Crane cameras play key role

04 September 2018

Crane cameras play a key role in ensuring operator safety and preventing on-site damage, which in turn saves both time and money. Crane and rigging camera systems have proven themselves a crucial asset to any fleet, and they are an operator’s extra set of eyes. While many crane-owning companies – especially tower crane users – have embraced crane cameras as an important operator aid, others are weary of this technology. The image on the camera should never take the place of the operator’s line of sight, and traditional communication between the operator and riggers on the ground should still be adhered to. The debate extends to insurance companies that envision further liability issues. American Cranes & Transport asked leading makers and distributors of these devices to submit information about their latest camera technology and related systems.

From crane to crane

BlokCam has released a new model M3 crane camera system aimed mainly at the mobile crane market. The new system has a quick deployable screen which comes out of the transportation case fully ready to install into the crane operator cab. The only requirement is to place the suction pads onto a flat surface, ideally a cab window, and then plug the screen into a power supply. The second stage is to attach the lens, battery and transmitter to the side of the hook block and the camera system is ready to go. The new BlokCam system also comes with BlokCam’s newly released high power antennas that offer a greater range and better transmitting. The new system comes with a transportable case to allow it to be packed away at the end of each day and moved from crane to crane on a daily basis as the installation and removal time is no longer than 10 minutes.

SCI-BlokCam Display

The BlokCam wireless camera system can be installed in less than a half hour.

Among several other operator assistance devices offered, Scale and Control is a distributor of the BlockCam wireless audio-visual camera system.

“This is an effective system for mobile cranes, tower cranes and lattice boom cranes as well as enhances the safety supervisor’s visibility on multiple crane pick applications in construction environments both large and small,” said Joel Francis, co-founder and sales manager, Scale and Control.

Scale and Control also offers winch camera solutions. These cameras are compact and can be installed in strategic locations to effectively monitor winches. With this system, operators can monitor up to four, full-color winch camera images on one display, which is available in several sizes.

Eyes of the operator

The CRC100 Armored Dome crane camera system from Crane & Rigging Camera Systems is a rapidly deployable wireless night/day camera system ideal for tower and mobile cranes. It places the eyes of the crane operator anywhere on the job.

Rigging Cam

The CRC100 Armored Dome camera system from Crane & Rigging Camera mounts to any magnetic surface on the hook block or trolley.

Safety is increased and efficiency improved by making instant visual information available to assist the operator in lifting efficiency.

The camera is impact resistant and the cover is easily removable for adjustment if needed. All camera settings are for wide angle viewing and feature a 2.8 to 12-millimeter analog vari-focal camera, and also mounts on a hook block. If using a headache ball, an adapter is also available. The Repeater Antenna device replaces coaxial cable and antennas which makes installation easier and faster. It can be mounted on either trolley or boom tip. The video receiver box collects video to the cab from the camera and relays it to the monitor. The nine-inch monitor is held in the cab for operators viewing access. It’s easy to install into a cab with single shielded cable to VRB, and larger monitors are available.

The system includes two rechargeable lithium batteries with run times of 8-12 hours each. The battery can be changed out in 1 minute between shifts, and the camera never has to be removed from the hook block. A 120-volt charger for batteries is included with the system. It also comes with safety lanyards with security clips to secure the camera and repeater properly to its mounting surfaces, in addition to a rust resistant and flexible cord. The transport case is equipped with wheels and handles with each system for easy storage and future transportation to the next jobsites.

From day to night

Netarus, maker of the HoistCam remote camera monitoring systems, will showcase the HC180 rugged wireless camera system at several conferences in construction and industrial facilities through the end of 2018. Designed for environments demanding visibility, durability and reliability, the HC180 wireless camera system, accessed via a screen in any crane operator’s cab, makes an ideal operator aid, the company said.

“The armored dome design of the HoistCam HC180 is an excellent solution for virtually all crane applications where line-of-sight for the operator is critical,” said Chris Machut, chief executive officer of Netarus. “The HC180 armored dome camera lens protection features day and night vision for improved visibility in changing light conditions.”


HoistCam’s armored HC180 dome design facilitates high-cycle, repetitive picking and placing of materials with cranes by providing the crane operator with a view of activity below the hook. 

The dome is made from impact-resistant polycarbonate and provides added camera protection during repetitive lifting common in many crane applications. The armored dome design facilitates high-cycle, repetitive picking and placing of materials with cranes by providing the crane operator with a view of activity below the hook. The HoistCam HC180 also features a fully integrated kit with transport case, magnetic mounting system, a rechargeable battery (with a run time of 8 to 20 hours) and a wireless transmitter and video that is displayed in the crane cab on a 9.7-inch display with heavy-duty RAM suction-cup mount. Optional HC180 features include remote monitoring and recording with Netarus’s HoistCam Director, which enables managers to view and manage the jobsite remotely, microphone integration to hear audio in the cab when radios may not be present on the jobsite and a rain mitigation gasket to prevent rain from building up on the lens.

At the same time, HoistCam Director is useful specifically to crane rental companies when it comes to risk management and accident prevention/investigation. The Director transfers video and images to a mobile digital video recorder (MDVR), which then captures and stores data from up to eight HoistCam cameras. The MDVR can then be configured to automatically upload to the cloud for analysis or archive.

Back to basics

Garner Construction WBE and its subsidiary Everything Crane Cam is filling a gap in the crane camera market, the company said. For general contractors that want the safety, productivity and insurance benefits of providing their crane operators with a live video camera system, but not the steep price, Garner has introduced the Basic Camera System. This camera system features a combined monitor/receiver mounted in the operator’s cab and a camera that is magnetically attached to the hook block. Also included in the system are a battery pack and transmitter, which are also magnetically attached on the hook block. Magnetic components can be attached between the cheek plates for added protection. In low light, night vision is automatically activated on the camera.

The system has a 24-hour battery life, and all components except the battery can stay in place on the block while the battery charges overnight. Battery level is displayed on the monitor in the cab. All cases are impact, shock and vibration-proof, and the system is designed for all-weather use with IP67 components. The benefits of this camera system include reduced pick time, leading to more picks made each day and a resulting in increased productivity, Garner said. The camera system aids crane operators working in the blind to increase visibility of the load, rigging, personnel and the surrounding jobsite.


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