Category Archive: News and Events Post

6 Tips for Increasing Crane Safety in Your Facility

Over the past 50 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) specifications for crane safety have remained relatively unchanged. To begin enhancing the training and safety opportunities in the overhead lifting industry, OSHA has recently renewed a five-year alliance with the Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance (CHM).

Crane SafetyThe partnership demonstrates OSHA’s confidence in CHM as a trusted resource in an ongoing effort to increase workers’ safety. In a recent EHS Today article, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels said, “Our alliance with CHM has been invaluable in helping to reduce and prevent serious or fatal incidents in the material handling industry.”

To follow the example that these industry leaders have set, here are six ways that you can increase crane safety within your own facility:

  1. Create Accountability with Your Inspection — Develop written guidelines for your crane and hoist inspection and maintenance programs; implement this code to train every operator on proper crane equipment use and safety protocol.
  2. Schedule Your Inspections — Create a pre-planned schedule to stay on top of equipment functionality through preventative maintenance. Having a schedule will help to avert any breakdown repairs by ensuring that your equipment always meets the necessary safety requirements.
  3. Read the Manual — It may sound silly, but it is crucial that every operator has read the manufacturers’ operation manuals. Implementing this practice will add an extra level of protection at your facility.
  4. Conduct Pre-Shift Inspections — Crane operators should understand the applicable OSHA, national, state, and local inspection requirements for their machinery and ensure that all products are in compliance with these specifications at the start of each shift.
  5. Implement a Lockout/Tagout Procedure — Lockout procedures safeguard employees by cutting equipment off from the energy source before any maintenance work. This precaution helps prevent accidental or unexpected operation from stored energy, as well as the resulting risk of injury.
  6. Know Your Equipment’s Limits — Employees should always be aware of crane load limits as well as the capacities of each payload.

By taking these simple precautions, you can increase everyday workplace safety for your operators. To learn more about how to increase crane safety in your facility, we invite you to download our maintenance troubleshooting guide, “What Your Cranes Wish You Knew.”

Download Your Free Crane Troubleshooting Guide

New Maintenance & Safety Resource Center

American Crane is proud to announce the launch of our completely redesigned website, which will facilitate user engagement with our content and give visitors a positive experience with every page view. One of the most important and helpful features of our new site is the revamped online resource center.

ResourcesFrom equipment drawings to case studies covering real-world applications of our material handling solutions, our recently redesigned resource center provides customers with the ultimate library of information. The content was developed especially with maintenance, safety, and operations managers in mind.

Over the decades of serving customers, we have accumulated innumerable industry insights and hours of hands-on experience. Now, with the new website, we will have one easy-to-access space where we can share all of this information with our customers. By reviewing our top resources, you’ll be able to learn about increasing your production efficiency and improving safety in your facility.

At American Crane, we provide everyday solutions to complex material handling challenges. Working across industries such as aerospace, food and beverage, oil and gas, nuclear, chemical, transit, and more, the American Crane team works hard to meet a variety of industry-specific compliances with products like clean room cranes and aerospace critical lifts.

We are a leading manufacturer of standard and custom crane systems, monorails, hoists, and other material handling equipment for a broad range of applications. Whether you need a small replacement part or an entirely customized system, the American Crane team can help you every step of the way.

For more information about crane terminology and important considerations to make before investing in a lifting system, we invite you to download an essential eBook from our new resource center, “How to Choose the Right Crane: A Crane Buyer’s Guide.” Be sure to check out the other resources on the new website as we continue adding to the library over time.

Can’t find a source you need or have any feedback to share regarding our latest materials? Let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Top 10 Crane Terms to Know

Choosing the right crane for your business can be challenging. If you are exploring different material handling systems for your company, here are the top 10 terms you will need to know to help narrow down the search:

1. C.M.A.A. – Crane Manufacturers Association of America, Inc. (formerly known as EOCI – Electric Overhead Crane Institute).

2. Critical Load – A load that, if released or moved without the proper control, could compromise the safety of the entire system. A crane lifting a critical load requires a single failure proof feature (defined below as term #8) so that any possible failure will remain isolated and not halt the rest of the load.

