Every year, the construction industry will rely on tower cranes to move different materials on confined sites. They are a crucial part of the construction process and can help solve some of the safety issues on site. The location and size of the cranes provide the potential for serious injury and death to occur on-site. The law relating to cranes is very clear. They are required to ensure that the cranes are inspected, examined, and maintained to ensure they are in perfect working order and do not present a risk. Cranes come in a range of different sizes and types to meet the demands of every need. If you plan to operate a crane, there are many requirements to follow for a safe operation of the equipment. Here is a basic guide to crane maintenance to get you started.
Purpose Of Crane Maintenance
Crane maintenance and inspections are essential to identifying signs of corrosion or damage in the early stages. Maintaining the equipment proactively will minimize the possibility of an accident, which helps to avoid expensive material damage and injury on the job site. It gives you a great opportunity to make safety improvements to your equipment. Each maintenance schedule needs to be custom-tailored based on the type of equipment, storage, and use. All equipment must meet the manufacturer’s requirements. All crane equipment must meet all the current standards.
Procedures For Performing Crane Maintenance
Cranes are a type of machine, generally equipped with chains, hoist rope, sheaves, and wire ropes, that can be used both to lower and lift materials and to move them horizontally. Cranes are built to be resilient, so you are guaranteed a long-term performance. It is important to understand the elements of performing crane maintenance to ensure the equipment is in perfect working order.
General Routine Maintenance
Comprehensive routine maintenance must be conducted to pinpoint any potential issues with the crane and how to fix the issues. To maintain the crane properly and avoid deterioration, each component must be restored to its original state. Routine maintenance involves lubrication of moving parts, adjustment/alignment of components, and changing of oils and filters. Lubrication helps keep your cranes in good condition.
Compliance Inspections Are Mandatory
Compliance inspections are there to satisfy the measures for regulatory and safety. A crane is a heavy piece of equipment that can pose a great hazard, especially on construction sites. If your equipment isn’t functioning the right way, equipment damages can be sustained, and many people could get hurt. After installation of all new equipment, one is obligated to carry out key examinations. Most vendors have inspectors who are certified to carry out precise evaluations of your equipment condition. All risks will be assessed, improvements will be made, and they will offer any recommendations.
The checklist includes all damages that will be checked such as outriggers, wire ropes, and crane hooks. The machine condition must be checked such as brakes, warning signs, control, and checks on the operation area. All manufacturer manuals and company requirements must be followed. The minimum checklist for maintenance includes monitoring devices, wire rope, hydraulic systems, crane structure and accessories, and control mechanisms.
Tracking Usage And Maintenance Performance
Maintenance is generally performed based on how many hours the crane is being used. It is important to keep track of when a crane is used and for what purpose. Tracking your crane usage will allow you to set up a routine maintenance schedule that you can follow and avoid any other problems or important steps throughout.
Common Signs Your Crane Equipment Needs A Service
Every responsible business owner should have an equipment review plan and a detailed checklist to ensure that all lifting equipment is operating efficiently and shows no signs of wear that could endanger workers. Workplaces are often crowded and busy. Having your crane lifting equipment serviced is crucial. Here are some of the common signs that your crane equipment needs service or additional maintenance.
Crushed Chain Links
A crushed chain link is a common issue when working with chain-based hoist systems. It is common for chains to become broken or crushed when carrying heavy loads during project hours. It is important to make chain maintenance and inspections a regular routine in these situations. It is important to remind your employees that a crushed chain is completely different from a broken chain link and can be more difficult to detect especially from a distance.
Corrosion is a very common sign and one of those problems that can happen and demand serious attention. This sign often ignored as rust starts small and does not appear to affect how the equipment performs. This often occurs in wet regions and any near the ocean. A small sign of rust that you can see may also be a sign of other corrosion issues that you can’t see. The results of corrosion include loss of mechanical strength, electrical shorts compromise lifting systems, and hoist or crane systems that are in danger of dropping their heavy loads due to compromised integrity. Corrosion inspections are necessary and will need to be replaced. You will see this often if you are hiring a digger from a plant hire company.
Slider pads, outriggers, and stabilizers are all very common when facilities include hoists or cranes. The pads are used for one purpose, to make the machine movements smoother and to take the brunt of the force. Compared to other components the pads do wear out a lot faster. The pads should be examined for wear and shining which will suggest that they need replacing. Watch out for any changes with the machine noises which will indicate that the pads need looking at or maybe starting to wear out.
Cracked Or Bent Hooks
Bent hooks are a frequent repairing issue. The hook is designed to hold load weight in a precise direction. It is a very delicate piece of equipment. The weight that is misapplied can cause the hook to bend which will compromise its internal integrity and may increase the chances of it breaking off during future usage. Every hook must be inspected on a regular basis to make sure they have not been subtly damaged. When the hooks are being checked the inspector should also check for any tell-tale cracks in the hook.
Dry Ropes And Slings
Constant work, heat, and cold play havoc with the more flexible parts of the machinery particularly the slings and ropes. It is important to regularly maintain these parts with frequent oiling in order to preserve them. If frequent oiling isn’t performed, this results in brittle and dry fibers that crack and stretch before they should. If your sling fibers or rope are looking old and ragged, then it is time to replace them with new ones straight away.
Long Term Abrasion
Abrasion is an issue that happens slowly and can creep up without being notices. If a component breaks the result will be dramatic. All moving parts, joints, and wires must be checked for all signs that tell signify abrasion.