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Great Crane Wreck of Tracy, CA.

Discussion in 'Cranes' started by DarrylMueller, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. DarrylMueller

    DarrylMueller Senior Member

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    I took these pictures in late Feb. of '07. I have more pictures of the crawlers that I have to hunt up & post. The crane was lifting and placing a large rebar cage like 5 or 8 ft in diameter as you can see the casing in the pictures, and the yellow drill attachment to the right top in picture 1. This wreck took out 2 MANITOWOC 3900's or 4000's? and a RT crane. This was a state highway bridge overpass work. There was a number of stories as to what happened. And since I was not there when it happened I won't guess but I have a real good idea. The MANITOWOC cranes were wrecked and not put back into service on this site. They brought in other equipment to finish. In other pictures you can see the steel rebar cage that was being lifted that overturned the 2 cranes and cage and boom lays on top of the RT crane. There is no doubt that the angle of the booms were high. You will see in the other pictures that 1 cranes UC was about 45 degs. from the house when it ended up. The Link Belt truck crane is there holding a cage thats in place and missed the wreck.
     

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  2. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    What a ruddy mess :eek:

    I've been studying those for a few minutes and I must admit to being confused as to what happened. Yes I know it fell over :D
    Looks like the biggest went over backwards but if that is what happened I dont see how it took the other lattice with him, which leads me to think he was slewing or turning or travelling with a load ( the cages you mention ) :beatsme
     
  3. Eric

    Eric Senior Member

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    Question for you crane operators. Is this sort of thing operator error 99 times out of 100?? I have always shyed away from craning just because of this sort of thing. I have several years of expierience running overhead cranes, but this is a whole differant animal. It seems that if one guys makes a poor judgement call, the whole job is in jeopardy. I do realize that any knucklehead can jeopardize a job site, but in a crane the stakes are far greater.
     
  4. JDOFMEMI

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

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    I am as confused as Rob, but if I had to guess, I would say the red boom had the load too far away, and it tipped first, catching the black boom on the way down, and both landing on the RT.
    I say this primarily because the UC on the red boom is completely upside down, so that tells me that it tipped over to a point the crawlers came completely off the ground untill the weight was overcenter and the bottom completely upset. The counterweight is facing the boom, so thats why I say it went over forward.

    Hard to tell just from the pics though. Many things possible here.
     
  5. insleyboy

    insleyboy Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of variables Eric. Cranes come with charts, I'm sure you know that. Experience in a seat cannot be taught. Carring heavy loads low to the ground in booming down situations can teach tipping points in older rigs without computers. In this horrible accident here something along the line of a load maybe too high when the boom down signal was given may have been the trigger that achieved tip point but too late to reverse the momentum.
     
  6. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Crane work is a differant animal.One small mistake,and you will be on the evening news.You are always working around people,electricity,water,and many other hazards.Before I bought my crane ,I spent alot of time talking whith my insurance agent,Its alot different than moving dirt.I used to fly small aircraft,the crane is the one piece of equipment that I feel I am in the "cockpitt". I inspect it before every lift,and go down the checklist.Rigging is as important as the crane.Use your load chart like the Bible,if ther is anything you dont like about the job ,do not pick it up! And stay off the evening news.
     
  7. Cletus

    Cletus Well-Known Member

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    The one larger crane is a Manitowoc but the other smaller red one has a narrow undercarrage and tubular gantry so I don't think it is a Manitowoc.
    I'd like to know what really happened. Charts are great but without a load indicator you can't tell exactly what you have for weight.
    What, no youtube video link!
     
  8. Cletus

    Cletus Well-Known Member

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    AND small crane has the cab on the left. Probably another Stinkbelt.
    The Manitowoc looks like it has side or cheek plate counterweights. 4100 S2 ?
     
  9. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    I would almost be willing to bet the farm that the big red Manitowoc boomed back over vertical and once that happens you loose tension on the boom pendants then the boom will just fold over backward. I think the boom length just brought the whole unit azz over tea kettle backward.

    coming over backward it caught the boom of the smaller black boomed crawler and spun the house around as she was coming over.

    Thats how i see it as PURE speculation. either way im pretty sure someone got fired.
     
  10. DarrylMueller

    DarrylMueller Senior Member

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    Yes I have a utube but its just a drive by, they will only run them for a wile. I could repost it on utube. The wreck did make the newspapers, and TV. But nothing of what happen only rumors.
     
  11. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    I never thought of it tipping so far forward that the undercarriage could over balance, which was why I could only see it as having gone backwards. :notworthy

    I would agree until I read Jerry's theory. I was finding it hard to believe that the momentum of the boom would be enough to flip the undercarriage like that, normally it ends up like a twisted load of scrap but the tracks normal way up. :drinkup
     
  12. qball

    qball Senior Member

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    all in all, gravity's in charge.
     
  13. Crane Op

    Crane Op Member

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    Hello Darryl,

    I went and saw that destruction after it happened, what a mess that was. Great photos tho!
     
  14. DarrylMueller

    DarrylMueller Senior Member

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    Non stop work.

    Did you here any rumors about who was operating the crane or what happened in the crane circles?

    I can tell you one thing this was done with the typical Caltrans accident protocol. It's like this on a Caltrans site. if you have an incident. That part of the work is shut down for a minimum of 2 weeks, a safety plan outlining corrective action has to be approved by Caltrans.
    Caltrans made a response to local newspaper in Tracy that the work would now stop and it went on. Sounds like a political solution? I have been on caltrans work that a manlift was touched nothing outer than that and that part of work was shut down for 2 weeks.
     
  15. Crane Op

    Crane Op Member

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    Never heard a word of what really happened, I was up at RMTC and asked the guys up there if they heard anything, not a word. I do know about a few other crane accidents that happened in and around the area. Like the one involving Sheedy Crane that also happened in Tracy - area. Wrecked a bran new Terex crane.

    Do you remember the accident that happened in Concord back in 96 (i believe) involving the construction of the above ground section of BART? what a mess that was.
     
  16. Canevari Timber

    Canevari Timber Member

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    I was working for that company on a different job site when that happened. Supposedly they were standing a rebar cage with two cranes and the main crane was boomed down to far when the smaller crane let the weight off and by the time the smaller crane saw what was happening he tried to take some of the weight off but was to late and the cage took the both of them out and layed one of the booms across a smaller rough terrain hydro_One of the crane booms came very close to the freeway also.
     
  17. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    :eek: wow! thanks for that info, its always intresting to know what happened.
     
  18. liebherr1160

    liebherr1160 Senior Member

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    WOW! Man that really sucks ...probably something that these two guys do as a team on a regular basis to..


    But then thats another reason why two crane operation's are more and more forbidden without an engineered plan...