3. Top 10 CraneExplosion Proof Crane – Specially designed cranes with electrical components that keep any potential explosions contained within the components, therefore preventing any accidental ignition of hazardous materials in the surrounding air.

4. Flux Vector Drive – A closed loop system that uses an adjustable, incremental encoder to monitor the speed and direction of a crane’s motor shaft. This control provides systems lacking a mechanical load brake with more reliability and a greater range of speed.

5. Lift – The highest safe point at which the crane’s hook, magnet, and buck can move.

6. Load Block – The assembly of all crane accessories including the hook, swivel, bearing, sheaves, pins, and frame, suspended by the hoisting ropes.

7. Overhead Crane – A type of crane that works from an overhead fixed runway structure. It includes a moveable bridge carrying either a moveable or stationary hoisting mechanism.

8. Single Failure Proof – Mentioned earlier as a consideration for critical load (#2), single failure proof safety features ensure that the failure of one component will not compromise the rest of the load. The crane will maintain control of a critical load, even if one component fails.

9. Top Running Crane – A model of overhead traveling crane that runs along rails with truck ends attached to runway support beams.

10. Wheelbase – The length from the center of each wheel, measured parallel to the support rail.

The American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) is a leader in standard and custom cranes, hoists, and lift systems across various industries. With over 40 years of experience, American Crane thrives on a problem-solving culture to find the right system for your needs.

When you work with American Crane, you work with an entire team dedicated to strategizing your solution, including a project manager who understands material handlers’ language.

For more considerations to make when deciding on a lift system, we invite you to read our eBook, “The Crane Buyer’s Guide.” Inside the comprehensive resource, we’ve included the ultimate crane terminology glossary.

American Crane Donates 3,600 Pounds of Food to the Greater Berks Food Bank

We are proud to announce that we donated 3,600 pounds of food to the Greater Berks Food Bank (GBFB) this holiday season. We would like to extend a sincere thank you to our customers, whose help and kindness made this donation possible.

Last month, we announced the kickoff of our November food drive for the GBFB. For every parts order placed during the month of November, American Crane vowed to donate one can of food to the food bank to feed hungry families. GBFB, which commits to feeding over 60,000 people in Berks and Schuylkill counties each year, depends on donations like ours to meet its goals.

Food Donation“The standard equivalent for a meal is 1.2 pounds,” said Greater Berks Food Bank’s Manager of Marketing and Development Doug Long. “So, [the American Crane & Equipment Corporation] donation would equate to 3,000 meals for the hungry.”

Our team is committed to supporting our home community of Berks County, Pennsylvania. In addition to the food drive, our team’s regular outreach programs include participating in the Berks County Manufacturing Day (MFG) activities for students interested in manufacturing and engineering careers, running a Bike Build program for charity, and supporting other local campaigns.

Every project we conduct focuses on a spirit of collaboration, whether it’s for our business or the greater community. The American Crane team thrives on a problem-solving culture; we pride ourselves on finding solutions to complex material handling challenges and creating real customer impact by fostering creative diversity through trust, respect, and openness.

Buying a crane is a significant investment of both time and resources, so it is important to work with a collaborative, supportive team that will help guide you toward a solution. When you choose American Crane, you will work with a dedicated project manager and a team of experts. From the early stages of research to the final design and implementation, our seasoned team will ensure that your crane meets every engineering standard and unique specification. To learn more about working with the American Crane team, download our free eBook, “The Crane Buyer’s Guide.

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Manufacturing Day at American Crane

Berks County Celebrates Manufacturing on October 3rd

We couldn’t be more excited to join the Greater Reading Economic Partnership on October 3, 2015, to celebrate MFG Day. The nationwide event is designed to bring awareness to manufacturing training and careers. We’re thrilled to join the Berks Manufacturing Community for a day of great events.
MFG Day Logo

Students and guests will begin their morning at Reading Area Community College and the Schmidt Training and Technology Center. At Schmidt, guests will have the opportunity to meet representatives from different companies to talk about their unique facilities and the careers they offer before — or instead of — taking tours.

Tours are a pre-registered event. Remember that if you’d like to tour American Crane or any other Berks manufacturers, registration for the Berks Manufacturing Day is required.

