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Bearing capacity of soils for crawler cranes

Xiteng Liu, Dave H. Chan, and Brian Gerbrandt

Abstract: Few studies have been carried out on the bearing capacity of soils for crawler cranes. Directly applying the
bearing capacity equations used for shallow foundations to cranes often leads to conservative design. The total settlement
is of less concern for cranes than for buildings, and cranes can normally tolerate larger differential settlements. Computer
simulation and field studies have been carried out to study the allowable bearing capacity of soils for cranes. Equations
modified from the traditional method to calculate the bearing capacity for shallow foundations have been proposed. In gen-
eral, it was found that the bearing capacity for crawler cranes could be increased by as much as 50% from that for founda-
tions. This depends on the soil type, crane, and mat configuration. A design procedure in evaluating foundation support
for crawler cranes is also proposed.
Key words: soil bearing capacity, crawler crane, crane track pressure.
Resume : Il y a eu peu detudes realisees sur la capacite portante des sols pour les grues a chenilles. Lapplication directe
aux grues des equations de capacite portante utilisees pour des fondations superficielles conduit souvent a une conception
conservatrice. Le tassement total presente moins de souci pour des grues que pour des batiments, et les grues peuvent nor-
malement tolerer des tassements differentiels plus importants. Une simulation par ordinateur et des etudes sur le terrain
ont ete realisees pour etudier la capacite portante admissible des sols pour des grues. On a propose des equations modifiees
par rapport a la methode traditionnelle pour calculer la capacite portante pour les fondations superficielles. En general, on
a trouve que la capacite portante pour les grues a chenilles pouvait etre augmentee par autant que 50 % par rapport a celle
pour les fondations. Ceci depend du type de sol et de grue, et de la configuration du tapis. On propose aussi une procedure
de conception pour evaluer la fondation portante pour des grues a chenilles.
Mots-cles : capacite portante des sols, grue a chenilles, pression sur la chenille de la grue.
[Traduit par la Redaction]

Introduction the ground, etc. The typical FS range for shallow founda-
tions is between 2.5 and 3.5. The settlement of the founda-
Soil bearing capacity for shallow footing foundations has tion should also be evaluated, and the allowable bearing
been studied extensively from the 1920s to the 1970s. It is capacity may need to be further reduced if the estimated set-
generally accepted that the two criteria that govern the al- tlement exceeds the maximum allowable settlement.
lowable bearing capacity of soil for shallow foundations are The indirect method is to evaluate the soil bearing ca-
the shear strength of the soil and the tolerable settlement of pacity from the in situ soil tests using empirical or semi-
the foundation. empirical correlations. In North America, the allowable
In practice, the allowable bearing capacity of soil is deter- bearing capacity is commonly estimated from the blow
mined using either the direct or the indirect methods. The counts of the standard penetration test (SPT) or the tip re-
direct method is to calculate the ultimate bearing capacity sistance of the cone penetration test (CPT). More discussion
directly from the strength properties of the soil. Classical on the bearing capacity of soils can be found in Gupta
bearing capacity equations proposed by Terzaghi (1943), (2002), Lee and Salgado (2005), and Liu (2005).
Meyerhof (1956), and Vesic (1973) are commonly used. There is no specific method to evaluate the allowable
The ultimate bearing capacity is further divided by a factor bearing capacity for cranes. Traditionally, the allowable
of safety (FS) to obtain the allowable bearing capacity. The bearing capacity for shallow foundations was used directly
FS takes into account uncertainties including the variability for cranes. This is not appropriate as there are differences
of soil resistance, limitations of the theory, deformation of between foundations for buildings and cranes in load dura-
tion, allowable differential settlement, importance of the
Received 9 June 2006. Accepted 23 February 2008. Published project, etc. Some authors (Shapiro et al. 1999) and research
on the NRC Research Press Web site at cgj.nrc.ca on 28 August institute, CIRIA (1996), suggest using a smaller FS (between
2008. 1.5 and 2.0) to calculate the allowable bearing capacity for
X. Liu. Geotechnical Engineer, AMEC Earth & Environmental, cranes supported by outriggers. However, this cannot be
4810-93 Street, Edmonton, AB T6E 5M4, Canada. simply applied to crawler cranes because the pressure under
D.H. Chan.1 Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, the track is not evenly distributed and the differential settle-
3-038, Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility, ment of the ground that may cause overturning of a crane
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2W2, Canada. can be significant.
B. Gerbrandt. Sterling Crane, 2440-76 Avenue, Edmonton, The objective of this study is to improve the current
AB T6E 6R2, Canada.
methods in evaluating the bearing capacity for crawler
1Corresponding author (e-mail: dave.chan@ualberta.ca). cranes and to provide a design procedure to determine the

Can. Geotech. J. 45: 12821302 (2008) doi:10.1139/T08-056 # 2008 NRC Canada

Liu et al. 1283

foundation supports. Since the allowable bearing capacity of Fig. 1. Crane track pressure distribution through timber mats. L,
soil for cranes is also controlled by both the shear strength track length; B, footing width; B, equivalent footing width.
and the settlement of the soil (similar to that for founda-
tions), it is feasible to modify the existing bearing capacity
equations to make them suitable for cranes. Most studies
have been carried out using computer simulations. Several
case studies have been done to test the proposed method for
bearing capacity calculations for crawler cranes.

