A large All Terrain crane traveling in a trailing boom configuration overturned on a California highway yesterday.
The crane, which looks like a Liebherr LTM 1400-7.1 from the Bigge Crane rental fleet - with four axle trailing boom dolly - is reported to have been travelling on the west bound side of highway 237 in San Jose at around six in the morning, when the driver swerved to avoid traffic and lost control of the rig. This caused it to hit and crash through the central reservation, rolling onto its side in the outside East bound lane.
Thankfully, and perhaps miraculously, no one was seriously hurt in the incident, although the operator was treated at the scene for minor injuries while those in two vehicles caught up in the incident were fine.
The road was closed all day, but a rapidly deployed rescue effort cleared the road last night. The incident caused a major diesel spill which required a substantial clean up effort before the road was opened.
The following video shows the recovery process:
Given that only a very small percentage of All Terrain cranes are equipped with trailing boom configurations for road travel – most of them in North America and Australia - there seems to be an inordinate number of serious road incidents involving them. In the past three months alone we have covered three incidents, including this one. Is this the case or is it that when they do crash their length and complexity causes more chaos? One has to wonder if the road authorities might do better allowing the higher axle loadings in order to prevent such incidents? Other countries manage it OK. Not that there are no accidents with cranes travelling in the normal configuration - perhaps when they do occur they do not cause as much chaos?