We will be open for facility tours between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Guests will be able to see our in-house processes and six manufacturing bays firsthand. They will experience machining, material preparation, electrical assembly, welding, and more, in addition to a full tour at Brentwood’s facility.

Please wear closed shoes during the tour. Individuals 17 years old and under must have adult supervision. Additionally, all registrants are invited to bring up to 4 guests to the tour.

Last year, we were fortunate to host 35 Exeter High School students for MFG Day as part of a new STEM initiative. In addition to a tour and information session about cranes, the students were able to ask questions about different types of careers — electricians, machinists, mechanics, fitters, and designers, to start. Additionally, we covered the various types of engineers on our team: mechanical, electrical, structural and welding.

Participants involved in the Berks County Manufacturing Day event include:

  • American Crane and Equipment Corporation
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • Brentwood Industries
  • Cambridge-Lee Industries
  • Carpenter
  • East Penn Manufacturing
  • Reading Plastic Fabricators
  • Remcon Plastics
  • And many more!

We strongly believe that programs like MFG Day and STEM Education are essential to the future of manufacturing. Our industry depends upon inspiring and educating young people, and we want to give them every opportunity to learn.

Though American Crane has participated in the national event before, we are proud to join with local educators, economic partners, and manufacturers for the first-ever dedicated Berks Manufacturing Day. Having over 20 facilities involved in the program is inspiring for both students and the community overall, and offers plenty of unique opportunities for tours and career exploration.

 We are committed to mentoring aspiring engineers because we believe that it is part of our job and our future as a company and a community. Find out more about our facility tours and register for the 2015 Berks Manufacturing Day by clicking here. We look forward to meeting you on October 3rd.Manufacturing Day Post Card_eletronic

Famous Cranes & Hoists in Hollywood: Service to the Stars

Hollywood glamour isn’t just for the stars. Some of our favorite flicks feature hard-working cranes and hoists, both on and off-screen. Check it out!

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Director: James CameronHollywood Film Set

Year: 1991

Notable Scene: In the iconic final scene of the second Terminator film, the T800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sacrifices himself for the good of humankind in spectacular, tear-jerking style: by being lowered into a vat of molten, flaming metal by Sarah Connor — on a chain hoist using a pendant station.

Did you know? The steel mill used for shooting had been closed for over ten years, but the effects were so convincing that some of the plants former workers thought it was up and running again. (h/t IMDB,

Jurassic Park

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1993

DinosaurNotable Scene: No one wants to get close enough to turn into the raptors’ dinner. As per the original park design (raptors being contained in an enclosure, that is), the feeding process involves a live cow being lowered into the pen by an overhead crane —and only the mangled below-the- hook equipment returning.

Did you know? According to Fandango, the price tag on a bonafide real life Jurassic Park is $23,432,400,000 in USD. That includes $200,000,000 a year for dinosaur food. (h/t IMDB,

Tommy Boy

Director: Peter Segal

Year: 1995

Notable Scene: Tommy Callahan III, Chris Farley’s ill-equipped auto parts factory heir, makes an excellent impression with his karate skills — on a series of moving monorail cranes.

Did you know? Reuniting a team of talent from “Saturday Night Live,” the film is stacked with Easter Eggs and references, including Marquette University (Chris Farley’s real-life alma mater) and a preview for Naked Gun 33 1/3, another film by director Peter Segal. (h/t IMDB,

American Crane’s Star-Powered Inventory

With decades of experience connecting business in a wide range of industries with cranes for almost any application, American Crane has seen it all. Contact us today to find out how we can provide you with the cranes you need…even one with a star-studded Hollywood pedigree!

Clean Room Cranes: Applications & Features

American Crane and Equipment Corporation was recently contracted to build a critical lift crane. We produced a customized 25 Ton Top Running Double Girder Crane, which was installed at the Kennedy Space Center and used to build the Orion spacecraft.

This crane was not only a critical lift crane, but it was also a clean room crane.

Clean Room

A clean room is a manufacturing environment that, because of product requirements, must be kept as free from environmental pollutants as possible. Industries that commonly have clean room requirements include the electronics, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and, as was the case with the Orion spacecraft, aerospace industries.

The food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries produce products that are ingested by humans, so those products must be contaminate-free. Products produced in the electronics and aerospace industries are sensitive and could fail if exposed to contamination during production.