Track loading of a crawler crane

Load rating of a crane
Load rating is the most basic aspect of a crane. It is the
maximum allowable load for a specific radius in a particular
configuration while operating under defined conditions. The
load rating of a crane can be limited by the loadhoist rope
strength, the available line pull at the winch, the structural
strength of the crane, and the stability against overturning.
In most cases, the load rating of a crane is controlled by
stability against overturning unless at very short radii the
load rating can be governed by the other factors. One hun-
dred and seventy-six mobile crane accidents prior to 1978
were studied and more than 71% were found to have been
caused by overturning (Shapiro et al. 1999). In most coun- pressure is high and the ground is not able to sustain the
tries, it is accepted that the stability based load rating is set load. Figure 1 illustrates the track pressure distribution and
as a percentage of tipping load. For crawler cranes, this per- spreading through a mat.
centage is set to be 75% in the United States and Canada, Traditionally, the track pressure through mats is assumed
while it is 66.7% in Europe. to be uniformly distributed, and the extent of the pressure
distribution (equivalent footing width B shown in Fig. 1) is
governed by the longitudinal shear strength of the mat. Con-
Track pressure determination of crawler cranes
sidering the fact that the mat is a reverse cantilever beam
The lifting capacity of the mobile crane increased dramat- supported by the crane track in the middle and loaded by a
ically in the 1970s with the use of high-strength fine-grained distributed pressure by the ground, the maximum shear
steel. DEMAG broke the 800 t (1 t = 1000 kg) limit in 1978 stress at midheight of the mat can be calculated for a given
and the maximum lift capacity of a crawler crane is about pressure spreading width. It is then assumed that the track
2600 t today. With the increase in the crane lifting capacity, pressure could only be spread to an extent that the maxi-
the forces that the crane exerts on the ground increase sig- mum shear stress of the mat does not exceed its allowable
nificantly. The crane force is distributed through the two longitudinal shear strength.
tracks of a crawler crane. The actual track pressure depends
not only on the magnitude and location of the force, but also Crane levelness and maximum tilt angle
on the relative stiffness of the track and the ground. How-
The rated load of a crane is based on the assumption that
ever, most analyses assume that the crawler frame and car
the machine is standing on a firm, uniformly supported level
body are absolutely rigid. If the overall magnitude of the
surface. This means that the ratings given are appropriate to
load and the location of the centre of gravity are known,
use only if the tracks are properly supported so that through-
the track pressure can be easily calculated using the princi-
out the operation the crane will remain level to within 1%
ple of equilibrium. Although the rigid assumption works
(ISO 1991). Some manufacturers such as DEMAG specify
well in general, the calculated track pressure rarely equals
that the levelness of site preparation should be within 0.5%.
that of the actual track pressure. Furthermore, because of
Nevertheless, it is common practice to set the ground defor-
the rigidity assumption, the two tracks will have the same
mation criterion to be 0.5% or 0.38 throughout the crane
eccentricity in the direction along the crane tracks.
The essential feature of the track pressure is its eccentric- It should be mentioned that the tilting of the crane track
ity, which is the major cause of the differential settlement of (or the differential settlement of the ground) is not the same
the ground. The maximum track pressure frequently occurs as the tilting of the crane superstructure. The crane body and
when the total centre of gravity of the crane weight and the boom may deflect significantly under a bending moment. As
load are swung out at right angles to the direction of travel a consequence, the tilt angle of the superstructure can be
by approximately 508608 (Becker 2001). much higher than the ground surface.
Track pressure spreading through timber mats
Computer model for bearing capacity
The maximum track pressure for larger cranes can be as
high as 2000 kPa, which is far beyond the ground bearing calculation
capacity for most soils. Timber mats are usually used to The study of bearing capacity for cranes is carried out us-
spread the track pressure to a larger area in case the track ing both numerical modeling and field observations. The
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1284 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

field measurements provide a powerful means of calibrating plications. The two sections for a typical crane lift are illus-
the parameters used in computer models and in verifying the trated in Fig. 2. In general, three major components: the soil
modeling results. mass, the crane mats, and the crane track were modeled.
The soil mass was typically modeled as multilayers of
Model size verification elasticplastic materials. The properties and thicknesses of
Ideally, a three-dimensional (3-D) computer program each soil layer were taken from field and laboratory results.
should be used to model the ground response under the ec- The crane mats were modeled as cross isotropic elastic ma-
centric crane loading. However, a 3-D program was not terial with different modulus of elasticity in the longitudinal
readily accessible for this study; therefore a two-dimensional and transverse directions. The crane track was modeled as
(2-D) finite difference program FLAC4.0 was used for nu- an elastic block with a modulus of elasticity of about 1/30th
merical modeling. To counteract some of the limitations in- to 1/10th of the modulus of steel. The modulus reduction is
volved in using a 2-D program to model a 3-D problem, the to account for the difference between the actual steel section
following provisions were undertaken. of the track and the footing width used in the model.
The contacts between the soil and crane mats, between
Modeling multiple sections the crane mats and the crane track, and between layers of
In addition to modeling the section in the crane track crane mats were modeled by interface elements. The track
width direction, the two sections in the track length direction pressure was applied on the crane tracks to account for the
were also modeled in the crane lift study. The plane strain interaction between the track and the mats.
configuration used in the 2-D program assumes that both
the soil and the footings are infinitely long in the direction Assumptions in the analyses
perpendicular to the section it modeled. This is more appli-
cable to the section in the track width direction, whereas The following assumptions are made in the analyses of
modeling the two sections in the track length direction is the track pressure of a crawler crane:
not as reliable. However, these two sections are more crit-  Soil behaves in a linear elastic manner under the crane
ical in simulating the ground reaction during the crane oper- load Since the crane track load is short-term, fine-
ation because differential settlements mainly occur in the grained soil is likely to deform in an undrained fashion.
track length direction. Total stress analysis is appropriate to evaluate the un-
drained bearing capacity and the immediate settlement.
Using proper model size  Crane tracks and mats act as two spread footings
Theoretically, the ground settlement will increase with When timber mats are used to spread the crane track
the increase of the depth in the calculation. In practice, the pressure, the mats are placed such that each track sits at
depth used in settlement calculations is usually chosen to be the centre of each row as shown in Fig. 1. Therefore, the
the depth where the vertical stress induced by net contact mats for the two tracks are not connected. Although
pressure is less than 1/10th of the net contact pressure. In sometimes only one row of long mats might be enough
homogeneous soil, the influence depth is about two times for small cranes, it is still valid to assume that the two
the footing width (2B) for square footing and about four tracks and mats behave as two spread footings.
times the footing width (4B) for strip footing.
 The settlement interference between two tracks is negligi-
For cranes sitting directly on the ground without mats, the ble If two footings are placed close enough to each
L/B ratio (where L is the track length) is generally between other, their zones of influence will interact and the failure
4 and 6, and a model depth of 4B is considered reasonable. surface may change from that of an isolated footing. The
For cranes sitting on mats with an L/B ratio (where B is the bearing capacity will in general increase in this case
equivalent footing width as discussed later in the section en- (Stuart 1962). On the other hand, the adjacent footing
titled Equivalent footing width) generally between 1.2 will cause additional stress in the soil and will therefore
and 2.0, a model depth of 2B may be used. induce more settlement than an isolated footing. How-
Elastic solution for footings on a finite soil layer was used ever, the degree of influence of an adjacent footing is
in evaluating the errors caused by using a 2-D program with highly dependent on the soil type, footing type, and dis-
limit model depth (2B) to simulate the settlement of the tance between two footings. A simple 2-D computer
crane track with mats. The results showed that for L/B ra- model was used to qualify the interference between the
tios ranging between 1.2 and 2.0 and Poissons ratio ranging two adjacent footings. In the model, two strip footings of
between 0.2 and 0.4, the error was generally within 10%. the same width at various spacings were placed on top of
However, since soil is not homogeneous, this effect cannot an elastic medium (soil). A uniform pressure was then
be easily evaluated. Modeling sections in the track length di- applied to both footings. Results of the model showed
rection is not as accurate as modeling sections in the track that the influence of an adjacent footing on the footing
width direction. settlement dropped dramatically with an increase in the
The model width has less influence on the settlement distance between the footings. For cranes sitting directly
study unless it is too small. In this study, the lateral boun- on the ground, the distance between two tracks is much
dary of the model was set to be at a distance of 3B from greater than the width of the track. Therefore, there is
the footing centre. practically no interference between two tracks. For cranes
sitting on mats, the typical ranges for span to width ratio
Model setup S/B and length to width ratio L/B are about 1.51.8 and
Various models were built in this study for different ap- 1.22.0, respectively. Taking the Poissons ratio for the
# 2008 NRC Canada
Liu et al. 1285

