How to maintain crane and lifting equipments

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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.

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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 simply 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, as well as, will 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. You should not be 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’ 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 purpose 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 lead to damaging the wire rope.

• Various factors must be kept in mind regarding lubrication, like climate conditions or proximity to the coast. The wire rope should be greased only using manufacturer’s recommended products.

• Discard all deformed, crushing, rusting, or broken strand rope wires immediately.

Hooks maintenance:

• Make sure to deeply inspect hooks before operating the crane.

• 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 hook if during repairing the damaged area, more than 10% of the original dimension is lost.

• Always keep in mind 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 transmission casing, or at the point of 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 issue such as fluid leaks, odd noises, and unusual automatic shifts should be reported timely.

To avoid unscheduled downtime and increasing the life, maintaining cranes or any other lifting equipment is crucial. However, it is important to follow manufacturer-recommended service intervals and other maintenance recommendations. 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.