Well, you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy who owns this house. He went from the excitement of having a pool installed in his backyard to the devastation of what happens next. The elements you have here are a pool, a big crane, and the home. It doesn’t take a genius to know that once you get a load out too far away from the base of a crane, bad things can happen. Like so many things in life, taking the right precautions could have prevented it.
The New Swimming Pool Being Installed
Who wouldn’t want to have a continuous motion pool in their backyard? These pools are more compact and therefore more affordable to heat, and they’re one of the best forms of exercise you can get. The one here looks to be around 20 feet long, 10 feet high, and 10 feet wide. Those dimensions would make it quite heavy, and maybe the crane operator underestimated the weight or just didn’t realize it. The cheapest continuous motion pools are just under $10,000, but this one probably costs a few thousand more than that. If you’ve ever looked at regular pools, you’ll know that the average is over $20,000, so you stand to save a little with a continuous motion pool–if you can get it installed without damaging anything, that is.
The Crane Lifting the Pool
This truck-mounted crane is pretty heavy-duty, but that doesn’t mean you can just lift anything up and extend it as far as you want to go. The crane operator should have consulted his crane load chart before performing this task. Knowing a crane’s load capacity and how that changes based on distance and angle is critical. Here are the key things one of these charts will tell you:
- Lift Capacity – Take caution with this number because the maximum lift capacity means the most the crane can handle with the shortest lift with the outriggers extended fully.
- Lift Angle – This is the maximum lift if a fixed or luffing jib is used. A higher angle lowers the lift capacity.
- Lift Range – This number tells you how long the boom needs to be to lift a load at a given height and distance.
- Dimensions and Weight – Also critical information that’s pretty much self-explanatory
- Crane in Motion – This shows the maximum weight a crane can pick up and carry, as well as the weight that can be supported by moving and other capacities.
On top of consulting these charts, OSHA has guidelines for crane, derrick, and hoist safety that should have been considered here too.
Is This Disaster Insured by the Homeowner or the Crane Operator?
Like me, you might be thinking, “I hope that guy has homeowner’s insurance.” You should never go without homeowner insurance unless you are either considerably wealthy or extremely poor because of weather damage and other crazy things like this that can happen to your house. However, in this case, it would be more likely that the crane company would pay out the damages through their insurance. There is actually specific insurance for cranes that these types of businesses should have. I guess the positive view here is that the crane was mostly over the garage, but those repairs would still be costly and take some time.
Was There a Better Option Instead of the Crane Truck?
It’s hard to say what the lift capacities of this crane are, but things may have turned out better if a larger-capacity crane was used. There are cranes out there that have a lift capacity of over 100 tons with booms that are over 150 feet. No matter what crane you have, though, it’s important to know the weight of what you’re lifting as well as the other capacities described earlier. Maybe if the operator got a few feet closer to the garage, the story would have been different as well; but doing that would have cut down on the angle of the boom.
A Bad Day For All Involved
Would you be as upset as the homeowner if something like this happened to your home or if you were the crane operator and did that much damage to someone else’s home? For the crane operator, it’s not really something you would just casually say “oops, sorry about that” after. What we don’t get to see, unfortunately, is how the vehicle got back down or if the pool got damaged either. How do you think the crane truck was able to get back down from this?