Fig. 2. Typical model setup for crane lifts. S, distance between tracks.

soils as 0.3, the additional settlement caused by an adja- 2-D problem. The degree of tilting varies during the super-
cent footing is about 2% to 10% compared to the settle- structure of a crane skew with a constant load and radius. It
ment caused by the footing itself. is not practical to calculate the soil bearing capacity by eval-
 Ignore the craneground interaction The actual track uating the tilting of the crane at various boom orientation
pressure distribution is dependent not only on the load angles. As a result, only the maximum tilting angle is pro-
and moment applied on the crane, but also on the relative posed in the analysis. The maximum tilting angle usually
rigidity of the crane, mats, and soils. The craneground occurs at the following three critical boom orientations: the
interaction tends to reduce the differential settlement and boom is parallel to the tracks, the boom is perpendicular to
equalize the pressure distribution. This effect is very the tracks, or the boom is over the corner of a track.
complex and it is ignored in this study. The key factor for converting the levelness criterion to al-
lowable settlement is to find a representative tilting angle
that can be expressed as a function of the maximum settle-
Convert the bearing capacity problem for
ment. Since the representative tilting angle is directly related
cranes to footing foundations to the allowable levelness of the crane, it is ideal to select
As there are some fundamental differences between the the representative tilting angle as one that is slightly greater
bearing capacities for footing foundations and for cranes, it than the maximum tilting angles at the three critical boom
is necessary to convert the problem of bearing capacity for orientations to ensure they are within the limits of allowable
cranes to the traditional bearing capacity problem for footing levelness.
foundations. To achieve this, the following three steps have The representative tilting angle is selected by observing
been taken: (i) use the maximum allowable settlement to and estimating and then verifying by theoretical analysis.
represent the levelness criterion for cranes; (ii) use an equiv- Consider a typical crane operation as shown in Fig. 3. As-
alent uniformly distributed pressure to represent the triangu- sume the total crane load of G is acting at a radius R from
lar or trapezoidal distribution of the track pressure; and the crane rotation centre and at an angle a off the centreline
(iii) determine the equivalent footing width for a crane with perpendicular to the crane tracks. The crane track has a di-
mats. mension of BL with a span S between the two tracks. For
most cranes, the maximum pressure occurs at an angle a =
Convert the levelness criterion to allowable settlement 508~608, and the track span S is often equal to or a little bit
The out of levelness of a crane should be within 0.5% greater than the track length L. The tilting angles at the three
during its operation. It should be noted that the tilting of a boom orientations can be expressed by the following using
crane is not a one-dimensional (1-D) problem but rather is a the elastic solution for settlement of rigid footing:
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1286 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 3. Diagram for crane tilting calculation.

1 2 Gt footing width as described later in the section entitled

n  Iw
EL2 Equivalent footing width) is usually between 1.2 and 2.0
and is rarely over 2.5. Within this range, these three ratios
1 2 Gt
l  Im are all less than 1, which indicates that the representative
1 4ELB tilting angle is larger than the maximum tilting angle at the
p 2 3
three critical boom orientations. As a consequence, the al-
2 1 2 G Lt1tcos sin
  4tcosI w Im5 lowable settlement for a crane with mats can be conserva-
2 EL2 4B tively expressed as

where qn, ql, and qa are the tilting angles in the directions L
4 max rep L  0:5%L 
perpendicular, parallel, and at an angle a to the tracks, re- 200
spectively; E and n are the elastic modulus and Poissons ra- where [d] is the allowable maximum settlement of the crane
tio of the soil, respectively; Iw is the influence factor for the during operation.
settlement of a rigid footing; Im is the influence factor for For cranes sitting directly on the ground, the L/B ratio is
the rotation of a rigid footing; a is equal to 508~608; and generally between 4 and 6, and the maximum tilting angle
load eccentricity t = 2R/S. could be as high as 1.2 times that of the representative tilt-
The representative tilting angle, qrep, is defined as the ing angle. To account for this effect, a factor of 1.2 should
maximum settlement, dmax, over the length of crane track L, be applied and the allowable settlement for crane without
which is mats can be written as
max 0:5% L
2 rep 5 max rep L  L 
L   1:2 240
1   2 G1 tcos  Ltsin 
Iw Im
2EL2 4B
The concept of equivalent pressure
where a = 508~608. Unlike a footing foundation, the track pressure of a crane
To compare this representative tilting with those three an- changes greatly with changes in load, radius, and boom ori-
gles at different boom locations, it is convenient to use the entation during its operation. Another major feature of the
ratios of the three angles to the representative angle as: track pressure is that it is rarely uniformly distributed along
the track length due to the eccentricity of the crane load. As-
n l a suming the crane frame and tracks are absolutely rigid, the
3 rn ; rl ; ra
rep rep rep theoretical track pressure shape is either a triangular or tra-
pezoidal shape. The maximum pressure is usually used as
Figure 4 shows the variation of these three ratios rn, rl, the design pressure in the evaluation of the soil bearing ca-
and ra with the length to width ratio L/B of the footing and pacity. This maximum pressure usually occurs when the
the degree of load eccentricity t = 2R/S. crane boom is over the corner of the crane tracks. The use
Because the rated load of a crane is based on one criterion of the maximum track pressure to represent the triangular or
that requires at least a factor of 1.33 against overturning trapezoidal distributed pressure seems to be conservative. To
(Shapiro et al. 1999), the load eccentricity t is rarely greater find a design pressure that can better represent this pressure
than 0.75 during normal crane operation, especially for distribution leads to the concept of equivalent pressure. The
heavy lift cranes, which usually have superlift counter- equivalent pressure is a uniformly distributed pressure along
weights that can move the centre of gravity further away the whole track length that will cause the same amount of
from its fulcrum. settlement at the point where the maximum pressure is tak-
For cranes sitting on mats, the L/B ratio (use equivalent ing place. The equivalent pressure is first derived from theo-
# 2008 NRC Canada
Liu et al. 1287

