Crane Modernization Upgrades: When Is It Time?

When you make a significant investment in equipment like an overhead crane, you know that investment will last for years and pay off dividends.

Like with any machinery, technology evolves, and new features appear on newer cranes. Does that mean that you have to get a brand new crane? No, but you can upgrade or modernize your crane for far less money.

Keep reading to find out if it’s time for your company to upgrade your overhead crane.

1. Wear and Tear of Crane Components

Over time, the components of an overhead crane will experience wear and tear. Pads will get worn down, and ropes can start to fray.

For older cranes, you have to take into account lost time and production to have the crane out of service. You would be better off modernizing the crane, rather than have it out of service frequently for repairs.

2. Issues Discovered During Inspection

During daily or periodic overhead crane inspections, problems may appear. If there were issues discovered during the inspection, they need to be addressed before you put the crane back into service.

That could require part replacement or upgrade.

3. Change in Operations

Your business may be experiencing a change in operations, which means that your lifting requirements have changed, too.

For example, a crane may need to make more lifts each shift, or you need to lift different types of materials than before. These changes could impact the load factor of the crane and cause more wear and tear on parts.

You want to make sure that your overhead crane is upgraded to meet the needs of your changing business operations.

4. Replacement Parts May Be Discontinued

As cranes get older and manufacturers release newer overhead crane models with updated features, your crane may no longer be supported.

Manufacturers may stop making replacement parts for older cranes, choosing to focus on their current line of cranes.

In this case, you’ll want to upgrade your crane and stock up on replacement parts.

5. Make Safety Improvements

Safety is always a priority for your business and your workers. It may be time to perform an upgrade to meet changing safety standards.

Since the technology of cranes is improving, safety standards of various industry organizations like ASME change as well. You can upgrade your overhead crane to meet these changes.

Upgrade Your Overhead Crane

An overhead crane can be challenging to maintain, especially as it gets older. Crane technologies change, and new features are added all the time.

The ways you can tell if an overhead crane needs an upgrade is if there is wear and tear of the components, replacement parts are being phased out, or if you want to improve the safety of the crane.

Would you like to know more about overhead crane parts to upgrade your crane? Contact our sales team today.

Top 3 Signs Your Overhead Crane is Due For Inspection

On overhead crane is a significant investment that you want to see last for years to come.

Overhead cranes may seem indestructible, but they require inspection, maintenance, and repair, just like any other piece of equipment or machinery.

Not doing so can result in accidents and injuries. There are about 200 crane-related deaths a year, mostly due to a worker being hit by an object from a crane.

Read on to learn the top signs that your overhead crane is due for inspection.  

1. Poor Records of Crane Inspections and Maintenance

It can be challenging to run a construction operation and keep adequate records of your equipment. OHSA requires that you maintain records of your inspections for seven years.

If you find that your inspection records are inadequate, your best bet is to start over and schedule an overhead crane inspection.

Your company should have checklists that show daily inspections for excessive wear and deterioration. Monthly inspection checklists should check for wear as well as inspecting rope and connections for wear.

Your records should also include what precautions and remedies were taken if your inspections showed any signs of repair or wear.

2. OHSA’s Standards

OHSA has strict standards that you need to abide by when it comes to overhead crane maintenance and inspection. You need to comply with OSHA’s standards and show that you have made inspections daily, monthly, and periodically.

There are some variations as far as periodic inspection goes. It depends on how and often the crane is in use.

OSHA’s guidelines also say that a crane that has been out of service between 1-6 months has to be inspected before resuming service.

For overhead cranes that used in normal conditions, they can undergo an annual inspection. Cranes that see heavy service should be inspected twice a year. A crane used in extreme circumstances should have quarterly inspections.

3. Damaged Parts or Recent Repairs

Has your overhead crane show signs of wear and tear? If something shows up in the inspection, the overhead crane needs to be taken offline before the crane can go back into service.

