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What is Side Pull, and Why is It So Dangerous?

Overhead lifting is one of the most common daily tasks at construction sites. It’s an integral part of managing, overseeing, and completing construction projects. Warehouse workers and operation managers also need to conduct overhead lifting tasks that involve lifting, pushing, moving, and unloading material.

All of these operations require one piece of equipment: cranes. Being a very versatile material movement machine, a crane is considered a vital tool in the construction and logistics industry. It’s not just used for moving loads but also used in reaching heights, overcoming mechanical limitations, and escalating project completion speed.

However, using cranes can be a very challenging task. It poses a direct risk to workers’ and material safety. From overturning and load slips to blindspots and fuel inefficiencies, different types of issues may arise during crane operations. Among these, side pulling is also a noteworthy risk that operators and managers need to mitigate.

So what’s side pulling all about? Let’s delve deeper to find out.


Side Pulling Using a Crane: Explained


Side pulling is basically using a crane to move and lift objects outside the allowed radius. When an operator side pulls using a crane, they’re actually pushing past their crane’s mechanical, technical, and electrical capabilities.

Side pulling is extremely hazardous, and our experts at the Crane Warning Systems Atlanta do not recommend it at all. Exerting a significant amount of stress on crane equipment can lead to chain rope breakages, engine breakdowns, and hoist breakdowns. Moreover, side pulling can cause instant wire snapping without warning, thereby hurting nearby personnel.



Despite all the challenges and risks, side pulling is still a common threat to crane workers. This unwanted and risky aspect of crane operations is a major obstacle in ensuring safe work environments.


What Makes a Side Pull Dangerous?


Now that your knowledge about side pulling is all brushed up let’s talk about the factors that make crane side pulls dangerous for operators, surroundings, material, and indirectly associated personnel.


1.Load Swings


It’s a no-brainer that when a crane operator exceeds their crane’s load radius limit, there will be a high chance of swinging. A side pull happens on the ground and, therefore, leads to horizontal swinging.

A horizontally swinging load may not seem very perilous to you, but it has a tremendous ability to cause harm to people and objects in the surroundings. On top of this, a swinging load is harmful to the crane equipment itself. The moving hoist with load can collide with the crane’s hardware and lead to structural damage. And depending on your location and working conditions, it can cause severe injuries and even fatalities.


2.Hoisting Trolley Damage


A side pull can also damage a hoist. A hoisting trolley is the part of the crane that keeps the equipment stable during load-lifting operations. A swinging load, similar to what happens during a side pull, can get tipped over and derailed. Side pulling is akin to side loading. For example, when a crane experiences excess pressure, more than its bearing capacity, it gets prone to overturning.

Moreover, the equipment starts relying on the hoisting trolley for stability and grit. But since the trolley is itself unstable, a very challenging situation arises wherein operators usually fail to mitigate accident risks.


Buy High-End Crane Safety Equipment at CWSA in the US


Crane Warning Systems Atlanta offers an expansive range of crane safety products, including RaycoWylie RCI and LMI systems for boom cranes. Whether you want to buy RaycoWylie RCI and LMI systems, wireless anemometer for cranes, i4500 LMI for Telescopic Boom Crane, or i4507 RCI system, we’ve got it all.

CWSA takes pride in being a trusted crane safety products supplier in the US. Buy quality RaycoWylie products, crane safety, LMI and RCI systems, Load links and crane load indicators, etc., today. For more details, contact us now.


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