Fig. 4. Variation of tilting ratios.

retical analysis based on an elastic assumption and then find an empirical correlation in Fig. 6. It shows a fairly
verified by computer simulation. good linear correlation between k and the ratio L/B. Since
Consider a rectangular footing with a dimension BL sit- the ratio L/B (use equivalent footing width as described
ting on the ground as shown on Fig. 5. A linearly varying later in the section entitled Equivalent footing width) for
pressure q1 to q2 is applied along the track, and the pressure cranes with mats varies from 1.2 to 2.0, within this range,
is uniform in the direction along the track width. Using the the maximum factor k is about 0.7. Therefore, the maximum
theory of superposition and the theoretical settlement solu- equivalent pressure for the crane with mats is
tion for rigid footings, the total settlement at points M and
q1 q2 q1  q2
N are 9 q~ 0:7 0:85q1 0:15q2
2 2
6 M N l  tan For cranes sitting directly on the ground, the L/B ratio is
2  generally greater than 4, the equivalent pressure is no longer
1   2 q1 q2 B q1  q2 L
Iw  Im valid, and the maximum pressure should be used in the de-
E 2 24
Now, assuming an equivalent uniformly distributed pres- In traditional foundation design, Meyerhof (1956) intro-
sure q~ that causes the same amount of settlement at point duced the equivalent bearing pressure to account for the
M, the settlement can be expressed in the form of q~ as load eccentricity as:

1   2 B P q1 q2 BL 31 s2
7 M q~ Iw 10 qeqv q1
E B0 L0 2L  2eL B 41 2s
Hence, the equivalent pressure q~ can be found to be where qeqv is the equivalent pressure proposed by Meyerhof
q1 q2 q1  q2 and s = q2/q1 (0 s 1).
q~ k It is easy to prove that the equivalent pressure proposed in
2 2
eq. [9] is always larger than the equivalent bearing pressure
8 Im L
k for foundations. This means that the proposed equivalent
12Iw B track pressure provides a higher FS against bearing capacity
failure due to eccentric loading.
A plot of k as a function of L/B is made using the theoret- Numerical models built with FLAC4.0 have also been
ical Im and Iw values for rigid footings (Bowles 1982) to used to verify the validity of the equivalent pressure. As
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1288 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 5. Diagram for settlement calculation of rigid footings.

Fig. 6. Correlation of factor k with L/B ratio.

shown in Fig. 7, the footing used in the model was assumed Equivalent footing width
to have a length of L and a constant height of 1.5 m. The The traditional way to determine the track pressure distri-
width of the footing B (perpendicular to the paper) was as- bution through crane mats is based on the strength of the
sumed to be 6 m. The Youngs modulus of the footing was timber mat. However, it is not only limited by the strength
assigned to be 1/15th of the steels modulus to account for of the mat, but it is also a function of the soil type, the elas-
the difference between the steel section of the crane track tic properties of the soil and mat, the strength of the soil and
and the assumed footing width. The size of the soil model mat, the geometry of the mat, the track width, and the stress
was chosen according to the section entitled Model size level etc.
verification. The soil was assumed to be elastic with an ar- It is very important to adequately estimate the spreading
bitrary modulus of elasticity of 50 MPa. The maximum areas this will provide two major parameters in footing de-
pressure q1 applied on the footing was assumed to be sign: the bearing pressure and the appropriate footing width.
200 kPa in the study. Computer simulation was used to find the correlation be-
The model was run with the variation of the stress ratio q2/q1, tween the factors listed above and the equivalent footing
the shape factor L/B, and the Poissons ratio n. Figure 8 illus- width.
trates the ratio of the maximum settlement by eccentric load- Two computer models were used with variations of soil
ing (dact) to the settlement by the equivalent pressure (deqv) type, elastic parameters of soil (E and n), mat type, track
from the computer simulation. In general, this ratio is less width B0, thickness of mat d, and stress level q. The first
than 100%, which means that the use of equivalent pressure computer model was constructed to simulate the crane sit-
leads to a conservative design approach. However, the ec- ting on timber mats on homogeneous ground. For the reason
centric loading tends to yield larger settlement (4%) than of symmetry, only half of the track was modeled as shown
the equivalent pressure with high Poissons ratio (n ? 0.5), in Fig. 9a. The model was then loaded to 10, 20, 30, 40,
low stress ratio (q2/q1 ? 0) and large L/B ratio (L/B = 2.5). and 50 mm deformation at the centre of the track. Stress
This may be due to the limitations of the 2-D simulation, the and displacement at the ground surface, as well as the track
shallow model depth for large L/B ratio, the change of rela- pressure, were recorded for each stage of loading. Only
tive rigidity between crane track and the soil, etc. stages with 3050 mm settlement are of interest as the al-
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Liu et al. 1289

Fig. 7. Computer models for equivalent pressure verification.

