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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 91
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping, L.F. Costa Neves and R.C. Barros
Paper 292

An Automated System for Mobile Crane Selection, Swing Control and Ground Pressure Calculation

S. Hasan1, M. Al-Hussein2, U.H. Hermann3 and H. Safouhi4

1Construction Engineering and Management, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
3PCL Industrial Management Inc., Edmonton AB, Canada
4Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
S. Hasan, M. Al-Hussein, U.H. Hermann, H. Safouhi, "An Automated System for Mobile Crane Selection, Swing Control and Ground Pressure Calculation", in B.H.V. Topping, L.F. Costa Neves, R.C. Barros, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 292, 2009. doi:10.4203/ccp.91.292
Keywords: stability, crane selection, ground pressure, crane swing, supporting system, truck crane, crawler crane.

A successful crane operation requires pre-planning, including the arrangement of adequate crane support and risk-control measures with respect to crane stability. A significant share of crane accidents has been caused by improper crane selection, lack of a proper crane support system, or a failure to calculate actual ground pressure. In current practice, most of the crane selection, design, and ground pressure calculations have been carried out manually based on the manufacturer's charts. As such, it has become necessary to build an automated system which can select the proper crane for safe operation as well as control the crane boom swing and also calculate the actual ground pressure in order to design the proper support system. Knowledge-based expert systems have been used in construction for several years, although primarily for the purposes of equipment selection and site layout optimization. Current research in the domain of mobile cranes focuses primarily on developing tools to assist practitioners in the crane selection process [1]. However, the calculation of ground pressure due to dynamic involvement of the mobile crane has typically been carried out manually except in the case of the system developed by Manitowoc Cranes, Inc., which provides the option to calculate the ground pressure for the Manitowoc crawler crane only.

This paper presents a methodology which is designed to assist practitioners in selecting the proper crane for lifting operations and calculating the actual ground pressure to design the support system for mobile cranes. The platform of a mobile crane can either be set on outriggers or on a crawler track. The methodology has been developed in a computer program which has been developed such that it can generate a reaction influence chart which shows the reactions for each outrigger at varying horizontal swing angles and vertical boom angles to the ground and it also assists in controlling the boom swing by warning users about unsafe values of boom rotation. The support reactions have been calculated based on structural design principles and in accordance with the research of Shapiro et al. [2]. The geometric configurations required in order to perform the calculations are not ordinarily given in the crane manufacturer's literature. To address this deficiency, a crane database has been developed with the support of PCL Industrial Management Inc. and the developed system has been integrated with the database. The integrated system has been developed using MS-Visual Basic, and MS-Access has been used as a platform for the system database. The integrated system has also been validated with a ground pressure estimator provided by Manitowoc Cranes, Inc. to demonstrate the control of the presented algorithm. The system has proven to be effective in reducing the time and cost associated with the design of heavy and critical lifts on construction sites.

M. Al-Hussein, S. Alkass, O. Moselhi, "Optimization algorithm for selection and on-site location of mobile cranes", Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 131(5), 579-590, 2005. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2005)131:5(579)
H.I. Shapiro, J.P. Shapiro, L.K. Shapiro, "Cranes & Derricks", McGraw-Hill, NewYork, N.Y., 1999.

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