San Remo, Close to the Border with France
A man was injured in Italy yesterday when the boom of a truck mounted lift came down from a height of around 18 meters.
The incident involved a Socage DA300 series owned by Savis Platform Rentals and occurred in the Valle Armea area near San Remo, close to the border with France. The information we have received is limited at this point although we have seen a large number of photographs from the scene, in addition to the few we have been sent.
The twisting turret weldment caused the boom to come down
The man, Peter Chiappa, 42, an employee of the Il Cammino co-operative in Sanremo, rode down with the platform and was taken to hospital with fractures in both his legs but is reportedly in a stable condition.
He was pruning trees on a track that runs alongside a public road. The photographs show that the machine’s turret fabrication failed and twisted sideways, suggesting a structural overload of some sort. It looks as if the lift was set up considerably off-level on the steep farm track which may have contributed to the stress in the turret area. It is also possible that the boom was caught by a falling tree limb.
The machine was off level in both planes
As truck mounted lifts mounted on 3.5 tonne trucks are increasingly refined and slimmed down with the use of thinner higher tensile steels in order to reduce weight to cope with increasingly heavier chassis, the less they will tolerate abuse.
In the old days platforms of this height would have been on at least a 7.5 tonne truck with huge amounts of steel in the fabrications. While modern thoroughbred road going lifts or cranes are equally strong when used as designed – on firm level ground etc… etc… They are less able to cope with particular types of overload, such as high lateral side forces caused by being off-level etc.. Witness the number of failures of long All Terrain crane booms when fitted to crawler type chassis that often work out of level.
Fact is that thoroughbred structures that deliver high strength with light weight are less able to perform like carthorses and need to be used as the design intended. Thankfully this man appears to have escaped with injuries rather than his life.
A report carried out immediately after the incident occurred has concluded that the lift was operating with an effective slope angle of 15 degrees – more than seven times the two degrees off level permitted.
Later photographs received also indicate that the lift was working partially over the side placing a large structural side load onto the turret.
Category: Accident Report