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7 Common Problems Caused by Overhead Cranes and How to Avoid Them

Crane accidents result in loss of human life and can cost billions of dollars in property loss.

Unfortunately, many of the overhead crane accidents that occur could have been avoided with regular maintenance or proper operation.

We’ve gathered this list of seven of the most common problems seen in overhead cranes in hopes that you’ll avoid your own disaster on the job.

Keep reading to find out more about what to watch out for when using this potentially dangerous type of heavy machinery.

1. Damaged Wire Rope

Over time, the wire rope can become damaged due to normal wear and tear. It can also be damaged because of improper operation or environmental factors.

The three ways to tell a wire rope is too damaged to use are when you spot:

  • Birdcaging or unraveling of the strands
  • Corrosion
  • Visible damage

Immediately stop if you notice any of these during an inspection or operation.

2. Bent or Damaged Hooks

Another part of the overhead crane that can become damaged over time is the hook. Most often, these are damaged because of overloading. When they bend, there’s a higher chance they could break and lose the entire load.

3. Worn Out End Truck Wheels

The end truck wheels can become worn out naturally over time, or wear out more quickly than they should because of malaligned runways. Either way, if these wheels aren’t replaced as soon as necessary, it could spell disaster.

4. Malaligned Runways

If you hear loud scraping sounds, notice strange movements of the wheels or abnormal wear on the wheels, there’s a good chance the runways are malaligned. This is another problem with cranes that requires immediate attention.

5. Faulty Circuit

An overhead crane requires a large amount of power. Even so, it shouldn’t be blowing fuses regularly. If it is, it might have a faulty circuit which puts your entire team at risk.

6. Interrupted Contact

Another electrical problem many cranes have is with poor contact between the collector and the contact bars.

Interrupted contact can be caused by:

  • Alignment issues
  • Oxidization
  • Corrosion
  • Carbon graphite buildup

When contact is interrupted, it makes the crane far more difficult to operate, even for the most skilled of operators. This makes for a hazardous situation.

7. Electrical Hazards

This final common problem with overhead cranes has to do more with the operation of it rather than the crane itself.

When crane operators aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, they may come into contact with electrical lines. This can cause the entire crane to become electrified and often leads to the death of the operator and others nearby.

Want to Learn More About Over Head Crane Safety?

Now you know what some of the most common problems are with overhead cranes. Keep an eye out for these things, and you can help prevent a disaster in your company.

If you want to learn more about overhead crane safety, check out our blog. There are tons of posts there to help you better understand all types of heavy machinery.

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