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Crane hangs on bridge in UK

19. February 2019 | Comments (9)

A three axle All Terrain crane working on the M49 motorway near Bristol in England struck a bridge and closed the road causing traffic chaos yesterday.

It looks as though the operator of the crane - a unit from the Ainscough fleet- either seriously misjudged the height of the bridge, as he travelled the crane with the boom up, or simply forgot it was up as he passed under the bridge. Either scenario is hard to imagine – but clearly somehow he managed it. Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident.

Bristol M49
A view from the approach

But given the precarious nature of the crane, along with the fact that questions were raised about the integrity of the bridge – the police decided to close the motorway in both directions, backing traffic up on other roads leading into the M49. Police were hoping to have it cleared overnight.

M49 bridge bash
The stricken crane
APS Used Stock


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Jib up
19. February 2019 21:49

Something is not right here, one where was his lift team as cpcs state all the team is responsible for checking his route for obstruction, two I have seen this twice before in 35 years, both times handbrake fault. Why if they were moving why are the outriggers retracted, and looks like the foot pans stowed

Kevin Shevchenko
19. February 2019 17:10

While it is true, that anyone can have a bad day, and that this sort of thing can happen to anyone regardless of skill level. When their mind is just simply not on the task. To be blunt this operators head must have been fully up his/her a$$ at the time, this truly is a shared responsibility across the company. I can attest as a crane and rigging supervisor that one of our tasks before dispatching operators is to evaluate their fitness for duty. IMO there is no need to travel a crane of this type with the boom out of the cradle. I hope that if there is any outcome from an investigation, that it is reported here.

19. February 2019 12:50

Just saying
The correct people on the right crane. People who are motivated not with moral on the floor. What is the ratio of red card operators to blue card operators now compared to 5 years ago . The operator should in my opinion have his CPCS card revoked . Its very fortunate the crane didn't end up on the motorway

Just Saying.....
19. February 2019 11:56


".and I think what I'm saying is how do management control this" I don't know if your comment about letting experience go is correct but I'd suggest this incident requires zero experience - you just wouldn't do it

19. February 2019 11:07

The management shoulder a portion of the blame for allowing a once great company to to sink this low by allowing a very capable and experienced workforce to leave as as happened . This has to be lack of experience or total stupidity . Thankfully nobody was hurt or injured

Just Saying.....
19. February 2019 10:19

The company concerned must despair at this. I'm told they train and recruit well but this appears senseless

Kevin Morris
19. February 2019 09:12

Jim Longstaff,
The difference here is that some mobile cranes have "free on wheels" duties which enables the load to be lifted without the outriggers being deployed. In some instances the load can be carried by the crane given the right terrain and the slew lock engaged. It will be interesting to know the outcome of the investigation into this avoidable incident. Lift planning with a RA/MS, Lift Supervision & Traffic Marshals would have been used I am sure. Can only be down to the individual(s) lack of awareness and or concentration. There is no excuse for what happened in this case.

Jim Longstaff
19. February 2019 08:08

I'm completely confused. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?
Vehicle-mounted cherry pickers have interlocks to prevent the outriggers from raising if the boom is not stowed, or from the boom operating if the outriggers are not deployed. There are also P.T.O. warnings and in some cases engine cut-outs to prevent such things. Do certain manufacturers allow for machines to drive whilst the boom is not stowed/elevated?

Float your load
19. February 2019 07:52

Go on... Who's going to be first then ?




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