Virtually all crane owners understand the importance of professional maintenance and inspections – after all, both of those things are required by law. Yet it can be easy to overlook the role that you and your crane operators play in ensuring safe, consistent operation. Those who aren’t continually vigilant often find themselves dealing with cranes that don’t work properly.
To ensure a safe and well working crane, you and your crane operators must be sure to perform daily inspections before and after using your crane. If you would like to learn more about what such a safety check should involve, read on. This article will outline four key aspects of daily crane inspections.
Crane safety involves more than just the crane itself. It also involves ensuring that the area in which the crane will be operated is free from potential safety hazards. Begin your area inspection by ensuring only workers involved in operating the crane are in the area. The fewer people there are, the lower the chances that somebody will be unintentionally hurt during crane operation.
Next, visually inspect the area to ensure that the crane’s load will be able to travel along its course freely. There should be no obstacles in its pathway. There must be an appropriate amount of clearance in both the area where the load will be picked up and the area where it will be placed.
Now you may move on to inspect the various physical components of the crane itself. Your goal involves ensuring that none of the crane’s parts have become loose, broken, or otherwise damaged. Be sure to give a thorough visual inspection to all aspects of the crane, including the bridge, hoist, runway, and trolley.
The wire rope represents the single most important component of a crane, being responsible for supporting the load. Begin your wire rope inspection by taking a close look at the rope’s reeving. The rope should be seated properly in the center of any drum grooves it passes through. Likewise, there should be no twisting of the wires as they enter the bottom block.
Now take a walk around the bottom block, paying close attention to the wire. Look for any areas where the wire’s diameter seems reduced. A diameter reduction often indicates stretching, which can greatly reduce the wire rope’s strength. Also look for any of the following problems: broken wire strands, kinking, crushing, and other signs of damage.
Next, you will want to inspect the buttons and switches responsible for the operation of the crane. Make sure that the main pushbutton remains off while you perform these tests; you don’t want the crane to respond to any of your button pressing.
Push down each of the operations buttons in turn. They should move smoothly through their full range of motion, with no sticking or drag. As you release the button, it should snap quickly pack up to its undepressed position.
Next, you will perform a series of tests with the main pushbutton on. First, test the crane’s warning device for proper operation. Now, test that the hoist hook rises as it should when you move the control button to its up position. Test each of the buttons in this manner to ensure that the crane can move properly in every way.
Crane ownership requires great responsibility. Daily inspections are an important part of ensuring that your crane remains a safe and effective part of your tool arsenal. For more information about what it takes to keep a crane properly maintained, please don’t hesitate to contact our overhead crane experts at Advanced Crane Services.