The Importance of Counterweights for Mobile Crane Operation

Crane Mats for Rent in LA & TXWhen you’re working with an industrial machine such as a mobile crane, safety and efficiency should be your two top priorities. The operating system of a crane is quite complex, and often requires additional tools to be used along with the machine in order to keep it working securely and effectively. Crane mats, for example, are essential for protecting the site ground from damage caused by heavy machinery, as well as providing a stable, even surface on which the crane can be used safely.

Another additional tool that ensures your crane can operate safely and efficiently is a counterweight. Let’s take a look at what a counterweight is used for and why it’s a necessary component of any construction site using a mobile crane.

What is a counterweight?

A counterweight is a weight that is placed opposite of the force of a machine or lifting system to balance and stabilize it as it lifts. In construction, counterweights are usually made of concrete or some type of metal, such as lead or cast iron.

Why do mobile cranes need counterweights?

If you attempt to lift a load that is too heavy for a crane’s tipping point, the back of the machine can start lifting off the ground or even fall over. Obviously, this would be a life-threatening danger to your crew members, as well as potentially detrimental to your worksite and machinery. A counterweight improves stability for lifting heavier loads or digging into soil by applying counterforce to keep the crane level.

Are there any safety considerations when using counterweights?

Counterweights can pose a danger to site workers and equipment if proper precautions are not taken. One of the many reasons crane mats are a necessity on every site using cranes is actually because of the counterweights. Crane mats and outrigger pads are necessary to create a surface that is strong and stable enough to handle the weight and tipping forces of both the crane and the counterweight, otherwise the machine will sink into the ground.

Crew members also need to be careful when walking by counterweights in use. It’s best to have workers announce their presence to the crane operator, to ensure they don’t get caught between the counterweight and any stationary objects nearby.

Take one thing off your plate for your next project and enlist Ritter Forest Products to provide you with quality, durable crane mats for safe and efficient equipment operation. Our mats and other industrial worksite products are available for convenient rental, so you can use them when you need them and then not have to worry about them after you’ve finished.

Contact us today to discuss the needs of your next project!