Hi-Rail Crane Operator Safety Programs In Western Canada
These Cranes Are Used For Many Hi-Rail and Off-Rail Applications, Some May Even Have Multiple Load Charts Based on Each Scenario.
Hi-rail cranes are typically (but not always), rear mounted cranes and the older versions with “A-Frame” stabilizers (see photo below), are generally short reach cranes, as in 21′ – 25′ range so a wider stance wasn’t always necessary HOWEVER…this has changed and these cranes are reaching further out for both on-rail and off-rail service.
The Palfinger brand crane has a crane designed for this corner installation market (see photo below), and I’m sure that other brands of cranes may have developed a crane with the same configurations but as cranes evolve with time and new applications, staying ahead of the safety aspect is no easy feat. The older versions still use top-seat and while I’m not FULLY opposed to top-seat controls, I’m also not a fan but lets understand why they are being used:
- Better visibility to see what is being picked up and placement points
I’m just not able to see any further reasoning now that cranes have come with remote control for many years and in the event of a tip-over, the operator on a top-seat scenario is very likely in harms way as there is no ROPS and FOPS protection. That said, the corner mount crane (in this case a Palfinger crane by PalFleet USA Shown above), is a great example of a design SPECIFICALLY for the rail industry and of course others, but given the fact when hauling track or long-length materials on the carrier, this is a perfect set up. Remote controls also give the operator the ability to be at the safest place, where the load is being lifted to and from.
Our hi-rail crane operator safety programs for this type of crane is a one day operator safety program. We don’t include any rigging program with this due to the use of grapple and magnets, there typically is no need for rigging.
In 2021 we will be expanding our program to 3 days for hi-rail for much more in-depth safe use of the crane as rear mounts are typically more unwieldly and given the fact that may are used with stabilizers on top of the rail-ties there is a new level of stability to consider.
We have also had many conversations about the hi rail load charts, one for on-rail and one off rail. Now all we can say is this, IF your crane came with one load chart it MUST represent the values it was tested at. Meaning was it load – stability tested on hi-rail gear or was it tested on rubber on flat ground?
If was tested in both scenarios, BOTH load charts must be represented on the crane itself, otherwise the operator may make an assumption that the crane has full capacity and stability in all areas when it may not!
So depending on your situation and requirements by your customer, feel free to contact us to discuss your needs about our Hi Rail Crane Operator Safety Programs and your course requirements. *NOTE this is a 1-day program for the crane, add an additional day for rigging training (Edmonton location only).
Contact us at (403) 606-0603 or send us an email HERE
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Our programs are ON-SITE only, so we come to your office location and provide the program there in AB, SK and NWT. Please contact us for pricing and our new, low flat rate travel fees vs. per km. Quotes are instant and you will be provided an overview as well.
Comments or questions are welcome.