Cranes and hoists are essential tools in many industrial applications. They make it easy to move bulky or heavy materials around the worksite, which increases efficiency and improves safety.
Given their vital role, it is important to maintain them properly. Otherwise, they may fail unexpectedly, which can lead to significant downtime and/or serious injury. That’s why all cranes and hoists should be inspected at least every 12 months for signs of failure. However, you should keep an eye out for signs of failure between annual inspections.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an organization that focuses on ensuring safe and healthful working conditions in various job fields. Regarding work that utilizes cranes and hoists, they provide guidelines on what to look out for in the equipment that may indicate it needs repairs.
Below, we highlight the top three signs your crane or hoist may need repairs.
1. It has damaged or worn parts.
Cracking, stretching, warping, and other signs of excessive wear can mean the performance and/or safety of your crane or hoist is compromised. These conditions can appear on various components of cranes and hoists, including bearings, chains, pins, rollers, shafts, sheaves and drums, and welds. It is vital to regularly check all of these components to ensure they are not damaged or worn.
In wet or humid environments, there is also a risk that metal components will corrode. As this can significantly diminish the integrity of the crane or hoist assembly, it is also important to look out for corroded parts.
Whether a part is damaged or worn, it is important to repair or replace it quickly before it can lead to equipment failure.
2. It has broken or loose parts.
Over time, crane and hoist parts can loosen or break. If left unchecked, the loose or broken parts may affect equipment performance and, eventually, cause catastrophic failure. For example, in cranes and hoists that use chains, the chain component eventually gets worn out. If it breaks during operation, heavy or bulky materials may fall on employees or equipment.
During regular equipment inspections, it is important to check both small and large parts. The former can be easy to overlook. Additionally, look for both broken and loose parts. While the broken parts may be obvious, the loose parts may go unnoticed until they fall out completely.
3. It has leaking parts.
In cranes and hoists, leaks can appear in engines, hoses, and cylinders. If and when they occur, they should be addressed immediately as they can lead to serious operational and safety concerns.
- In engines, leaks can cause issues with regular and emergency shutdown operations.
- In hoses, leaks can signify failure or imminent failure. They can be caused by blistering and deformation on the outer covering.
- In hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, leaks can cause drifting. They can be caused by dents, nicks, scores, and other damage to the rods, barrels, eyes, or joints.
Partner With ACECO for Your Crane and Hoist Repair Needs
Want to learn more about how to tell whether your crane or hoist needs repairs? Turn to the experts at ACECO!
At American Crane & Equipment Corporation, we manufacture standard and custom cranes, hoists, and other material handling equipment for various industries and applications. Our expert team has what it takes to meet virtually any load lifting and positioning needs.
In addition to our equipment offerings, we also provide a range of field services to help customers keep their tools running effectively and efficiently. These include:
- Load testing
- Preventative maintenance
Choosing a custom crane builder is a big decision. With so many important factors at play, it’s something that requires careful consideration. Before you commit to a manufacturer, there are several questions you should ask to get a better overview of what they do and the level of quality they offer in terms of service and the finished product.
What is your experience with similar projects?
Experience is important, but experience in your industry, as well as in custom cranes built with your application in mind is even better. Look for a history of satisfied clients in your industry.
Every industry has different regulations, requirements, and considerations, so the crane builder should understand what it’s like to be on your jobsite—and how to design a crane that does what you require.
How long will the crane last?
It’s essential to get the best materials and craftsmanship for your money, and you can’t compromise functionality to save costs. Doing so could lead to bigger headaches (and bigger expenses) down the road. Treating your custom crane as a long-term investment makes it easier to find an option that’s best suited for your application.
Certain materials offer more moisture, UV light, and chemical resistance than others. Think about how your crane is used and how material choices could impact the crane’s lifespan. Your crane builder should be able to pull from their experience to offer insight into how those various materials will perform under your jobsite’s conditions, and how long your crane can be expected to last under its expected workload.
What value added services do you offer?
