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Mobile Crane Datum Checklist



As part of the Global Lifting Awareness Day (#GLAD) movement, SRC: Lifting Compliance Services has developed a Crane Datum Checklist to ensure that organisations can conduct better on-site due diligence of crane configuration. In the interests of promoting safe lifting operations, we have made this checklist an accessible resource, freely available to download by anyone using mobile cranes.

The checklist is intended to provide the Lift Supervisor or the Person in Charge of the work location, with the capability to check and record that the crane is set-up in accordance with the Lift Plan.

It is intended to detect and prevent situations where the crane may not be configured in accordance with the Lift Plan or inaccuracies with Rated Capacity Indicator (RCI) programming, whether caused by an unintended mistake or intentional misuse of the equipment. Incorrect configuration of the crane is potentially a safety-critical situation and due to the thousands of different duties of many mobile cranes, may not always be identified by simple visual checks alone.

Documenting the Datum Point

As part of the lift planning process, the person planning the lifting operations should select an appropriate crane make, model and configuration for undertaking the lifting operations. Once this configuration is determined, they should choose a radius*, which will then become the datum reference. Using this datum, the values for each of the applicable crane configuration checks should then be added to the Lift Plan Datum Reference column of the Checklist.

*Often it is easiest and most convenient to use an existing documented radius, such as the pick-up or drop-off radius of the planned load.


On-site Verification of the Datum Values:

Once the crane is rigged on site and ready to commence operations, the operator should be instructed to position the boom of the crane at the pre-determined datum radius. Using the values provided in the Lift Plan Datum Reference column of the Checklist, the crane operator should then be asked to confirm the values being displayed for each applicable measurement*. These values should then be recorded in the ‘Rated Capacity Indicator Verification‘ column of the Checklist.

If any of the values given during the RCI verification process vary more than +/-3% against the values given in the Datum Reference section of the checklist, then this may be indicative that there may be problems with either the correct configuration of the crane or the calibration/programming of the rated capacity indicator. If significant variances are observed, then we advise that lifting operations should not proceed until such time that they can be adequately investigated, explained or rectified by a competent person.

*When completing the checklist, to avoid leading or coercing the operator, the Lift Supervisor or Person In Charge should not disclose the values already documented in the Datum Reference section of the Checklist.

Changes in Crane Configuration

If the crane will be used in several different configurations whilst at any location, then datum checklists should be prepared for each planned configuration change. The Datum Checklist should always be completed by the Lift Supervisor or Person In Charge each time the crane configuration is changed, this includes but should not be limited to:

  • De-rigging and re-rigging during crane relocation
  • Changing the hook block and or the number of falls of hoist rope
  • Changes to the ballast or counterweight configuration
  • Changes to the boom length or the configuration of the extensions
  • Changes to the fly/luffing jib configuration
  • Changes to the outrigger spread
  • After any extended down-time where the crane has been partially de-rigged/re-rigged


Definition Description
Datum A known position, used as a basis for calculations and/or measurements against which checks can be conducted.
Radius The horizontal distance between the centre of rotation of the crane and a vertical centreline through the crane hook.
Rated Capacity Indicator (RCI) A device which warns of the approach to overload and prevents the crane from being overloaded – sometimes also referred to as “Automatic Safe Load Indicator” or “Overload Protection”.
Boom Is the operating arm of the crane used to increase and decrease crane radius by being raised and lowered.
Luffing / Fly Jib Supplementary crane boom structures which can be used in-line or offset against the main boom to give additional reach or height to a crane.
Ballast / Counterweight

Weight that is placed opposite the force of the lifting system to balance and stabilize it as it lifts the load.


A beam which extends from the lower structure of a crane to increase its’ stability. Beams may be either extendible/retractable or fixed length and typically utilize some type of pad to distribute loads to the ground surface.

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Douglas Close
Preston Farm Ind. Estate
TS18 3SB

t. 01642 605147
e. info@srconsultants.co.uk


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Merlin Business Centre

20 Mossland Road

Hillington Park 




Chatsworth Court,

Alpha Construction,



DE65 5GE


Room 122

Walker Road


Newcastle upon Tyne


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