Shannahan Crane & Hoist

Common Crane Maintenance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Cranes are an essential part of many different types of businesses, be that in the manufacturing industry, construction, and even logistics. The crane market is enormous in the US, estimated to reach $50.75 billion in value, demonstrating how essential this power tool is.

Because the crane is so important in keeping work operations flowing, workers must look after their cranes and follow the right procedures to ensure they’re in working order throughout the year.

With how large some cranes are, not to mention the sizes of the loads that they’re capable of lifting, a malfunction or a part breaking can be catastrophic and dangerous to not only the workers but also the general public.

There are many crane maintenance mistakes that workers and site managers need to avoid to ensure that their crane is in top condition. Read on for a look at some of those mistakes and what you need to do to keep it in prime condition.

Skipping Pre-Inspection

Before operating a crane, it’s vital that those using it give the machine a robust inspection to ensure everything is working.

The common mistake is that if the crane is being used a lot in a short period, many workers will omit an inspection, with the mindset that if it was working yesterday, it should work today.

This is a dangerous maintenance habit. Skipping inspections can make it harder to see the signs of wear and tear and faults. Cranes go through a lot of pressure in a working day, so it’s easy for something to break or become damaged.

Get into the crane maintenance routine of checking over the machine every time you’re about to use it.

You should check over essential components of the crane such as the brake system and the cables within it. Check any hooks, latches, and wires, and look at anything else that seems important for its functionality.

Overloading the Crane

Damage caused by overloading the crane is one of the most common crane issues. Putting too much weight on a crane is the leading cause of accidents on worksites. Even if accidents are avoided, too much weight can damage the machine.

If the load you’re trying to lift is too heavy for the crane and is over its capacity, there’s a high probability that the crane could drop and the entire machine could tip over. Damage could also be done to the motors- which are the mechanisms used to give cranes their lifting power – and the cables within the crane can also snap.

Even if there’s no immediate or obvious damage to the crane, consistent overloading can cause stress over time, which can make your crane less effective.

Ensure that you’re aware of each machine’s capacity and always select an appropriate-sized crane for the job that you’re doing. If you need a bespoke crane for a specific job, we can create bridge cranes that meet your specifications.

Working in Poor Weather Conditions

No one likes having to halt progress because the weather is bad. Yet, for the sake of your crane’s health, it may be best to avoid using it when things get terrible weather-wise.

Things like rain can cause certain parts of the crane to rust, and when this happens, these components become more brittle and likely to break.

As well as not being good for the health of your machine, working in poor weather conditions can also be dangerous for your crew and can be avoided at all costs.

Poor visibility due to heavy smoke or fumes can make it a lot harder to control the crane, making accidents that can harm you or the machine more likely,

Although it’s tempting to power through bad conditions to stay on schedule, for the sake of your team and your crane, it’s best to simply down tools.

Not Replacing Wheels

Cranes are mobile machines, meaning that you need to take particular care of the wheels used to transport this heavy piece of equipment.

Due to the heavy loads that a crane can lift, a lot of pressure is put on these wheels.  

That’s why you need to check the wheels regularly to ensure they do not wear through and replace them when the threads are no longer deep enough.

A worn, smooth wheel means that there are not a lot of grips, making the crane less stable and thus more dangerous to operate.

Not Checking the Hook

The hook of a crane is the most critical part of it, as it’s what’s used to secure the various loads to it.

Before use, you must check that the hook is intact. Look out for things like bends and cracks that can signify that it’s comprised and prone to breaking.

It’s also worth considering what crane hook best suits the load you’re trying to lift. Using the wrong one can also damage your crane.

We can create bespoke hooks and custom-designed hoists to help your crane perform to its best abilities.

Avoid These Crane Maintenance Mistakes

There are a lot of common mistakes that workers can make when looking after their cranes. It’s important to respect your equipment and do what you can to ensure its longevity.

A well-looked-after crane will be safer to use and effective for a longer period. You must get into the habit of checking it and repairing crane damage when you come across it.

Cranes are a specialist piece of equipment and should be treated as such. It’s always wise that you know exactly what you’re doing regarding maintenance.

Now you know the most common crane maintenance mistakes. Be sure to browse our crane repair services so that we can help you keep your crane in good condition.

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