Be sure that all tools, oil cans, grease guns and rags are stored in a tool box and all of clothing (such as a jacket) is stored so that they it does not interfere with the operation of the crane. Be a good housekeeper. Soft drink cans and similar items can roll under the brake pedals and make you drop a load.
Remember that a poorly maintained crane is not a safe crane.
Mobile Cranes: Setting up the crane level and on solid ground is an absolute must! You can throw the load charts out the window if the crane is not set up level, because you have changed the tipping moment. Setting cranes up on loose or unstable soil is just as bad. If the crane settles on one side, you have changed the tipping moment again.
Set the crane’s outriggers before making any lifts. Many accidents occur when crane operators don’t set the outriggers for a simple lift. No matter how small a lift or if you think that the crane is balanced enough to handle a light lift, without the outriggers set properly, you are not prepared for possible changes in the operation. Increasing counterweight or securing the crane with cables to avoid tipping situations is never an acceptable practice and raises the possibility of structural failure. If these operations continue for long enough, the repeated stress placed on the boom is certain to result in a boom failure.
Only qualified crane operators should operate a crane for lifting loads. No one should operate a crane until he has read the operator’s manual for that crane and is familiar with the particular traits of that crane.
Be sure everybody is out of the way before you sit down in the seat to start the crane. Cranes should not be operated when helicopters are landing or taking off. Work all control levers to see that they work freely. Check that all control levers are in neutral or center position. If the crane has a master (disconnect) clutch, be sure it is not engaged. The foot brakes should be latched down if the crane has foot brakes.
To get the engine to full horse power before hoisting a load, let it warm up for 3-5 minutes before operating the crane. A torque converter will not operate right until the torque converter oil is warm; on hydraulic cranes, the hydraulic oil will not flow right to the winches until the oil is warm.
In a damp or wet place, sometimes moisture drops off everything and that moisture affects the operation of the crane. To ensure the crane will operate properly, perform these tasks before you hook onto a load:
Even if you operate a hydraulic crane, raise and lower the blocks as this helps warm up the oil and you will find out if the crane is operating properly. You are now ready to start lifting loads.
Never leave the crane cab while a load is suspended from the crane.
Land the load, secure the crane controls and shut down the engine before leaving the cab.