By: Michelle Tunquist

One of the most important parts of a construction project that involves the use of cranes is what takes place before the lifting even starts. Planning is an important aspect of any lift. Having a solid plan in place will prevent problems and ensure that the lift occurs safely and correctly. A poorly planned lift can result in extra time, costs and danger. Taking the time to plan through a lift can make sure that the project is done well and on time.

Safety First!

WM Services takes safety seriously. When dealing with large machinery and heavy loads, a small mistake can have terrible consequences. That’s why we have an in-house engineering group that uses the latest technology to plan for transportation projects and complex lifts. Taking the time to plan ahead can prevent problems and keep everyone working on the project safe.


Proper training has shown to prevent accidents and keep workers safe. Anyone involved in a heavy lift should have the proper training and certification completed. WM Services ensures that all employees are properly trained before they are involved in any construction project. If you choose any of our standard rental plans, you can be confident that the labor force we provide is properly trained and certified.


good plan will contemplate the entire project and foresee possible complications. When planning a transportation project or heavy lift, it is important to consider several important points:

  • Expectations. A good plan will examine what is expected to occur. What is the desired outcome? How will each team member work together?
  • Interference. A good plan will also reflect on what possible things could go wrong. Are there any aspects of the project that could cause interference? What happens if there is bad weather?  Is there a certified substitute if someone is sick?
  • Consequences. A good plan will also speculate about possible consequences if a mistake is made or a problem occurs. What could happen if the crane is not properly set up? How will it affect the project if bad weather occurs or there is reason for a delay?
  • Mitigate Risks. A good plan will consider possible interference and consequences and actively mitigate any possible risks. Perhaps the plan will include double checking the rigging before operating the crane, or frequently checking weather throughout the day to prevent weather related problems.


There are a variety of issues to consider when making a plan.  When planning it is important to think about:

  • Timeline. It is important to consider how much time is needed to transport equipment and set it up as well as how much time is needed to complete the job.
  • Weight of load. Think about how much the load weighs and what type of crane will be needed to haul a load that size. If a variety of different load weights are needed, determine if more than one crane is needed or if using a large crane will work for all the project’s needs.
  • Crane’s boom length. The length of the boom must be considered for whether the boom will extend as needed and if there is enough room for the boom to move.
  • Radius of load placement. The radius of load placement is important to think about when determining the size of crane needed and for placement location. Do you need a crane that can move about the job site or will it need to be stationary?
  • Ground conditions. Is the terrain rough or smooth? How far does the crane need to travel and does the crane need to move about the job site? Some cranes can move about on rough terrain and others must be transported by truck to the job site, while others can navigate paved highways. Check the load bearing capacity of the soil and think about whether the crane can be leveled in that location.
  • Power lines. The location of power lines should always be considered when making a plan. Any mistake involving power lines can be deadly. Always be aware of location and distance of any power lines.
  • Weather. Severe weather may mean that the lift should be postponed. Also consider whether wind conditions or ice will affect load weights.

Critical Lifts

Every load is important and should be carefully planned and executed. Some loads are defined as critical lifts and require extra attention. Critical lifts include:

  • Expensive loads. Some loads may be expensive, fragile or difficult to replace. When moving a load that falls into this category, exercise additional caution and plan carefully.
  • Exceed capacity percentage. Some loads may exceed a certain percentage of the capacity of the crane. While the crane may still be able to lift the load, it is important to use extra planning and caution for heavier lifts that exceed a certain percentage.
  • Use multiple cranes. A lift that requires the use of multiple cranes should be carefully planned and executed to ensure it is carried out correctly.

Plans Reviewed By Everyone Involved

Plan making only works if everyone involved in the project has had a chance to look over and review the plan. Each person involved in its execution should be clear on all aspects of the plan. People involved that should study the plan include, but are not limited to:

  • Crane operators.
  • Riggers.
  • Signal persons.
  • Site supervisors.
  • Lift directors.

Plan With WM Services Today!

WM Services standard rentals include all necessary equipment, transportation, labor force and project details. Our qualified engineers consider all aspects of the project and create plans accordingly.  Safety is important to us and we make sure to plan each project so that it can be executed safely and successfully. Call WM Services today at (208) 547-4707 to learn about our standard rentals.