Building technology continues to evolve, creating safer, more efficient equipment for use in high-rise projects. One of the most innovative and sought-after construction apparatuses is the crane loading platform, which is used primarily to move and transfer building materials from the ground to designated levels or stories in building scaffolding.

The components of a crane loading platform include a fixed steel frame, steel prop, guard rail and safety door. Originally designed with fixed platforms, newer mechanisms have fully retractable platforms, which have many safety benefits.

For example, instead of lining up the edges of the scaffolding with a fixed platform, retractable platforms can slide into the structure of the building allowing safer passage for loads and workers.

Before buying or renting either a fixed or a retractable crane loading platform, construction companies should consider the following five recommendations.

1. Check the Features

The first step in the selection process is to check the features of the crane loading platform. In addition to a fixed or retractable platform, specifications for a crane loading platform should include safety procedures and apparatuses, including harnesses, that comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or other government regulations.

Choosing a Crane Loading Platform

2. Understand How To Operate, Install and Relocate the Equipment

Depending on the size of the building and the time needed to complete the building project, a crane loading platform might be moved many times. As part of planning, managers need to consult with all subcontractors and administrators to decide where the crane loading platform will be installed.

They should also assign personnel exclusively to the equipment and train them to operate it correctly. Another option is to hire a service to install and relocate crane loading platforms, instead of training employees to do the job.

3. Know the Safety Procedures

Every staff member assigned to operate the crane loading platform must know how to use all of its safety features, particularly the harnesses, which have specific purposes and points of attachment. Training should also include discussion of the methods of use and the risks.

For example, with fixed platforms, the edge of the platform must line up exactly with the edge of the building. As required for all construction tasks, workers should receive proper personal protective equipment for using the crane loading platform.

4. Have Lifting Plans and Requirements

When selecting a crane loading platform, it is important for project managers to know the weight carrying capacity for each phase of construction. Once the maximum weight is determined, you can choose the right product to accommodate the loads.

As a result of the load and lift-planning process, you can prepare for potential hazards occurring when the crane loading platform is operated near other lifting mechanisms such as cranes.

5. Remember Budget and Cost Savings

When researching your options for financing crane loading platforms, you should find out whether your company can buy or rent or have a construction equipment loan. Depending on your business’s budget, you may decide that purchasing this type of equipment is not feasible. Therefore, renting a crane loading platform is a practical choice.

Savings in time and cost have led to retractable platforms encompassing the majority of the market. One reason retractable platforms are in demand is their simple installation. Most can be set up in 15 to 20 minutes. Instead of limiting loads to materials only, retractable platforms can also carry personnel.

Their drawer-like design and stackability allow retractable platforms to be used simultaneously with additional platforms located on other building levels. All of these features save time and labor, increasing the job’s efficiency and productivity.

In order to calculate an estimated cost for rental, you should know how many crane loading platforms you will need for the entire construction process. To provide a cost comparison, one rental company estimates savings up to $375 per day for retractable crane loading platforms. Although the daily rental price for retractable platforms may be more than for traditional platforms, the total savings is significant because of the shortened project completion time.

After consulting with your fellow managers, contractors and other personnel, you are ready to greenlight the acquisition of crane loading platforms for your next job.  You have now covered all the factors necessary for choosing safe, efficient and cost-saving equipment.

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