From equipment upgrades and site support to OSHA compliance inspections, load testing, quality assurance, and more, the value added services your crane builder offers should indicate their primary focus in taking care of their customers. A manufacturer that goes above and beyond when it comes to their products and customer service ensures you’ll be completely satisfied with your finished product. Look for versatile manufacturers that support you throughout your crane construction process, from that first inquiry to long after your crane is at work on your jobsite.
What post-purchase costs will there be?
You should expect transparent pricing, so you have a clear understanding about the investment your crane will require. While the overall purchase and installation will be the major cost, regular maintenance is also critical to ensure your crane functions optimally for as long as it possibly can. Those maintenance costs are minimal compared to the cost of replacing a crane, but you’ll want to set aside a budget for maintenance and repair moving forward.
Different types of cranes require different maintenance routines, so you should consider these costs before you place an order. A reputable manufacturer will help you compare different models, their maintenance requirements, and any common issues that may arise, so you can budget accordingly and make a maintenance schedule to keep your crane running smoothly.
Find the Best Custom Crane Builder for Your Needs
Building a custom crane is an exciting endeavor, as you get to create a piece of equipment designed specifically for what you require. Choosing the right crane manufacturer will make the process simple and enjoyable.
At American Crane, we specialize in high-quality custom cranes for critical lifting, biofuel handling, bridge maintenance, warehousing, hazardous environments, reactor rooms, paper mills, wastewater treatment, and so many other applications. Contact us and ask us all the questions listed above—we’re happy to answer them for you—or request a quote for your project.
Overhead cranes are adaptable tools that are vital to the safety and success of numerous industries. They can be customized for any space, including challenging environments where space is limited, and greatly increase manufacturing abilities. As a leading manufacturer, American Crane has been designing innovative solutions to fit the specific requirements of many industries. Here, we discuss the six of the many industries we serve for overhead crane applications.
A popular use of overhead cranes within the automotive industry is on assembly lines. They move automotive materials along different stations until the end product is completely built, making assembly lines much more efficient. In the transportation industry, overhead cranes assist with unloading ships. They greatly increase the speed at which large items can be moved and transported.
The aviation industry is similar to transportation and shipbuilding in that heavy components are moved along an assembly line and precisely placed within an ongoing construction project. Cranes within the aviation industry are mainly used inside airplane hangars. Within this application, an overhead crane is the best option to move large and heavy machinery accurately and safely. Additionally, the reliability of overhead cranes makes them an excellent choice when dealing with expensive items because an unreliable crane presents costly delays.
Virtually everything in the concrete industry is large and heavy. Due to this fact, overhead cranes make everything easier. They are efficient at handling premix and precast and are much safer than using other types of equipment to move these items. Within the concrete manufacturing industry, bridge cranes are typically used inside the factory and gantry cranes in the yard.
Overhead cranes are essential to metal manufacturing, and are used for a variety of tasks. For example, they can be used to handle raw materials and melting buckets, or load finished sheets of metal. In this application, it is not only heavy or oversized materials that require a crane’s strength; cranes are also necessary to handle molten metal so workers can keep a safe distance. Specialized attachments can be added to move different types of metal products, such as spools of wire.
5. Power Plants
Power plants need to remain constantly functional, as any downtime can cause a blackout. For this reason, power plants must be capable of fixing any problem that might arise quickly. Overhead cranes are perfect for this application because they remain in place and are ready to be used the moment a problem arises. They also save valuable workspace and deliver a reliable performance that saves time and money on repairs.
Ships are complicated to build because of their size and shape. Moving large, heavy objects around inside an oddly shaped area can be nearly impossible without the right specialized equipment. An overhead crane makes it possible to freely move tools around a slanted hull. Most shipbuilding companies use wide overhead gantry cranes, which are excellent in heavy fabrication applications.
Learn More About Our Overhead Cranes
A vast number of industries rely on cranes to complete work safely and efficiently. Even within individual industries, there are numerous applications for industrial overhead cranes. If you work with large, heavy, or dangerous items or in a location where broken machinery needs to be fixed immediately, a non-movable crane is an excellent solution.
At American Crane, we believe that grit matters, and we persevere with integrity to deliver quality products. To learn more about our solutions for your specific application, request a quote or contact us today. You can also check out our product catalog and familiarize yourself with the products and specialized equipment we offer.