lowable maximum settlement for most cranes is within this thickness of the mat, d. Figures 1114 present a series of
range. plots of the equivalent footing width versus the track
The second computer model was built without timber width, the thickness of the mat, and the ratio of Youngs
mats, and a uniformly distributed pressure was directly ap- modulus of the mat and soil. From that, a regression ex-
plied on the ground surface, as shown in Fig. 9b. The width pression is derived as
and intensity of loading was adjusted by trial and error to  0:29
achieve similar stress and displacement at the ground sur- Em
11 B0 B 2d  Lm
face as that from the first computer model. In this way, the Es
width of the load can be treated as the adequate spread
width of the track pressure, as it causes similar stress and where
settlement. B is the equivalent footing width
B is the track width
Figure 10 illustrates the stress and settlement profile for a d is the thickness of the timber mat
typical case where a 1 m wide crane track is sitting on 6 m Em is the Youngs modulus of the mat (&11 GPa for Douglas
long, 0.3 m thick fir mats. The soil used in the model was a fir and &20 GPa for Mora)
stiff clay with soil properties of E = 50 MPa and v = 0.3. Es is the Youngs modulus of the soil
The solid lines in the figure represent the results from the Lm is the length of the timber mat
first computer model that gives settlements of 30, 40, and
50 mm, respectively. The dotted lines represent the results Results from computer models also show that the soil
from the second computer model by assuming that the pres- strength has little influence on the spreading width unless
sures from the first computer model are equally distributed the soil fails; this usually can be avoided by using a FS not
over a certain width. If both the stress and settlement pro- less than 2.0 in practice. Although there is no track pressure
files from the second model are close to those from the first component in eq. [11], the equivalent footing width is a
model, the width is found to be appropriate to represent the function of the stress level, and the equation is based on the
equivalent footing width. For this particular case, the equiv- track pressure required to cause 3050 mm settlement.
alent footing width was found to be B = 4.0 m. Equation [11] should incorporate the strength of the mat
From the results of the simulation, it can be found that to ensure that the mat is not overstressed. It should be
soil type, mat length, and Poissons ratio have less impact pointed out that the allowable stress for mats used now is
on the equivalent footing width. The major factors are the also conservative and can be increased by 1.5 due to the
track width, Youngs modulus of the mat and soil, and the short duration of the load and other advantageous factors.
# 2008 NRC Canada
1290 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 8. Comparison of settlement caused by actual and equivalent track pressure.

Typical soil study stood by geotechnical engineers. All the formulae proposed
are based on theoretical analyses and computer simulation
To provide general formulas to calculate the allowable results.
bearing capacity for crawler cranes, three types of soil were
used in this study:
Sand and gravels
 sand and gravel, which represents cohesionless soils; The allowable bearing capacity of sand is usually gov-
 soft to medium clay, which represents normally consoli- erned by the settlement of foundations. Because it is diffi-
dated or slightly overconsolidated cohesive soils; and cult to obtain undisturbed samples of sand, the elastic
 stiff clay, which represents heavily overconsolidated soils parameters of sand are often derived empirically from in
(e.g., a glacial till). situ SPT or CPT test results. Equation [12] (from Meyerhof
For each type of soil, the formulas for the allowable bear- 1956) is one of the most widely used methods nowadays. It
ing capacity of soil are modified from the prevailing bearing is based on 25 mm settlement for homogeneous sand with a
capacity formula for foundations so as to be easily under- ground water table below the failure zone of the footing.
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Fig. 9. Models to simulate equivalent footing.

Fig. 10. Settlement and stress profile using equivalent footing width.

Fig. 11. Correlations between equivalent footing width and crane track. Reg, regression.

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1292 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 12. Correlations between equivalent footing width and mat thickness. Reg, regression.

Fig. 13. Correlations between equivalent footing width and Em/Es for clays. Reg, regression.

qa 12Nkd B  1:2 m 
0 12 qa 1:5 N B  1:2 m
12 B 0:3A
qa 8@ Nkd B > 1:2 m 13 0 12
qa @
B 0:3A  N B > 1:2 m
where qa is the allowable bearing capacity (kPa); N is the
average SPT blow count within the zone of influence; and
kd = 1 + 0.33(D/B) 1.33. where [d] is the allowable settlement (mm); and F is the
Bowles (1982) proposed a set of equations similar to factor to be determined. For foundations, F = 3.125 from
Meyerhofs with a 50% increase in the calculated bearing Meyerhofs equation and F = 2.08 from Bowles equation.
capacity. The only difference between eq. [13] and eq. [12] is that
Assuming linear elastic behavior of sand prior to failure, eq. [13] explicitly applies the allowable settlement. By using
the allowable bearing capacity for crawler cranes can be ex- an allowable settlement of 25 mm, it turns into eq. [12] with
pressed in the same way as Meyerhofs equation with foot- F = 3.125.
ing sitting on ground surface To find adequate values of the factor F, two sets of com-
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Liu et al. 1293

Fig. 14. Correlations between equivalent footing width and Em/Es for sands. Reg, regression.

puter models were constructed to generate the pressure ver- qa 3LN B  1:2 m
0 12
sus settlement profile: one for cranes sitting on mats and the
14 B 0:3A
other for cranes sitting directly on the ground. A typical qa 2@ LN B > 1:2 m
crane track width of B = 1.5 m was used in both models as B
it was found to have little influence on the determination of
factor F. For cranes with mats, a standard mat length of 6 m For cranes with mats
was assumed. The soil used in the model was assumed to be
a MohrCoulomb material with linear elastic behaviour B0 0:3 2
prior to failure. 15 qa 1:2 LN
Soil properties from 41 cases discussed in Burland and
Burbridges (1985) paper were used in the two computer Another aspect to be considered is the strength of the soil.
models. In each case, information on soil type, SPT blow This can be significant if the footing width is small and is
counts N, footing size, load, and the observed settlement most applicable for cases when the crane is sitting on the
was provided. The elastic modulus of each soil was back ground without a mat. To prevent the crane from bearing ca-
calculated using a computer model to match the calculated pacity failure and limit the soil behaving within the linear
settlement and the observed settlement. elastic zone, a FS of 2.0 may be proper for cranes. Using
Figure 15 illustrates the variation of factor F with SPT Meyerhofs ultimate bearing capacity equation, the allow-
blow count for cranes without mats on different types of able bearing capacity of sand based on strength considera-
sandy soils. The factor F generally remains nearly constant tion is
with the change of SPT N values. Two lines representing
the factor F used in Meyerhofs equation and Bowles equa- qu 32:8BN
16 qa   16BN
tion are also shown in the plot. The F = 2.08 used in FS 2
Bowles equation seems to be more reasonable for cranes
sitting directly on the ground. However, this equation only applies to cases without
For cranes sitting on mats, Fig. 16 also shows that the mats. For cranes with mats, because the footing width is rel-
SPT N values have no effect on the factor F. A value of atively large, settlement is always the controlling factor.
F = 4.3 might be appropriate to estimate the allowable Because the submergence of cohesionless soils will de-
bearing capacity for cranes with mats, which is much crease the unit weight by half, the ultimate bearing capacity
larger than that for cranes without mats. This could be at- should be reduced by up to one-half for ground water tables
tributed to the flexibility of the mats and high load inten- higher than the base of the footing. If the ground water table
sity right beneath the crane track. is at an intermediate position, the ultimate bearing capacity
Since the allowable settlement of the crane is related to for cranes without mats can be interpolated linearly.
the crane track length L, eq. [13] can be rewritten as follows The allowable bearing capacity of granular soils can also
using different values of factor F: be estimated from CPT test results because an empirical cor-
For cranes sitting on the ground without mats relation between the CPT cone penetration resistance qc and
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1294 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 15. Factor F for cranes without mats.

