Crane truck with wheels off the ground after Leveling a Crane for Tree Removal.

Leveling a Crane for Tree Removal

The Importance of Leveling a Crane for Tree Removal

It looks odd to see a truck with its wheels off the ground, but that’s what’s required to level a crane with outriggers. Leveling a crane for tree removal is essential. Here are some key reasons why proper leveling is crucial:

Stability: A level crane provides stability during the tree removal process, reducing the risk of accidents or equipment failure.

Precision: Leveling the crane ensures the load is evenly distributed, allowing for more precise and controlled movements when lifting heavy tree branches.

Safety: A level crane minimizes the risk of tipping over, which can be catastrophic when working over a house or other structures.

What is Considered Level?

To meet a crane manufacturer’s requirements, a crane must be level to within 1 percent of level grade. To picture what that looks like, imagine a distance of 100 inches and an elevation change of 1 inch over that distance. That’s a 1 percent grade.

One of the most important reasons to level a crane is that any out-of-level condition puts a side load on the crane boom, and side loading of the boom is a dangerous situation. The amount of load any crane can safely lift and handle is unknown if the crane is not leveled to within 1 percent of level grade.

Setting Up the Crane

Before setting up the crane, we must ensure the ground is level and stable. Of course, the ground is rarely level, so we have to make adjustments.

Unlike our bucket truck, which has stabilizers and requires all four tires to remain on the ground for additional support, the crane has outriggers that require all of the truck’s tires to be off the ground. We use boards called cribbing or dunnage to stack where needed to help bring up the lower spots of the ground and more easily level the crane.

Most modern cranes have a leveling system that allows operators to adjust the crane’s level electronically. We follow the manufacturer’s instructions to activate and calibrate the leveling system.

To check the level, we use a bubble level or digital level to ensure that the crane is perfectly level in all directions. We make adjustments as needed to achieve a precise level.

Once the crane is leveled, we double-check its stability by conducting a test lift with a light load. We then observe the crane’s movements and make any final adjustments to ensure stability.

By properly leveling the crane before removing the tree, we prioritize safety and ensure a smooth and efficient operation.

For this job in Barkhamsted, trees were being cleared due to proximity to the house (picture above) and to open up a view of the mountainside (pictures below).

"Before" tree removal for mountainside view.
Before tree removal
"After" picture of tree removal for mountainside view.
After tree removal - nice mountainside view!
Scroll to Top