Woodyard Cranes

SKU: C-952Duration: 28 Minutes

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Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 28 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Many pulp mills receive wood in the form of whole logs. Logs can arrive at a mill by water, barge, rail and most commonly in North America, by truck. Incoming railcars and trucks are scaled to determine their weight and/or volume of logs. Trucks are then normally unloaded by mobile loaders or by overhead cranes. The cranes used for log unloading can have a linear or circular format. Overhead cranes for unloading are initially more capital intensive, but have a number of ongoing benefits. This course covers the benefits as well as some operational and safety considerations related to the use of woodyard cranes.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe common equipment used for unloading and handling logs from trucks or railcars
  • Identify and describe linear and circular overhead woodyard cranes
  • List the benefits of using a woodyard crane compared to a mobile loader
  • Identify typical crane inspection requirements
  • Recognize considerations when unloading and stacking logs with a woodyard crane
  • List typical safety guidelines related to woodyard cranes

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What different types of cranes are used in woodyards?
There are several styles of fixed cranes used in woodyards. One type is a tower crane, in which a girder rotates around a single central tower. A circular gantry crane also rotates around a central point, but has a second support which rolls along a circular rail. A linear gantry crane rolls on two parallel rails.

What are some of the advantages of woodyard cranes versus mobile unloaders?
Cranes reduce the footprint of a woodyard, allow for more flexible management of the log inventory, have reduced operating costs and increased productivity.

What non-crane alternatives exist for unloading log trucks?
Log trucks can be unloaded by dedicated mobile unloaders. Some are capable of handling an entire trailer load in one grab.

How can weather affect crane operation?
Weather has a great effect on large woodyard cranes. Moderate winds affect the controllability of logs loads and high winds can lead to a crane shut down for safety reasons. Fog, rain and snow can reduce visibility, slowing or stopping operations entirely.

What are some log stacking considerations?
Logs need to be stacked on a flat firm surface. If the logs are tapered, they should be stacked to maintain a relatively flat and horizontal stack top. Short logs should not be placed below longer logs as this can lead to instability.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Overhead cranes are also commonly used to unload log trucks. A crane is a semi-fixed structure which uses an overhead grapple clamp to grab a load of logs from a truck, often getting the entire load in one pick. Once it is grabbed, the load is moved through the air and set down at a processing area or stacked for storage and later retrieval. There are several designs of log unload cranes. One type is the “tower” crane. Another type is the “gantry”, or “portal” cranes. Within that classification there are two common layouts, linear and circular.

Additional Resources

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