Fig. 16. Factor F for cranes with mats.

SPT blow count N exists. It is convenient to convert the Eu

18 qa 
CPT cone resistance to the equivalent SPT blow count N 1   2 BIw
and then perform the allowable bearing capacity evaluation
using the previously mentioned equations. where [d] is the allowable settlement of the crane, and Eu is
the undrained modulus of saturated clay.
The undrained modulus of saturated clay is usually related
Soft and medium clay to its undrained shear strength as l = Eu/Cu in practice. The
The allowable bearing capacity of saturated clay for value of l varied from 40 to 3000 for normally or lightly
cranes on a flat ground surface based on strength considera- overconsolidated clays, as summarized by Simons (1974).
tion can be expressed as For heavily overconsolidated clays, Bulter (1974) reported
qu cNc sc 5:14 B=L this ratio to be between 150 and 830. Both authors indicated
17 qa Cu that the ratio l is highly dependent on testing methods. Val-
ues between 300 and 500 are usually recommended for de-
where Cu is the undrained shear strength. sign purposes. Theoretically, the Poissons ratio for saturated
Because only the immediate settlement is concerned in clay is n = 0.5.
evaluating the bearing capacity for crawler cranes, the allow- Because the strength of soft to medium clay is very low,
able bearing capacity based on settlement consideration is only situations for cranes with mats are considered here. Re-
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calling eq. [4] and rewriting eq. [18] in terms of l and crane for cranes without mats shows that the allowable bearing ca-
track length L yields pacity from settlement is much greater than that from
strength aspect with a FS of 2.0. As a result, a FS of 2.0 is
 L adequate to estimate the allowable bearing capacity of stiff
19 qa Cu
150Iw B0 clay for crawler cranes regardless of whether the crane is
sitting on the mats or not.
It can be found that the allowable bearing capacity for sa-
Figures 21 and 22 from computer simulation show a ser-
turated clay from both the strength consideration and settle-
ies of plots of pressuresettlement curves for each specific
ment consideration is a function of its undrained shear
strength and the L/B ratio of the footing. Figure 17 shows undrained shear strength value for cranes with mats and
without mats, respectively. Again, these plots testify the re-
the variation of the allowable bearing capacity with the L/B
ratio. The L/B ratio for cranes with mats is about 1.2~2.0. It sults from theoretical analysis.
can be seen from the figure that within this range the allow- For cranes without mats, the allowable bearing capacity
able bearing capacity based on settlement criterion is gener- based on settlement considerations is much higher than that
ally greater than that based on strength criteria with a FS of based on strength with a FS of 2.0 for saturated stiff clay.
2.0 except for l < 300 and L/B < 1.5. As a result, eq. [17] The use of FS = 2.0 only represents a 10 mm settlement as
with a FS of 2.0 may be adequate to estimate the allowable shown in Fig. 22.
bearing capacity of saturated clay for crawler cranes unless
evidence shows a small Eu/Cu ratio for some problematic Case studies
soils with high compressibility. Besides theoretical analyses and computer simulations, six
The ratio of immediate settlement to total settlement of lifts on three different sites have been studied. They are:
normally consolidated clay is only about 0.2. The allowable (i) a test lift using a 400 t DEMAG CC2000 in Brighton
settlement is usually taken as 25 mm for the design of shal- Beach, Ontario, (ii) a replace and reinstall vessel G using
low foundations. This means that the allowable immediate a 600 t DEMAG CC2800 in Fort Nelson, British Columbia,
settlement for shallow foundations is usually less than and (iii) lifts of Fractionator Burner and Reactor using a
10 mm. It is far less than the allowable settlement for 1250 t DEMAG CC8800 in Ft. McMurray, Alberta. Case
crawler cranes. This again indicates that the allowable bear- studies were used to calibrate the soil parameters used in
ing capacity for cranes should be higher than that for build- the computer simulations and to test the proposed equations
ings. for allowable bearing capacity for the crawler crane.
It has been pointed out by Davis and Poulos (1968) that
for normally consolidated clay yielding and deviation from Field observation
linear behaviour will first occur when the FS against a bear- The objective of field observation is to obtain the ground
ing capacity failure is between 4 and 8; for slightly over- settlement and the corresponding track pressure. Knowing
consolidated clays, the corresponding FS at first yielding is these two sets of data, computer models can be built to
2 to 3. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a FS less back analyze the soil parameters and predict the soil bearing
than 2.0 for soft and medium clay. capacity for cranes.
Plots of pressuresettlement curves from computer simu- A traditional surveying technique using levels to shoot
lations are shown in Fig. 18 for each specific Cu. A straight scaled targets was used in measuring settlements of the
line representing the allowable bearing capacity using a FS cranes since it is the most practical method given the avail-
of 2.0 is also included in each plot. It can be seen from the able time and resources.
plots that the computer simulation results match the theoret-
ical analyses very well. The typical allowable settlement for Two levels are usually set on each side of the crane to
crawler cranes is about 3550 mm. Within this range, the al- measure the vertical displacement of each track during a lift-
lowable bearing capacity from settlement criterion is gener- ing operation. They were calibrated and can reach an accu-
ally higher than that from strength criterion using a FS of racy of about 0.5 mm in general conditions. The preferred
2.0. locations for levels should be close to the targets and out of
the settlement influence zone of the crane. Ten to thirty
metres from the targets is the most desirable distance. A
Stiff clay
benchmark or reference point is also used to check the
A similar analysis for soft and medium clay is carried out movement of the level and eliminate the influence of it.
here. Both cases, for cranes with mats and without mats,
were studied. For cranes without mats, eq. [19] can be re- Measuring tapes mounted on the crane track were used as
written by using a different allowable settlement formula as the leveling targets. Although the settlement of the ground is
of the most concern, the vertical displacement of the crane
 L track is much easier to measure and may well represent the
20 qa Cu ground settlement because the compressibility of the timber
180Iw B
mat and crane track is relatively small. Because the settle-
Figures 19 and 20 show the allowable bearing capacity of ment profile along the crane track is close to a straight line,
stiff clay from both strength and settlement aspects for only two end points on each track needed to be monitored.
cranes with mats and without mats, respectively. Similar to These two end points were chosen to be the points right
soft to medium clay, the allowable bearing capacity for above the first and last rollers contacted to the ground. Fig-
cranes with mats is generally controlled by the strength of ure 23 illustrates the typical layout of levels and targets for
soil with a FS of 2.0. The plot of allowable bearing capacity the settlement observation. The most direct and precise way
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1296 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 17. Bearing capacity of soft clay from theoretical analyses.