Because freedom from contamination is so important to the products developed in clean rooms, all equipment introduced into clean rooms — including critical lift cranes — must comply with strict clean room standards.

American Crane’s Clean Room Features

To meet NASA’s stringent clean room standards, American Crane designed their critical lift crane with these special features:

  • All fasteners are stainless steel and self-locking to ensure that no bolts or debris fall from the crane
  • The walkways are equipped with continuous kick plates to capture any dirt or debris
  • Stainless steel diamond-shaped track is used with the festoons to eliminate places that debris could gather
  • The runway conductor bars are covered in extruded plastic to prevent debris from escaping
  • There is a debris shield underneath the lower block to prevent any wire rope debris from reaching components of the Orion spacecraft
  • All electrical enclosures are shielded to ensure that no RFI or EMI reach the spacecraft
  • All axes of movement have extremely slow speeds, less than two inches per minute, to allow for the successful mating of critical components without risk of collision or damage
  • The crane control system utilizes a “watchdog” PLC system that checks each movement against what the operator commanded and stops erroneous motion.

For more information about American Crane and how we can custom build cranes that meet your clean room requirements, contact us today.

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How to Improve Safety & Efficiency with Aerospace Critical Lifts

When you have an aerospace critical lift that could impact your project or the environment, it’s doubly important to follow all the proper procedures for safety and compliance. Many people are unsure of the exact legal requirements and the best way to ensure compliance. Here is a brief rundown on managing critical aerospace lifts.

Identifying Critical Lifts

A lift is considered critical if it has one or more of the following characteristics:

Improve Safety & Efficiency

  1. If loss of control over the lifted item could invoke a declaration of a site emergency per the governing regulations such as NASA-STD- 8719.9.
  2. If the item to be lifted is vital to the project schedule or irreplaceable.
  3. If the item is lost during the lift, the resulting impact on cost or schedule might jeopardize program commitments.
  4. If the lift occurs in close proximity to items that fit any of the definitions in items 1 through 3.
  5. If the load exceeds 80 percent of the crane’s capacity, it is critical. If two cranes are used and the lift weight exceeds 75 percent of the rated capacity of one of the cranes, it is also considered critical.

Aerospace Critical Lift Requirements

If your planned lift fits into any of these categories, you are required to take certain safety precautions. The precautions may vary depending on the characteristics of the lift, but almost every aerospace critical lift will require specific safety precautions.

Lift Supervisor

This person is responsible for ensuring that every member of the lift team understands their role and has the proper training. The Lift Supervisor must also confirm that the equipment has been properly inspected and has the right safety ratings to safely carry out the lift plan.

Safety Representative

The Safety Representative cannot be the same individual as the Lift Supervisor. The Safety Representative is responsible for reviewing and checking all inspections, the lift plan, and must be on site during the lift to monitor the process and ensure adherence to the plan.

Critical Lift Plan

The Critical Lift Plan includes both a Hazard Report and a Lift Procedure. The entire team, but especially the Lift Supervisor and the Safety Representative should be familiar with the details of the plan.

Safety Review Meeting

Before undertaking the lift, the team must hold a Safety Review Meeting to ensure that all team members have a firm grasp on their roles and all lift procedures. The meeting can be held up to two weeks prior to the lift for very complex lifts, but two to three days is more common.

Equipment Requirements

For aerospace critical lifts, you must use equipment rated to handle the necessary load plus a margin of error. The equipment must meet these requirements whether it is leased or owned and must meet  minimum load rating for every item used in the lift, including rigging, jigs, cables and hoists.

American Crane Aerospace Equipment is designed to meet the requirements of aerospace critical lifts. American Crane Critical Lift Cranes are designed for durability, reliability and safeguarding equipment during lifts and to comply with appropriate industry guidelines. With over 40 years of experience designing and building the industry’s most respected cranes, American Crane products offer custom design and fabrication and a complete in-house quality assurance program to comply with standards. Before shipment, all cranes are completely tested and fully assembled to meet CMAA duty cycle requirements.


You must have certificates of inspection and original rating certificates for all equipment. These should be part of the Lift Plan and reviewed and validated in the Safety Meetings.

