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Crane Loads and Load Combinations

When designing an industrial building with cranes, many engineers have questions about how to calculate and apply the crane loading on the structure as well as what load combinations are appropriate to use.

At the 2011 North American Steel Construction Conference (NASCC) in Pittsburgh, PA, John Rolfes from Computerized Structural Design and Robert MacCrimmon from Hatch gave a presentation on crane loads in industrial buildings, and how typical building codes such as IBC and ASCE 7 handle (or don’t handle) combining these loads with dead and live loads. The presentation focused on top running bridge cranes, although the speaker indicated that some of the material would also apply to other types of cranes.

Crane Loads for Building Design

CRANE LOAD COMBINATIONS:  The session reviewed ASCE 7-05 (LRFD & ASD) and AIST Technical Report #13 (ASD only) load combinations when cranes are present. This part of the discussion starts at 59:47 minutes into the video (you can also access it on the left column where it lists the slide titles – go down about 2/3 of the way and select “Crane Load Combinations”).

UNIQUE ASPECTS OF CRANE LOADS:  The presentation also addressed some of the unique loads that need to be considered with cranes. This discussion begins at 11:08 in the video (you can also select the “Unique Characteristics of Crane Loads” slide title on the left).