Fig. 18. Load versus immediate settlement curve for soft clay.

to measure the track pressure of a crane is to bury several crane tracks was monitored and recorded at intervals of
pressure cells beneath the crane track. However, this is also about 5 min. The detailed crane load information including
the most expensive way. An alternative is to calculate the the load, radius, and boom orientation angle were also re-
track pressure rather than measure it using the manufac- corded simultaneously. This recorded information was then
turers software and knowing detailed crane load informa- used to calibrate the elastic properties of soil and estimate
tion. All the track pressure information used in the case the ground bearing capacity for crawler cranes.
studies is based on the latter approach.
The crane configuration, load, and lift radius can be ob- Soil properties determination
tained from the lift plan. However, more precise information The soil properties of each site were first interpreted from
from the computer mounted on the crane is usually available the site investigation reports and then calibrated by compar-
and this was used in the evaluation of track pressure. ing the computer simulations using the observed settlement
During a lift, the displacement of targets mounted on and track pressure.
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Liu et al. 1297

Fig. 19. Bearing capacity of stiff clay for cranes with mats.

Fig. 20. Bearing capacity of stiff clay for cranes without mats.

This calibration procedure involved using two sets of that observed for each critical situation. A summary of the
computer models with one perpendicular to the crane tracks soil properties from the site investigation report and cali-
and the other along the crane tracks. Timber mats were in- brated soil parameters used in the analyses for the three
cluded in the models to represent the real world situation cases are presented in Tables 14.
and avoid error caused by simplification. To account for the It should be noted that the simulated settlement cannot
rigid effect of the crane tracks, steel blocks with the same perfectly match the measured settlement. The source of er-
dimensions as the tracks were placed onto the timber mats rors can be attributed to:
in the models and the track pressure was applied on the steel  The error in track pressure determination. The track pres-
block rather than directly on the timber mats. The modulus sure was calculated using the rigid assumption rather than
of the steel block was reduced properly to yield equivalent measured in the field.
rigidity of the crane track.  The error caused by the computer model, mainly the re-
Although modeling along the tracks is not very precise in sult of using a 2-D program to model a 3-D problem.
simulating the real case, it is the only choice to evaluate the  Ignoring crane soil interaction.
differential settlement of each crane track. Some measures  Field observation errors.
are applied to limit the errors caused by the model to an ac-  The defects in site preparation (i.e., gaps between layers
ceptable level. These measures include: (i) spread track of crane mats).
pressure over a wider area; (ii) use the proper model size;  The assumptions in soil behavior and material para-
and (iii) compare the simulation results with those from sec- meters.
tions perpendicular to the crane tracks. In general, the settlements from the computer simulation
The soil parameters used in the models are then adjusted are comparable to those from the field observations. Another
by trial and error to yield a similar amount of settlement to important result is that the settlement from models for sec-
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1298 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Fig. 21. Load versus immediate settlement curve of stiff clay for cranes with mats.

Fig. 22. Load versus immediate settlement curve of stiff clay for cranes without mats.

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Liu et al. 1299

Fig. 23. Typical level and target layout for settlement observation.

Table 1. Soil properties from site investigation Brighton Table 2. Soil properties from site investigation Fort Nelson,
Beach, Ontario. British Columbia.

Sand and Firm Soft Weathered Unweathered

gravel Silty silty silty Soil type till till
Soil type fill sand clay clay Thickness (m) 1.7 >3.8
Thickness (m) 0.88 1.55 1.84 >5.78 Unit weight, g (kN/m3) 19.8 19.8
Unit weight, g (kN/m3) 18.5 17.7 16.7 Moisture content, w (%) 1523 1417
Relative density, Dr (%) 85 Plastic limit, PL (%) 1620 1620
Water content, w (%) 7 11 24 43 Liquid limit, LL (%) 3157 3157
Plastic limit, PL (%) 23 Initial void ratio, e0 0.66 0.59
Liquid limit, LL (%) 50 Compressive index, Cc 0.037 0.054
SPT blow count, N 24 6 1 Recompressive index, Cr 0.013 0.014
Triaxial Cu (kPa) 31 Unconfined compressive strength, qu 240 420
In situ vane Cu (kPa) 65 25 (kPa)
Remold vane Cu (kPa) 32 9 SPT blow count, N 16 28

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1300 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

Table 3. Soil properties from site investigation Ft. McMurray, Fig. 25. Allowable bearing capacity determination for the Fort Nel-
Alberta. son case.

Sand Native Clay Oil

Soil type fill sand till sand
Thickness (m) 0.6 2.2 1.2
Unit weight, g (kN/m3) 17.3 18 21 20.4
Relative density, Dr (%) 60 82
Moisture content, w (%) 13 22 11 13
Plastic limit, PL (%) 1316
Liquid limit, LL (%) 2036
SPT blow count, N 20 40 46 >50
Cu (kPa) 240

Table 4. Calibrated soil parameters used in the analyses.

Youngs Friction
modulus, Poissons angle, Cohesion,
Soil E (MPa) ratio, n f (8) c (kPa)
Brighton Beach, Ontario
Sand and gravel 150 0.15 48 0 Fig. 26. Allowable bearing capacity determination for the Ft.
fill McMurray case.
Silty sand 37.5 0.3 36 0
Firm silty clay 19.5 0.49 0 65
Soft silty clay 5 0.49 0 25
Fort Nelson, British Columbia
Weathered till 24 0.2 0 120
Unweathered till 63 0.2 0 210
Ft. McMurray, Alberta
Sand and gravel 150 0.15 48 0
Sand fill 33 0.3 36 0
Native sand 55 0.3 36 0
Clay till 120 0.49 0 240
Oil sand 185 0.3 >50

Fig. 24. Allowable bearing capacity determination for the Brighton

Beach case. tions parallel to crane tracks matched that from models for
the section perpendicular to crane tracks very well. This
proves that the use of equivalent footing width B and the
model size are valid.

