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Mon June 14 2021

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Crane fire shuts motorway

22 Sep 16 The southbound carriageway of the M40 motorway in Buckinghamshire was closed last night (21/9/16) after a large mobile crane caught fire.

Photo from Thames Valley Police shows the burnt-out crane
Photo from Thames Valley Police shows the burnt-out crane

Six fire engines and 35 crew were deployed to tackle the flaming six-axle, 400-tonne capacity all terrain crane. Firefighters used compressed air foam, main jets, hose reels, breathing apparatus and a water tanker.

Twitter accounts to report “five massive explosions” that shook nearby buildings. It is presumed that these were the tyres exploding.

Although the Grove GMK6400 crane that caught fire is only a year or so old, the incident has generated further discussion about roadworthiness tests for mobile cranes. While even the smallest family runaround motor car has to be independently checked for roadworthiness every year after it is three years old, no such rules apply for mobile cranes, no matter what the size.  Despite all those axles and a great big engine, under UK rules mobile cranes (and concrete mixers) are exempted under STGO regulations. The lifting equipment is subject to strict regulation under the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) to help prevent accidents in the workplace, but not the vehicle itself. Mobile cranes are required to be roadworthy, under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, but there is no certification regime for this.

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