How Tree Removal Cranes Maximize Safety in Tree Work

While some tree companies still utilize only basic equipment like chainsaws and ladders, modern services at the cutting edge of tree removal technology have invested in cranes to expedite removal and protect surrounding areas by utilizing a tree removal crane. Cranes offer several key advantages over traditional tree takedown methods, resulting in safe tree removals completed as efficiently as possible.

Crane removals can:

  • Allow access to hard-to-reach trees
  • Allow hazardous trees to be removed safely
  • Be coupled with additional technologies to enhance safety and efficacy

This article will explore the advantages of crane removal over traditional tree removal methods and explain why services that utilize a tree removal crane are better equipped to handle tree removals of all types.

Cranes Can Remove Trees in Tight or Difficult-to-Access Areas

While it will always have its place, the classic tree removal technique of felling entire trees in one cut is only possible in locations with the necessary space. Unfortunately, that’s not something we always have in the Hopkinton area, and more often, tree removals happen in areas with limited space to operate.

Tree removal cranes, however, allow for vertical, piece-by-piece extraction when space is limited by buildings, roads, powerlines, or people. By lifting the tree vertically out of the area with a crane, the likelihood of tree sections falling and damaging surrounding structures or vegetation is significantly reduced.

Cranes can also hoist trees (and equipment like stump grinders) up and over obstacles that would otherwise completely prevent removal. This makes them ideal for removing trees in congested urban settings, tightly packed neighborhoods, and spaces with access challenges, such as behind buildings or near water.

A black knuckle boom arm reaches over a gray house into the backyard, where it is secured to a section of tree to lift it back over the home and safely away from the adjacent children's swing set.

Tree removal cranes can access hard-to-reach areas, making tree removals more efficient and maximizing safety.

A Tree Removal Crane Turns a Hazardous Situation into a Safe Removal

When a tree is structurally unsound due to things like storm damage, disease, or pests such as the emerald ash borer, climbing it is incredibly dangerous. These hazardous trees can fail unexpectedly and harm workers in the tree and the area below.

Using a tree removal crane is far safer and more controlled. While not a simple process, using a crane’s reach to dismantle the tree and lift it away avoids much of the hands-on climbing and chainsaw work that, while generally very safe, still contains risk.

When a climber ascends the tree as part of a crane removal, they can secure sections of the tree before cuts are made, and by utilizing various rigging and pulleys, the ground crew can control and gently maneuver large sections of the tree to the ground safely.

While a company can risk removing a hazardous or hard-to-reach tree without a crane, the modern reality is that few tree services will tackle dangerous tree removal without a crane due to the risks. This means a tree service without a crane might not be able to handle your removal and certainly can’t handle it as safely as one with a crane.

Operating a Tree Removal Crane Requires Specialized Training and Careful Setup

The extensive equipment setup required before crane tree removal begins is nearly as involved as the actual tree extraction. Based on factors like ground slope, soil stability, and tree size, crane stabilizers, also called “outriggers,” can be positioned to perfectly distribute the crane’s weight to prevent tipping. Sometimes, the hydraulic legs of the outriggers lift the crane truck completely off the ground, transferring the weight entirely to the outriggers.

During removal, the crane operator and climber communicate closely through hand signals and headsets. The climber directs cuts based on rigging needs and crane capacity. Precision teamwork is imperative for smooth, safe crane removals.

The efficacy and efficiency of crane removals shouldn’t suggest the jobs are easy. Safe crane removals are only possible with extensive training and practice, as a removal job’s success is directly dependent on the skill of the people performing it. In addition to extensive hands-on experience, Massachusetts requires anyone operating hoisting equipment to obtain a license from the Office of Public Safety and Inspections.

The blue American Climbers tree removal crane sits parked among a stand of trees with its boom extended and its four outriggers set laterally to support the weight of the removal with a white bucket truck parked behind, also with its outriggers deployed.

The American Climbers crane is ready to get to work. Notice the extended outrigger supports used to stabilize the crane.

Leveraging New Remote-Controlled Crane Technology

To further improve safety, some services utilize advanced crane systems that completely remove the need for risky climbing of compromised trees. Some remote-controlled cranes feature an attached grapple saw to grab, slice, and extract pieces from the ground using a joystick.

The process is impressive to watch and allows operators to control the crane from anywhere rather than being confined to the truck’s cab. The technology and versatility cranes offer operators is another example of how cranes are helping make tree removals safe.

Need a Crane to Remove Your Tree?

The experts at American Climbers are ready to leverage the latest tech to take care of your removal quickly, efficiently, and safely with our cranes, knuckle booms, robotic Tree-Mek, and grapple saw. Call us today at 508-497-8628 to schedule your tree removal!

We proudly serve Metro-West Massachusetts, including Hopkinton and surrounding areas!

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