Container Crane Boom Collapse: Cause and Prevention



Erik Soderberg, SE, Principal, Liftech Consultants Inc., Oakland, CA, USA



Recently, two crane boom failures occurred while the booms were being lowered; one in Asia and one in Europe. These failures called attention to recent boom collapse problems; however, this is not a recent problem. Over the years, a number of booms have collapsed and even more came close to collapsing.

This article presents our understanding of these failures, a discussion of loading and reliability issues, and some recommendations.

Common failure causes

There are many causes of boom failure. Three of the more common are presented below.

Hoisting – rope failure

Rope failure can be caused by the rope fouling on the drum, running off the drum, or parting. Sometimes the boom latch doesn’t fully release; the drum lets loose rope out causing excess rope pileup…

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