500 tonner overturn

A 500 tonne eight axle All Terrain crane owned and operated by Sarens UK, overturned at its yard in Brentwood, Essex, UK, a week ago on Saturday.

The Vertikal team was in, or travelling to Munich when the news of this incident bagan coming through, making it difficult to follow up and confirm the facts, given that it occurred in crane yard with few witnesses.
The overturned crane

We understand that the operator – who is said to have been involved with a number of incidents while working for at least two other crane rental companies prior to joining Sarens – was loading or unloading a ballast truck, the crane had no counterweight and lifted the load out of radius, causing the crane to lose stability and tip. We have been told that no one was seriously hurt in the incident, although one person – possibly the operator did suffer injuries.
The crane was apparently loading or unloading counterweight slabs

Vertikal Comment

Some reports have indicated that the crane’s safe load indicator/LMI was overidden and the boom was extended out of sequence for the job in hand, but we have no evidence to confirm these claims at this point.


Good Morning Mr Mayes and Mr Wood,

Thank you for your kind words, it was nice of you to write.
Now that you have asked the Question, here are the answers for the record...

Sarens Crawler Crane Tipped Forward in Mexico on 11 June 2012.

Sarens Mobile Crane Demolishes Home in Norway on 12 February 2013.

Sarens Mobile Crane Tipped to the Left in Norway on 3 December 2014.

Sarens Crawler Crane flips 100m Jib over rear in Germany on 8 Jan 2015.

Sarens 500t Mobile Crane Tipped to the Left in Quatar on 3 March 2017.

Sarens 500t Mobile Crane Tipped Right in Vietnam on same day 3 March 2017.

Sarens Crawler Dropped Jib and Long Luffer in Saudi Arabia on 26 Sept 2017.

Sarens 500t Mobile Tips to Rear while Lifting 84m Hyd Boom off the Cradle then extending it without any Ballast Blocks in place, Brentwood on 13th April 2019.

Crane Interest Group Directors may be well advised to take a long hard look in the Mirror and ask themselves the rhetorical question

Do I really want to go to Prison for a Crane related Fatal Incident ?

If NO then the answer lies in your hands with Better Training, Better Instruction and Better Supervision now required. Because with Multi Million Fines available to the Courts since 2011, the next option could be Custodial Sentences for Executive Directors ?

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

23 Apr 2019

I have seen it all now, Mick Ponsonby dishing out advice to the Sarens family now, the worlds gone mad.

19 Apr 2019

Lets assume in a totally hypothetical scenario that the the crane operator was totally negligent here and selected a counterweight configuration on the crane when that counterweight was not in fact present on the machine. Couple that with the fact that tele sections 1&2 were selected seemingly incorrectly and its either lack of training or an operator who just couldn't be bothered .

18 Apr 2019

FAO Hendrik Sarens, CEO
Sarens NV
Autoweg 10
Wolvertem 1861

Good Evening Mr Sarens

As this potentially Fatal Crane incident depicted above is number 587 since I started researching this subject on 7th May 2007. I write to remind you of a conversation that you and I had at The Kraz Hotel in Amsterdam on the subject of Crane Safety and how it could and should be improved, because 522 Fatal Incidents in the past 12 yrs is not acceptable. This conversation took place on Thursday Morning the 8th November 2017.

As you are both the employer and the owner of the Sarens Crane depicted above Tipped to the rear in Brentwood, UK, then you are the Duty Holder in Law. Moreover you personally agreed in November 2017, that it was now in your Best Interests to Raise Crane Safety Stds, because your Cranes are the Machines getting Damaged, as well as your Companies reputation and if not raised then obtaining Insurance would be increasingly difficult.

This type of negligence above is a VG example of how Innocent People Get Killed by the negligent acts of others while ignoring the principles of Force, Mass and the Need for Ballast to Counterbalance the Weight of Boom or Jib.

So as we have now witnessed Five 5 seperate Crane Incidents so far in April 2019. This requires a positive initiative by the Industry on how to raise Crane Safety Standards, so please allow me to make three suggestions.

1. Start a Crane Safety Training Programme.

2. Include the Newtonian Principles of how to calculate Force, Mass and Gravity in that Crane Safety Training Programme.

3. You as Chief Executive plus all Sarens Directors and Managers to be Trained in UK Legal obligations of Risk Assessment and Safe Systems of Work SSoW.

Therefore as my Database confirms 587 Crane Incidents with 42% involving Mobile Cranes. Please allow me conclude by stating that Worker Safety is important, very important and much too important to leave it to chance.

Vertikal Readers look forward to reading of your Personal Crane Safety Initiative for the foreseeable future ?

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

17 Apr 2019

If the operator has a checkered past, I don't think I would have let him run a forklift, let alone a 500T All Terrain.

17 Apr 2019

The comment about the drivers past is a bit unprofessional, do you not think?

15 Apr 2019

Sections 1+2 out with the 84m boom in is just madness!! I?m really not surprised it went over, even just with 1 slab on the hook you wouldn?t get that to much of a radius with those sections out! Simple basics that!

15 Apr 2019
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