If you are responsible for managing a project or program that may include an aerospace critical lift, consider working with the experienced team at American Crane. Our team of experts provide high quality equipment, safety and reliability in every aerospace critical lift.

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American Crane’s Online Store Offers a Variety of Standard and Customized Products

From construction to nuclear power, waste handling and warehousing, there are thousands of different applications for cranes.  American Crane has something in our inventory that can assist you with your heavy-lifting needs.  View our online store to see what we can do for you.

Meeting Your Heavy-Lifting Needs

American Crane can provide a wide variety of equipment for any application.  Whether it is for cargo-handling or bridge repair travellers, we have the equipment that you need.  Along with our in-house brand of equipment, we also provide products from manufacturers such as:

  • American Crane StoreBudgit® Hoists
  • Columbus McKinnon®
  • Yale® Hoists
  • Coffing® Hoists
  • Little Mule®
  • And Many Others

Our staff of highly-trained engineers will provide their expertise and skills to design cranes that meet all the demands of the applications for which they are being used.  Structural design analyses, dynamic modelling and other tests are conducted to ensure that your cranes can stand up to the task.

Custom Cranes for Specialized Jobs

One crane doesn’t fit all types of jobs.  Sometimes the workspace is unusual and requires something out of the ordinary.  Maybe your factory has low ceilings, but needs a crane to lift some of the heavy equipment or stock, or you handle hazardous materials.  American Crane can manufacture the material handling equipment that you need to keep your business running smoothly and safely.

We offer a wide variety of crane types including:

  • Single and multiple girder cranes
  • Open deck hoisting machinery
  • Gantry cranes
  • Jib cranes

These cranes can be customized to fit any type of job needs you may have up to a 1,000-ton capacity.  No matter what the application for your new crane, American Crane will be able to provide a pre-engineered or custom-engineered crane to suit your industrial handling requirements.

Cranes Parts and More

The American Crane product catalog offers over 80,000 items to ensure that any needs you have for repairs or new equipment are met.  Tractor drives, bases and counterweights, bridges, motors and more are all available to get your crane functioning normally again.  From something as small as a switch to much larger parts, we are able to assist you in keeping your business running smoothly.

Click here or select the button below to browse our online store’s inventory.

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Join Us At The Used Fuel Management Conference!

Did you know that nuclear energy generates on-demand electricity around the clock? Not only is nuclear energy’s potential huge for providing power to millions around the world, but it is also essential in keeping the environment healthy as well. As climate change continues to make headlines, the need for reliable, clean and efficient energy is only going to become more essential.Used Fuel Management

With that in mind, American Crane & Equipment Corporation, a leading manufacturer of cranes, hoists and other material handling equipment, is pleased to attend the upcoming Used Fuel Management Conference, which will be held May 5-7 at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. The Used Fuel Management Conference is hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute, or NEI, of which American Crane is a proud member. The purpose of the conference is to help educate fellow NEI members and non-members on the importance of nuclear energy and how to operate an efficient facility.

Monumental for Fuel and Energy

The Used Fuel Management Conference is one of the premier industry events for the likes of nuclear plant managers, fuel storage project managers, licensing and compliance personnel, architect engineers and more. At Booth 1101, American Crane will be highlighting its cranes, hoists and specialized lift systems for the commercial nuclear industry.

“We’re really pleased to attend the Used Fuel Management Conference,” says Jami Rubendall, Vice President, Commercial Nuclear, American Crane & Equipment Corporation. “As the premiere event in nuclear energy, and as proud members of the Nuclear Energy Institute, we look forward to meeting like-minded professionals and showcasing how American Crane equipment can help their plants operate at maximum efficiency.”

The Used Fuel Management Conference will kick off Tuesday, May 5 at 7:30 a.m. for registration before the sessions begin from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Later that day, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., a welcome reception will be hosted by the NEI. Conference sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 and then conclude with 8 a.m. to noon hours on Thursday, May 7. On-site registration is $775 for NEI members and $1,350 for non-members.

Stop by Booth 1101 at the Used Fuel Management Conference to see how American Crane & Equipment Corporation can help with your operations. See you in sunny Florida at the Omni ChampionsGate! To learn more about American Crane’s products and services for the commercial nuclear industry, visit our nuclear industry resources page.