If your overhead crane had worn parts replaced or you see that parts are starting to show signs of wear and tear, you should have your overhead crane inspected before it’s in service.

Anything that appears loose or damage, such as frayed wires or hooks need to be repaired and inspected.

Get Your Overhead Crane Inspected

In a busy construction firm, it can be easy to let things fall through the cracks or put off things like an overhead crane inspection.

The more you put this off, the more likely it is that there will be an accident. That can cause injury to your employees and bystanders.

It’s a necessity to have your overhead crane regularly inspected to meet OSHA’s safety guidelines and the guidelines of your crane’s manufacturer.

Contact us today to schedule an overhead crane inspection today.

Stop! 3 Tips For Overhead Crane Safety

You’re using an overhead crane to move a few heavy tools from one place to another in your facility. Suddenly one of the objects slips out of the sling and falls to the ground below.

Luckily, none of your employees were hurt — this time. Overhead cranes are an easy and effective way of moving items throughout your facility, but if you don’t take the correct safety precautions, using them could end in disaster.

Safety needs to be your top priority no matter what machinery you’re using. To help you keep your workplace safe for everyone, here are three critical overhead crane safety tips.

1. The Hoists Need to be Maintained 

The quickest way to experience disaster when using overhead cranes is neglecting to maintain your hoists. Without regular testing, you’ll never know how much weight your hoists can take at one time. 

It’s also a known fact that machines get old. Moving parts do wear out after a while. Without maintenance, you won’t be aware when these parts start breaking down. 

To avoid danger, take care of your machines and get them checked regularly. 

2. The Slings or Attachments Should be Secured 

A lot of accidents involving overhead cranes could have been avoided if the slings had been appropriately secured. When you fail to make sure everything is secure, the heavy items could slip out and go crashing to the ground. You can only guess what happens if there were a bunch of employees in the way. 

Some hoists use a hooked latch. If you don’t close it all the way, the items can slip out like in the example above. While you’re at it, make sure any other attachments for the hoist are appropriately sized and are nice and secure on the hook saddle. 

3. Notify Your Employees of the Possible Risk

The easiest thing that you can do to avoid risk is to keep your employees informed of the danger at all times. Place “hoist danger” signs around the area, so that workers are aware that lifts are swinging above their heads. 

Training is also essential. All employees should be aware of necessary safety procedures like not walking under a full load. The employees in charge of operating the crane should know not to hover heavy items over the workers on the ground. 

Overhead Crane Safety Tips to Keep in Mind During Every Job 

While using an overhead crane to transport heavy items in your facility can be convenient, it can also be dangerous if done incorrectly. Use these safety tips to keep yourself and your employees aware so that you can avoid disaster in your workplace. 

Part of keeping your employees safe is making sure all your machine parts are up to date. Contact us to ask us questions about our products or request a quote!

OSHA Compliance and Overhead Crane Inspection

Over half of all overhead crane fatalities involved injuries from objects or parts falling from cranes.

To avoid this type of injury and fatality, OSHA created a list of guidelines regarding the use and maintenance of overhead cranes. OSHA compliance should be one of your biggest priorities to protect the safety of your workers.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can become OSHA-compliant and how crane inspection can help you save the lives of your employees.

How to Achieve OSHA Compliance

We’re going to jump right into how you can achieve compliance with OSHA. As you’ll see, there are only a few steps, but each one will require a lot of work. Keep in mind that putting in this work is well worth the effort.

1. Know the Standards

Before you can adhere to the standards, you have to know what they are. Take your time in reading through the OSHA overhead crane standards to see which ones apply to your particular business.

These standards will determine what you need to do for the rest of the process.

2. Set up Inspections

One of the most important things you can do to comply with OSHA’s standards is to have regular inspections done of your overhead cranes. There are two types of inspection schedules that you need to follow.

Frequent Inspections

These should be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis on all cranes that are in regular use. You’ll need to check that your cranes are working correctly and that all parts are in good repair.

