Saturday, December 11, 2010

September 16th, 2010

Rosrath, Germany. A Self-Erecting Tower Crane Collapsed damaging multiple cars and the roof of at least one house. No injuries were reported. The report does note some wind and that's what the police suspected that wind was the cause. I'm skeptical of that claim in favor of looking at two other potential causes. 

The ballast on the crane seems to be lacking in mass from what I'm used to seeing. Frankly, I've seen the smallest of cranes have more ballast than this. To be fair, I've never worked with this model of crane. It just strikes me as not enough ballast, but I have no real evidence that this is the case.

The other issue that stands out for me is the quality of the wood used. From the picture of the base of the crane it would seem that some of the wood is showing signs of rot. To make matters worse, the wood is spanning over some concrete blocking so there is no under laying support in the middle. This really shouldn't be done with suspect materials.

Both of the conditions that I have listed would affect the crane more than your standard wind. The crane was still in operation and anyone that has spent any time on a self-erecting crane knows that running them in the wind is anything but fun or easy, so you even shut them down earlier than a top slewing crane. I reject the claim of the officers and present the pictures as my reasoning.

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