Every overhead crane operator understands how important it is to maximize the lifespan of their crane. Following a professional overhead, a crane repair program is vital to protect this significant investment.
How can you ensure that this vital asset is functioning as safely and productively as possible? In this article, we look at the key aspects of overhead crane maintenance and repair.
By following these recommendations you can help avoid severe damage to your crane.
Types of Overhead Crain Repair
There are three categories of repair that your crane may need.
- Scheduled maintenance
- Emergency repairs
By following your crane manufacturer’s guidelines for inspections and preventative maintenance you can reduce the chances of ever needing a costly emergency repair.
Regular crane inspections are also a legal requirement. Crane owners need to be aware of how often and what types of professional inspections are mandatory.
A major advantage of contracting a professional crane repair company is that these services can be provided outside of normal production times. This can save you a considerable amount of money by reducing production losses.
The best way to ensure that your overhead crane is safe to use is by instructing your crane operators to conduct a pre-operational check at the start of each shift.
Should any issues be discovered then your crane needs to be tagged as out-of-service until the necessary repairs can be carried out by a professional.
This inspection should include the following items:
- Confirm that the trolley, bridge, and hoist are moving as per the controller
- Inspect the hook for damage and test the hook latch
- Test that the brakes are working within the normal stopping distance
- Check that the limit switch is preventing the block from making contact with the crane
- Inspect the chain or wire rope for any damage
- Listen for any unusual noises while operating the crane
- Look for any signs of oil leakage
- Confirm safety labels are legible
The Crane, Hoist, and Monorail (CHM) Alliance has produced a pre-operational equipment check. This document explains in detail what operators need to check before they use your crane.
Follow Duty Cycles Restrictions
Crane operators need to always conform to the duty cycles associated with their particular model of crane. These limits are based on how frequently the crane is used and what the average loads are during normal operations.
The Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) provides guidelines on how to determine the duty cycle of your crane. It is important to follow these standards to avoid damaging the components of the specific crane you use.
By overloading your crane you can push the components beyond what they have been engineered to withstand. This will cause excessive wear and result in more frequent repairs, with all the associated costs!
If you are uncertain what size crane will best suit your needs the CMAA has put together an overhead crane buying guide to assist you with this process.
Frequent Overhead Crane Problems
The following problems are the most common issues that you are likely to have with your crane. Any sign of these issues means your crane needs immediate repair.
Alignment problems cause a huge amount of stress on the runway beams and your motor. This issue is easy to identify by inspecting the damage on the wheels and wheel flanges. Another indicator is if wheels float above the beams.
Wire Rope Damage
This often happens when the wire rope is not entering the receiving system properly. To identify any problems make sure you inspect your wire rope for any broken wires or kinks.
Having an undamaged hook is one of the most critical components for safe crane operations. Each hook is designed to lift a load in a certain way. Incorrect use can easily warp or crack your hook.
End Truck Wheel Damage
Monitoring your end truck wheels and knowing when you expect to replace them is a great early warning sign for more serious problems with your crane. Any premature wear is a clear indicator that there is an issue with your rail system.
The first sign of electrical problems is usually a blown fuse. This is most often the result of a damaged circuit. Another common electrical problems are irregular control failures. This usually happens when the brushes on the collector wear down.
Regular Maintenance and Service Periods
There are many benefits to making sure that your crane has a preventative maintenance program in place.
Frequent inspections by a professional should be conducted at least once a month for cranes operating under normal service conditions.
If your crane is used under heavy or severe service these inspections should be carried out much more regularly. For heavy service, this means once a week and for severe service, this means every day.
Periodic inspections provide a more in-depth assessment of your crane and are required every year for normal and heavy service conditions. Cranes under severe service require these inspections to be done quarterly.
Does Your Crane Need Repairs? Contact Shannahan Crane and Hoist St. Louis, MO
Our team of overhead crane repair and maintenance staff is always ready to service your crane. We know that the real cost of emergency repairs is the downtime your business suffers when your overhead crane is out of order.
For this reason, Shannahan Crane and Hoist have a 24-hour emergency maintenance team. We are available to repair your crane 7 days a week. Our team aims to be on-site within 2 hours for any emergency repair.
If you have an urgent repair call us at 800-291-4878.
Why wait for an emergency? Rather contact us now to provide professional overhead crane inspections and do preventative maintenance, before you have a problem.
Regular inspections and repairs can reduce production downtime and keep your crane operating smoothly. By identifying and replacing damaged parts you can stay ahead of any potential problems and prolong the lifespan of your crane.