Rush hour motorists had a lucky escape on Tuesday evening when a crane’s trailing boom dolly overturned on highway 101 near Santa Barbara, California.
The crane, believed to be a five axle 160 tonne Liebherr LTM1160, belonging to Speciality Crane & Rigging, remained upright while the three axle dolly flipped over.
The driver was able to retain control of the crane and steer it to the edge of the road. Amazingly no other vehicles were involved and the recovery was completed relatively quickly with the help of another crane.
This is at the very least the third road accident involving trailing boom dollies in Southern California in the past five years, the two others involved a fatality and an injury. Thankfully this one avoided any such issues. As far as the cause, it is currently being blamed on a structural failure on the trailer.
A number of regions, including California, require trailing boom configurations to move all big cranes on the highway in order to spread and lower axle weights, however many crane safety managers have campaigned against their use on the basis that they are dangerous.