Evaluation of soil bearing capacity using different

The soil bearing capacity can be estimated if the soil
properties and the dimensions of the footing are known. It
is of interest to compare the allowable bearing capacity cal-
culated from the conventional method used for shallow
foundations, the proposed formulas, and the extrapolation
from the computer simulation.
Comparisons of the bearing capacity for the three cases
using these three methods are presented in Figs. 2426. The
ultimate bearing capacity and the FS associated the proposed
formulas are also illustrated in the figures. It is seen from
the figures that the proposed formulas yield results close to
those from the computer simulation for these three cases.

Summary of case studies

All of these cases illustrate that the use of a 2-D program
in modeling the 3-D bearing capacity problem can yield rea-
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Liu et al. 1301

Fig. 27. Procedure to determine allowable bearing capacity for crawler cranes.

sonable results if an appropriate model size is used. Deter- Conclusions

mining the bearing capacity for crawler cranes by using a
settlement criterion typically used for building foundations  Directly applying the traditional bearing capacity calcula-
is usually too conservative. Simply using a FS of 2 or 3 can tion used for building foundations to crawler cranes was
either overestimate or underestimate the soil bearing ca- shown to be inappropriate and it may lead to errors.
pacity for cranes. Using more than two layers of timber  The out of levelness of a crawler crane can be converted
mats is not recommended, as it may cause more open gaps to a maximum allowable settlement of the ground.
within the mats. Computer simulation of the fractionator lift  The nonuniformly distributed crane track pressure can be
shows that the use of 9 m long mats at the bottom layer represented by an equivalent pressure in determining the
does not contribute much to the bearing capacity. bearing capacity for cranes with mats.
# 2008 NRC Canada
1302 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 45, 2008

 The equivalent footing width for a crane with a mat is Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).
mainly a function of crane track width, mat thickness, This research was supported by Sterling Crane of Edmonton,
and the relative rigidity of the mat and the soil. Alberta.
 Back analyses of three study cases provided good support
on the use of an equivalent pressure, equivalent footing References
width, and model size for computer simulations. It is
Becker, R. 2001. The great book of mobile cranes. Vol. 1. Hand-
also important to test the validity of the method proposed
book of mobile and crawler crane technology. KM Verlags
in the estimation of bearing capacity for crawler cranes.
GmbH, Griesheim, Germany.
 A typical design procedure for estimating the bearing ca- Bowles, J.E. 1982. Foundation analysis and design. 3rd ed.
pacity for crawler cranes is described in the following McGraw-Hill, New York.
steps: Bulter, F.G. 1974. Heavily over-consolidated clays. In Proceedings
1. Obtain information on the effective track length L and of the conference on settlement of structures, Cambridge, April
track width B of the crane. 1974, John Wiley & Sons, New York. pp. 531578.
2. Obtain information on the maximum track pressure qmax Burland, J.B., and Burbridge, M.C. 1985. Settlement of foundations
and the corresponding minimum track pressure qmin of on sand and gravel. In Proceedings of the Institution of Civil
the same track. Engineers, London, 78: 13251381.
3. Determine the soil allowable bearing pressure qa based CIRIA. 1996. Crane stability on site. CIRIA special publication
on different soil types. For clayey soil, eq. [17] using a 131, Construction Industry Research and Information Associa-
FS of 2.0 can be applied. For sandy soil, the allowable tion, London, UK.
Davis, E.H., and Poulos, H.G. 1968. The use of elastic theory for
bearing pressure can be estimated using eq. [14] accom-
settlement prediction under three-dimensional conditions. Geo-
panied with a strength check.
technique, 18: 6791.
4. Compare the maximum crane track pressure qmax with
Gupta, R.C. 2002. Estimating bearing capacity factors and cone tip
the allowable bearing pressure qa of the soil. If the al- resistance. Soils and Foundations, 42: 117128.
lowable bearing pressure is less than the maximum crane ISO. 1991. Mobile cranes determination of stability.
track pressure, a crane mat is required. ISO4305:1991(E), International Organization for Standardiza-
5. Calculate equivalent track pressure q~ using eq. [9]. tion, Geneva, Switzerland.
6. Calculate equivalent footing width B using eq. [11]. It Lee, J., and Salgado, R. 2005. Estimation of bearing capacity of
should be noted that the calculated equivalent footing circular footings on sands based on cone penetration test. Jour-
width should be limited by the strength of the mat nal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 131:
against bending and shear failure. 442452. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(2005)131:4(442).
7. Evaluate soil allowable bearing pressure under the mats Liu, X. 2005. Soil bearing capacity for crawler cranes. M.Sc. the-
using eq. [15] for sandy soil. For clayey soil, eq. [17] is sis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Uni-
valid with a FS of 2.0, and the footing width should be versity of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
replaced by the calculated equivalent footing width. Meyerhof, G.G. 1956. Penetration tests and bearing capacity of co-
8. Compare the allowable soil bearing pressure qa with the hesionless soils. Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations
equivalent track pressure q~ . If the allowable bearing Division, 82(SM1): 119.
pressure is less than the equivalent track pressure, adjust Shapiro, H.I., Shapiro, J.P., and Shapiro, L.K. 1999. Cranes and
the mat size and configuration and repeat steps 6 to 8 un- derricks. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, New York.
til the allowable soil pressure is greater than the equiva- Simons, N.E. 1974. Normally consolidated and lightly over-
lent track pressure. consolidated cohesive materials. In Proceedings of the confer-
The procedure described above is illustrated with a flow ence on settlement of structures, Cambridge, April 1974, John
chart in Fig. 27. Willey & Sons, New York. pp. 500530.
Stuart, J.G. 1962. Interference between foundations, with special
These conclusions may not be applicable for problematic
reference to surface footings in sand. Geotechnique, 12: 1522.
soils such as sensitive clay, loose sand, loess, and organic
Terzaghi, K. 1943. Theoretical soil mechanics. John Wiley & Sons,
soils. Moisture content change of topsoil as a result of pre-
New York.
cipitation or other reasons must also be considered in evalu- Vesic, A.S. 1973. Analysis of ultimate loads of shallow founda-
ating the bearing capacity for cranes. tions. Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division,
99(SM1): 4573.
Funding for this research was provided by the Natural

# 2008 NRC Canada