What is a Crane Load Chart?

What is a Crane Load Chart and How Do You Use it to Calculate Crane Capacity?

A crane load chart helps the operator calculate a crane’s lifting capabilities. This chart ensures that the crane that is under operation does not exceed its lifting capacity. Load charts take into consideration how the lift capacity varies when considering the distance and the angle of the lift. The lift is dependent on the configuration of the crane base and the setup of the crane. Boom length, boom angle, and load radius are three critical load chart factors. When calculating capacity from the chart and any of these three do not match the actual crane set up, then the capacity numbers for a longer radius, a longer boom length, or a lower boom angle on the load chart must be used. It is not permitted to guess or mathematically calculate in-between chart values. According to OSHA every Crane Operator must know and understand how to interpretate a load chart and the crane’s load chart must be on the crane at all times and consulted before each lift.


What is the Bold Line on the Crane Load Chart?

The bold line located on the crane’s load chart shows the separation of structural strength and stability. The capacities listed above the bold line are limited by the structural strength of the crane and the capacities listed below the bold line are limited by the crane’s stability.

What Type of Crane has the Highest Lift Capacity?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s strongest crane is a gantry crane named the Taisun. This crane is capable of lifting 20,000 tons which is 40,000,000 pounds! The average crane can lift between 10,000 and 60,000 tons. Keep in mind the net capacity of a crane is dependent upon the nature of the lift and what capacity deductions need to be subtracted from the gross capacity. Examples of capacity deductions can include the weight of the main load block, the weight of the headache ball, weight of the jib, weight of all hanging cables, weight of all rigging materials, and the weight of the load that is being lifted.

Port crane

Below is an example on how to read a load chart.

load chart

load chart

How can Total Equipment Training Help Get my Employees Certified as a Crane Operator?

Competent training is extremely important to ensure that the workplace is safe and your employees have a full understanding of the Operation and Safe Use of your heavy equipment. At Total Equipment Training, we send our trainers to your job site and train your employees to operate your equipment specific to your operational requirements and in accordance to OSHA Safety Standards. Our trainers have accumulated over 10 years of “in the field experience”. Total Equipment Training programs combine classroom and practical “hands-on” instruction tailored to suit your needs and your individual employees. If you are interested in our Mobile Crane Training programs visit our website.

Load Chart