Role Of Tilt Switches In Safety Of Cranes, Man Lifts And Dumper Trucks


Different types of cranes, man lifts, and dump trucks are used across the industry for various applications where movement of material (humans in case of man lifts) is intended. These cranes can be used to carry heavy material as well as human beings from one location to the other or to a specific elevation. Maintaining crane safety is important as any mishap might lead to damage to material or human beings.

Why The Is Crane/Man Lift / Dumper Truck Safety Critical?

Every year, a large number of accidents take place while operating cranes/dumper trucks and other material and human movement machines. The reasons behind these accidents could be different, right from not following the standard operating practices to the toppling of cranes/dumper trucks because of crossing the safe angles of operation.

Safe operation of such equipment is absolutely essential as an accident will lead to:

  • Injury to persons working on or operating such an equipment. In the case of man lift platforms, the risk is much higher. Many such incidences have proven to be fatal.
  • Damage to the crane, infrastructure or property surrounding the crane or material which is being handled.
  • An interruption in the material movement which can cause a delay in the timeliness of deliveries or can affect the productivity in some way or the other.
  • Legal prosecution and liabilities following the mishaps.

If one observes the nature of risks involved, the price of damages involved is much higher compared to the cost of preventing the above accidents.

Nature Of Accidents

Crane accidents can take place because of different reasons, right from cable failure to toppling of the crane due to exceeding the angle limits.

Broadly, the crane accidents arising out of:

  • Exceeding the safe angle limits which will result in the toppling of the crane/man lift/dumper truck
  • The crane platform not leveled properly
  • Overloading of the crane
  • Crane operation in high wind situations
  • Traveling with high loads
  • Not following the standard pre-defined procedure of operating the crane/man lift/dumper truck

Commonly Used Safety Methods

Considering a large number of accidents and the quantum of damages arising out of these accidents, various safety methods are already in use.

Some of the common safety methods are:

    1. Load cell based measurement of crane load

A significant number of crane accidents occur due to the overloading of the cranes. A load cell is an ideal device used to measure the crane load and warn against the overloading. Commonly, strain-gauge type of load cells are used and some cells have provision to measure the endurance of the cable as the crane maneuvers the load.

                 2.  Angle measurement

Angle measurement measures the angle of the platform which actually carries the weight. Measuring and controlling the angle ensures that the crane or the equipment does not exceed safe working angle. Crossing the safe working angles can result in loss of the center of gravity which will lead to the toppling of the crane/ lift/truck.

                  3.  Alarms And Indications For Crane Operator

Alarms and indications can warn the operator when safe operating conditions (overloading or exceeding the safe angle) are breached.

Role Of Tilt Switches In crane/Man lift/dumper truck Safety

Surveys and analysis done by different agencies indicate that exceeding the safe angles account for nearly 15% of all the crane accidents. A tilt switch can prevent these accidents from taking place.`

A tilt switch measures the angle of the platform on which it is installed. High-quality tilt switches from Aeron can measure (+/-) 60 Deg. of pitch angle and (+/-) 180 Deg. of role angles with an accuracy of (+/-) 0.1 Deg.

The tilt switch can be configured for a particular application by inputting the safe angle operation for the maximum load conditions. When the angle is reached, the relay gets activated and a buzzer, as well as visual indication, informs the crane/ dumper truck operator that the maximum safe angle has been reached.

Our experience suggests that tilt switches are safest and cost-effective solutions to avoid the accidents during the operation of various types of cranes (tower crane, telescopic crane, and scissor crane), man lifts and dumper trucks.

Write to us at [email protected] to know more about how our solutions can help enhance the safety at your workplace.