with getting the best out of your crane’s lifting abilities. One of the best things you can do is ensure if your crane has outriggers is that you are extending them fully. When crane outriggers aren’t fully out it decreases the SWL load. This is because outriggers are used to spread the weight of a crane over a larger area to increase its stability.

Cranes like the URW-295-3 Mini Spider Crane have variable outriggers. This means the crane is able to have each of its outriggers in varying positions, but it is not constricted to the SWL of the weakest outrigger configuration. This is all indicated on the crane’s full-colour high-resolution safe load indicator. The device will indicate where it is possible to use the boom at its max SWL. This unique feature allows the operator to set the crane up where other cranes cannot.

When using outriggers, it is necessary to use outrigger mats on soft and fragile ground. Outrigger mats should be placed centrally under the feet of the outriggers. These mats distribute the weight of the crane preventing any damage to the ground and stop the crane from sinking.

Crane attachments such as jibs extend the length and reach of a crane’s boom. Our 700kg Combined Fly-Jib and Searcher Hook combines two handy features. Designed for fitting under soffits and overhangs as well as reaching over rooftops and balustrades.

TMC 525 Articulated Crawler Crane lifting a truss.

TMC 525 Articulated Crawler Crane lifting a truss.

Hire a Competent Operator/Contract Lift

Staying within the SWL for a crane requires a trained and skilled operator for an array of lifting jobs. A fully trained operator will be able to identify if a crane is struggling with a load and will seize operations if it is unsafe. By choosing a contract lift you’ll benefit from a full site survey, lift plan, and risk assessment. This means the weight of loads that need shifting will be measured accurately and GGR will handpick the perfect crane for the job. You will also be provided with a qualified operator, a crane supervisor, and an appointed person.

For more long-term projects you may prefer to have your own operator. This is why we developed a range of courses so our customers can learn to use our cranes. These thorough courses teach you the ins and outs of operating a crane in the safest way possible.


At GGR Group we have professional equipment and expert professionals available for helping you with your lifting project. For help choosing the best crane for you or further advice contact us by phone or clicking here.

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