Dependable equipment is critical to your business. It keeps processes running, protects materials, and increases employee safety. Forklifts must be well-balanced and overhead cranes must be sturdy and steady enough to lift heavy loads. Unfortunately, in spite of safety standards, cranes are often pushed beyond their limits. Like all equipment, cranes wear down over time, and as they do, their capacity decreases.
What can you do when your overhead crane is no longer up for the work you need it to do? You can replace your crane or you can rebuild it. In this blog post, we’ll look of the benefits and drawbacks of each solution to help you make the best decision for your company.
In the short run, it’s tempting to opt for the quicker, less expensive option of repairing equipment as issues arise. Depending on the cause of the problem, however, however, these up-front savings could impact your crane’s long-term performance and reduce employee safety over the long haul.
Here are some signs it’s time to allocate funds for a new crane:
- Safety issues. Don’t compromise on employee safety. Track the frequency of injuries and breakdowns, especially if you can’t pinpoint the cause of these problems. If you’re not sure whether these issues are substantial enough to require a replacement, contact a professional to inspect your crane and make a recommendation.
- Repeated repairs.An occasional repair doesn’t mean it’s time to scrap your crane. However, if repairs are becoming a regular ritual or each fix just seems to lead to more problems, it’s probably time to either replace your crane or replace key parts.
- Decreasing efficiency.Take a look at your crane’s performance data. Has its speed or weight-bearing ability dropped over time? Has operating the crane become more difficult for your workers? While these changes might seem minor at first, they can ultimately affect the effectiveness and profitability of your operation.
- Expired warranties.If the warranty on a part or system has expired, its best days are probably behind it. Many parts also have manufacturer-recommended replacement timelines. It’s best to replace expired components as soon as possible.
If your crane is structurally strong and free of deterioration or damage, rebuilding could extend its life without sacrificing safety or effectiveness. An overhaul or upgrade might be all you need to minimize malfunctions, increase dependability, comply with safety standards, and protect your operators.
Here are some situations where an otherwise sound crane might be a good candidate for repair/rebuild.
- Insufficient capacity. Older cranes had limited weight capacities, but technology improvements
over the past couple of decades mean that many older cranes can be retrofitted to handle heavier loads.
- A specific system has broken down.Individual crane systems deteriorate over time. Once-adequate systems might also no longer be up to the demands of modern manufacturing. By updating lift, drive control, hydraulic, computer, or other systems, you could give an otherwise sound crane many more good years.
- Safety features have worn down. Railings, walkways, steps, ladders, and other safety features may wear out long before your crane does. Upgrading these features allows you to continue using your crane while still complying with relevant safety standards.
Crane Repair and Replacement From American Crane
The experts at American Crane are ready to help you find the optimal overhead lifting solution for your facility. We offer an extensive range of repair services, or if you think it may be time to replace your overhead crane we’ll schedule a professional consultation with our crane technicians and evaluators. Please contact us with any questions or concerns about repair or replacement.
Want to read more? Download our Crane Buyers Guide to learn more about the upgrades or replacements we offer for your applications.