How Does the Summer Heat Affect Construction Cranes?

If you took a look at the weather forecast for Boston, Massachusetts, for early July 2021, you’d notice some high temperatures in the 90s on several days. And on June 30, 2021, the temperature hit 100 degrees! The last time the city hit the triple digits was July 22, 2011, when it was 103 degrees. For the record, the hottest day ever recorded in Boston was July 4, 1911, when it was 104 degrees.

Astro Crane, which rents out cranes all over New England, including in and around Boston, knows that summer heat affects construction cranes, construction workers, and construction sites.

Take, for instance, seals on cranes. During bitter cold winters, seals can turn brittle. In extremely hot summer weather? Seals can soften. This can lead to leaks or failure(s), compromising crane operations safety. 


165 Ton CraneThen there’s the issue of overheating, which can happen for a number of reasons. Say, for instance, a crane sits outside in extremely hot weather for hours on end with its engine and generators constantly operating. It’s going to get hot and might even overheat. And if fluid levels are down, for whatever reason, the machine might stop working. Therefore, it’s important in the summertime for crews to check cranes, machines and equipment to make sure things are in proper working order. Ideally, fluids need to be topped off on a daily basis. Hoses should also be checked to see if there are any leaks which could impair the function of the equipment.

Dirt and Oil Issues

With hot summer weather comes dry and dusty site conditions. If there’s a breeze, that dust gets into certain parts of a crane and can cause problems. For example, dust can coat oil damp hydraulic pistons which can lead to component failure. When something like this happens, crews face downtime, and that’s never a good thing on a construction site where time is money.

Hydration for Operators

On particularly hot summer days, the extreme temps can truly bother the workforce, especially if they’re not getting enough hydration. Furthermore, certain members of a team might be inclined to skip over safety steps, or avoid wearing safety equipment, because “they don’t feel like it because it’s too damn hot outside.” Well, if high-visibility jackets and hats aren’t worn, and shirts come off, too, then there could be issues, including bumps on the head caused by falling debris or bad sunburn or even sunstroke.

Crane OperatorOn sunny days, it can be harder for the crane operator to see what they’re doing because the sun’s in their eyes. And what if there’s no air-conditioning in the sweltering cab? That’s uncomfortably bad, too. Water bottles and sunglasses are important things to have on hot and sunny summer days.

If possible, store cranes out of the sun when they’re not in use. If a crane can be kept in a temperature-controlled building, that’s great. Or even if it can be parked under a shady tree, that’s good. Sometimes crews will cover cranes with tarps, which can aid in keeping them somewhat safe from the sun and other things.

Daily Inspections Are Crucial

Daily inspections are paramount, since parts of a crane can certainly develop issues during hot summer days. For instance, hoses, wires and reservoirs need to be checked daily. How are the coolant levels doing? What about the hydraulic fluid? Is the radiator blocked? Are the inlets and outlets of the crane clear or is there any build-up that needs to be cleaned off to ensure the coolers’ airflow is working as intended?

For certain jobs, you might want to get a crane that has a high ambient cooling option. Certain cranes are made to handle the extra stress(es) that extreme temperatures exert.

If you’re dealing with mortar on a hot day, keep in mind that hot weather can cause rapid evaporation and absorption of water from mortar when there’s a lack of moisture within construction materials. Therefore, you have to be extra careful when handling and lifting these pieces with a crane in order to prevent accidents from happening.

Rent a Crane From Astro Crane

When renting a crane from Astro Crane of New England, and it’s to be used on swelteringly hot days, make sure workers know about the signs of heatstroke. Workers need to take short and frequent breaks, under shade or in a cool, air-conditioned room. They also need to drink plenty of water. Clothing needs to be appropriate such that it protects them from the sun’s rays and the extreme heat. Even little things like making sure workers use and apply sunscreen can help make the day go well.

Do you want to find out more information about renting cranes this summer from Astro Crane? Please call 978-429-8666.