Merlo Tech Talk: Wind + BoomApplied Machinery Sales
Did you know? April 12 was National Big Wind Day.
Merlo telehanders and wind are a big deal, too.
Big Wind Day History
Observed each year in the United States on April 12th, National Big Wind Day commemorates the recording of the highest natural wind gust measured on the Earth’s surface. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded winds at 231 miles per hour.
Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft, and it is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
Observers Wendell Stephenson, Alexander McKenzie and Salvadore Pagliuca reported the wind gusts in 1934 from the Mount Washington Observatory. The record even held for several decades. In 1984, the observers returned to the observatory to celebrate the record-breaking wind’s 50th anniversary. Then in 1996, the big wind award from atop Mount Washington fell. A typhoon struck a small island off of Australia with wind gusts of 256 mph.
What this means for Merlo Telehandlers
Though not a technical aspect of telehandlers, wind speed matters when it comes to safe operation. Also, from a technical POV, if an operator does not heed wind speeds, a Merlo may shut down if work conditions are not stable.
Every Merlo telehandler comes equipped with a printed load chart.
- Every load chart has a Wind icon on each page. The icon indicates the maximum wind speed allowed.
Caveat: With Bare Carriage. No protection grid or attachments.
- Every Chart has a full Beaufort Scale with visual images and descriptions.
For example, using the 28MPH, seen on every page of the Roto load chart, the Beaufort score is 6.
Description is: Large branches of trees in motion, whistling heard in wires. Umbrellas used with difficulty.
One of the first scales to estimate wind speeds and the effects was created by Britain’s Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857). He developed the scale in 1805 to help sailors estimate the winds via visual observations. The scale starts with 0 and goes to a force of 12. The Beaufort scale is still used today to estimate wind strengths.
Using this visual, an operator needs to consider if the environmental conditions are safe to operate in.
If the max wind speed is 28mph –without the grid or attachments– an operator needs to wait for windy conditions to be below Beaufort 6.
It is suggested that operators, during their machine pre-check prior to turning the key, get a ‘feel’ for wind conditions. Is there flying debris on the job site? Can a breeze/wind be felt on the face and body? Check a weather app for the area for even more wind speed guidance.
An operator needs to assess the entire job site before moving a load. The ground surface, the placement of a Merlo, the placement of loads in relation to the build. Included in this assessment is wind direction and speed.
Merlo ACSC safety systems are designed to inform the operator when the machine is not functioning correctly. In the case of wind and boom and load, when the wind is strong enough to buffet the boom and the load the sensors will pick up on that movement and throw a warning or shut the machine down entirely. Hence, an operator needs to pay attention to the wind conditions all the time.