Imagine you’re working on a critical site where the slightest mistake may lead to some serious consequences. You can’t afford a single mistake and have no time to waste, but then all of a sudden, your crane stops working, and the urgent job comes to a halt.
You understand the importance of efficient working crane equipment. Since the task you perform involves millions of dollars of materials, in addition to personnel, you can’t afford the risk of buying an inexpensive ill-fit part from a local seller. To mitigate accidents and extend the life of your crane, proper maintenance of lift equipment is essential. A properly maintained crane by the technicians will perform the job more efficiently and keep workers safe. Therefore, the following points must be kept in mind.
First and foremost, always use OEM-supplied parts as it guarantees the reliability of the replacement. It would help if you were not tempted to buy non-OEM parts, as these are not designed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The non-OEM parts suppliers don’t examine the original specifications against the design drawings. While OEM-supplied parts, on the other hand, are inspected, quality-control tested, and designed as per the equipment specifications by the manufacturer.
Without proper maintenance, the equipment’s total lifecycle cost will increase because of the added cost of unexpected downtime caused by low-grade parts. Therefore, consider the following tips for proper maintenance of your lifting equipment.
Wire Rope maintenance:
• Always use gloves for checking and handling the wire ropes of your crane. Check the wire rope over its whole length.
• Any solvent should be avoided for cleaning purposes as it may damage the synthetic components of wire rope.
• With time and continuous use, wire rope gets hardened with grease deposits. These must be cleaned time-to-time as the deposits restrict the penetration of lubricants.
• The sheaves must be checked for any damage as a single malfunctioning sheave in the circuit may damage the wire rope.
• Various factors must be considered regarding lubrication, like climate conditions or proximity to the coast. The wire rope should be greased only using the manufacturer’s recommended products.
• Discard all deformed, crushing, rusting, or broken strand rope wires immediately.
• Make sure to inspect hooks before operating the crane deeply.
• In case of cracks, nicks, breaking latch, or heat damage, discontinue the use of that hook. A hook with a twist more than 10 degrees from the plane of the unbent hook should not be kept in service any further. Moreover, the throat opening must not be 15%. Consider replacing the hook if more than 10% of the original dimension is lost while repairing the damaged area.
• Always remember that hooks should never be repaired or reshaped using heating, welding, or bending. Follow instructions and methods approved by the manufacturer.
• The strength of the hooks gets reduced by point loading, side loading, or back loading. These often lead to accidents.
• The task of removing cracks, nicks, and gouges must be performed by a trained technician.
Mobile crane transmissions maintenance:
• The points where oils leaks are most common must be checked regularly, like the side of the transmission casing or at the point of a power take-off.
• The instructions provided by the transmission manufacture about the fluids and filter must be followed.
• The transmission should be protected from pollutants as they hinder the functioning of bushing and roller.
• To prevent downtime, any issues such as fluid leaks, odd noises, and unusual automatic shifts should be reported promptly.
To avoid unscheduled downtime and to increase life, maintaining cranes or any other lifting equipment is crucial. Be it overhead cranes, jib cranes, workstation cranes, gantry cranes, or crane parts, maintenance of cranes and lifting equipment keeps them working efficiently for years. However, it is important to follow manufacturer-recommended service intervals and other maintenance recommendations.