Exponent provides both engineering investigations of crane failures and pro-active engineering services related to the installation and use of cranes.

Investigative Services

Crane failures are often dramatic events, and can result in fatalities, injuries, property damage, and project delays. With our multi-disciplinary staff of structural engineers, mechanical engineers, metallurgists, welding engineers, material scientists, wind engineers, geotechnical engineers, electronics engineers, and construction consultants, we can review all aspects of an accident or failure and apply state-of-the-art analytical and testing methods.

We have consulted on all major types of cranes, including:

  • Tower cranes (luffing and hammerhead)
  • Truck-mounted cranes
  • Crawler cranes
  • Offshore/marine cranes
  • Gantry cranes
  • Cable cranes
  • Overhead cranes
  • Portal cranes

Clients have included crane manufacturers, owners and operators, contractors, real estate developers, facility owners, insurance companies and law firms. Our services related to crane accidents include:

  • Emergency Response
    • Stabilization of damaged structures
    • Preservation of evidence
  • Damage Assessment
    • For purposes of prioritizing repairs to damaged buildings and structures, and for filing of insurance claims
  • Cause and Origin Studies
    • Metallurgical evaluation
    • Structural analysis
    • Weld failure analysis
    • 3D finite-element analysis
    • Synthetic web sling evaluation
    • Wire rope evaluation
    • Rigging review
    • Electrical systems
    • Control system analysis and testing
  • Delay Claim Analysis
  • 3D Visualization and Animation

Pro-active Services

Our experience investigating crane problems puts us in a unique position to help clients try to minimize the probability of future accidents. Exponent can provide pro-active engineering services in an oversight capacity to minimize the risk of a catastrophic failure. Review of practices and plans by qualified engineers can provide an additional level of protection to projects.

These services include:

  • Pre-Construction Review—Review crane design criteria, load charts, foundation design, bracing design, inspection reports, and other documents to determine whether recommended procedures and best practices have been followed.
  • Initial Erection Review—The initial erection of a large crane is a complex process, often requiring the use of other cranes, which severely tests all of the newly installed components.
  • Jump Review—The stability of tower cranes is attained from the building being constructed. These cranes are periodically “jumped” (increased in height) as floors are completed. The jumping process is a critical operation and must be carefully planned and executed.
  • Critical Lift Review—Careful planning and execution are required for lifts of items that weigh more than 75% of the crane’s rated capacity that involve multiple cranes or require special rigging.
  • Disassembly Review—This is particularly important for tower cranes, because disassembly requires multiple reverse “jumps.”