Shannahan Crane & Hoist

Why You Need Crane Inspections and Preventive Maintenance

Crane inspections and preventive maintenance are necessary to ensure the proper care of equipment and the safety of those who work around the equipment. An effective maintenance program can increase the dependability and longevity of the machine. In order to properly implement preventive maintenance techniques, you must first understand why they are essential.

The Importance of Crane Inspections and Maintenance

There are a number of reasons why crane maintenance is important. Combined crane inspections and preventive maintenance can result in more effective and longer-lasting cranes. Here are some ways that regular upkeep can benefit you and your company. 


Facilities are required to maintain a constant flow throughout a work day. A significant component of daily operations is crane use because it completes a variety of tasks and saves time. A proper maintenance and crane inspection schedule ensures that your crane will be able to perform when they are needed. 


Cranes are not cheap, and they are likely one of your biggest assets. That being said, you want to ensure that you take care of your cranes so they can live their entire life. Proper maintenance helps minimize the chances of early-onset issues and major repairs. 

Employee Safety

No matter the type of crane you are using, employee safety is the number one priority. Crane inspections and maintenance help make certain that employees are safe while working in and around cranes. 

How Often Should You Get a Crane Inspection?

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires that cranes are inspected on a scheduled annual basis with dated records. While mandatory annual crane inspections are great, quarterly crane inspections and or other types of more frequent crane inspections can allow you to catch small problems before they become large. 

Daily Crane Inspections 

Daily crane inspections can be done by the operator of the crane before and after use. A daily crane inspection is a time to check for proper alignment, inspect for damage, and replace parts that do not require a professional. 

  • Checking for proper alignment: After extended periods of time, natural wear and tear can look like falling out of alignment and leaning to the side. 
  • Inspect for damages: When searching for damages, inspectors should look for signs of rust, wear and tear on the chains, and bends/cracks on the hooks. The hooks are especially important because the hooks can pose a serious safety risk. They do most of the heavy lifting, so any damage should be addressed.
  • Replace parts that do not require a professional: There are some scenarios where the crane needs to be put out of order. However, there are smaller things like wheels that can be replaced immediately at any sign of damage. 

Annual Inspections

Annual inspections are required by OSHA. However, developing a schedule for your inspections can only benefit you. When developing a schedule, consider the following:

  • Age: Older cranes should be inspected more frequently 
  • Frequency of Use: Cranes that are used often should also be inspected more often. Still, cranes that have been left idle should also be inspected according to OSHA guidelines.
  • Downtime: Cranes with longer downtime for repairs should be inspected more often. 

Record Keeping 

In addition to the proper maintenance of machinery, proper record-keeping is also an essential component of crane maintenance. Ensuring that there is a record that can be referred back to can be highly beneficial for personal use and in case of an audit. The purpose of record keeping is to have all of the necessary records you need for future reference. Crane inspection records should detail the following:

  • Legible dates of maintenance and inspection
  • The name of the certified professional who performed the inspection
  • The type of work performed
  • Official work orders upon completion of the inspection
  • Any irregularities found during the inspection

Why Preventive Maintenance is Essential

Preventive maintenance is defined by IBM as the act of performing regularly scheduled maintenance activities to help prevent unexpected failures in the future. The goal of this type of maintenance is to minimize production loss due to equipment failure. An adequately maintained crane ensures that it runs at optimum capacity for as long as possible. This could be the difference between life and death on a construction worksite. If a crane is not taken care of appropriately, a business owner could be riddled with major repair expenses and the risk of compromising the safety of operators and those around them. 

If you are not practicing preventive maintenance, you are setting yourself up for reactive maintenance. This type of maintenance can become more expensive as it means that you have waited until a failed crane inspection or a serious accident before taking action. If this approach is taken, it generally results in high repair costs for the owner. In addition, it can lead to less reliable equipment, less longevity, and more downtime. 

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

The primary benefits of preventive maintenance are all mentioned above. Essentially, preventive maintenance is reliable, protects your assets, and costs less in the long run. Additionally, the benefits of preventive maintenance extend to the following:

  • Improving audit compliance
  • Less need for unplanned maintenance
  • Reducing the risk of workplace injury
  • Improve planning and resource allocation

Preventive maintenance has the potential to permanently alter the way an organization manages its assets. Good preventive maintenance includes routines that specify maintenance and repair and the necessary records. Downtime due to the lack of proper preventive maintenance can be expensive. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent future mishaps, equipment failures, and hefty bills is something that should sound appealing to any organization. 

Leading Crane and Hoist Services in St. Louis, MO

Shannahan Crane & Hoist offers St. Louis, MO’s best crane and hoist solutions. We also provide annual safety inspections, 24-hour emergency services through our Repair Program, and Operator Safety Training. Our crane and hoist inspection and preventive maintenance program is designed to keep your equipment running for as long as possible. If you’re looking for an industry-leading equipment provider for your growing material handling operations, please contact us today. You can also browse our website to see complete lists of our equipment and services. 

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