Periodic Inspections

These inspections are done quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. In some cases, it involves carefully checking parts like brakes and fire extinguishers. It may also require a thorough inspection of cranes that are not in regular use.

3. Follow Manufacturer’s Recommendations

In your crane’s logbook, you should be keeping track of the manufacturer’s recommendations for every part of your crane. These will need to be inspected or replaced in different timeframes, so you need to know when to do these.

4. Perform Preventative Maintenance

In addition to inspecting your crane and parts, you also need to be performing routine maintenance on it. This will help keep everything in good working order and allow you to continue to comply with OSHA standards.

This is another area in which you’ll have to check for manufacturer’s recommendations to see how often parts need to be serviced and what needs to be done for them.

5. Ensure All Personnel Are Qualified

Every person that works in or around your overhead crane should have the proper certifications. OHSA requires that all crane operators have the appropriate training to reduce the chances of workplace accidents from happening.

Don’t forget to restrict access to cranes by using a keycard system and locking doors whenever possible.

Need an Overhead Crane Inspection?

Now you know the five things you need to do to ensure OSHA compliance for your overhead crane operation. As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved, but it’s worth it for the safety of your workers.

If you need an inspection to meet OSHA guidelines, ask us about our overhead crane inspection services.

Protecting Your Workers and Facility: Overhead Crane Safety

There is an average of 71 fatal accidents involving cranes in the United States every year.

It’s essential to understand overhead crane safety to avoid injury or death to your workers. By following these simple tips, you can help prevent numerous workplace accidents.

Keep reading to learn more about overhead crane operation and how to ensure the safety of everyone in your company.

1. Set up Daily Inspections

You should be doing a full, in-depth inspection of your crane every single day. Everything that’s checked should be noted in a log book where anything unusual is written.

Some things to check every day include:

  • Operating mechanisms
  • Lines, tanks, and valves
  • Hooks
  • Hoist chains and ropes
  • Slings

Any unusual findings should immediately be addressed, and the crane should never be operated if there are any suspicions that it may not be working correctly.

2. Inspect Before Every Lift

You should also be doing a quick visual inspection before every lift. This ensures nothing unusual has happened since the previous lift. It also allows you to make sure the loading area is clear of anything that could interfere with the next lift.

3. Always Confirm Suitability

If you always lift the same amount of weight with your crane, you can skip this step. However, if you are frequently moving objects of different weights, you need to ensure that your crane is capable of lifting them safely.

Carefully check everything from the type of motor you have to the sling and hook before lifting something. If you attempt to lift something heavier than what your crane can handle, the lift could end in disaster.

4. Use Clear Communication

In most cases, you won’t be able to speak directly to the crane operator. That’s why it’s crucial to have a qualified crane operator signal person on the ground.

This person should know the proper hand signals needed to safely direct the crane operator, so the job is completed without putting anyone in danger.

You’ll also want to communicate with everyone on the ground when a load is going up. This allows workers to clear the area while the crane is in operation.

5. Limit Crane Access

Speaking of qualified personnel, access to the crane must be limited to only those who know how to operate it. In the wrong hands, an overhead crane can be deadly. Use locks and keycards to restrict crane access.

6. Minimize Load Swing

Make sure your crane operators are both qualified and skilled at operating a crane. This means they can smoothly move the load to minimize the amount of moving it does.

When the load swings, it puts unnecessary pressure on components and can create an unsafe work environment.

7. Keep Equipment Clean

This should go without saying, but avoid storing slings and other crane equipment on the floor. By keeping everything clean, you can keep it in good working order which will decrease the chances of failure.

Learn More About Overhead Crane Safety

Now you have a list of ways you can ensure the safety of yourself and your employees when using cranes.

Learn more about overhead crane safety; check out our article on small mobile crane maintenance. There, you’ll find additional information on how you can keep your crane running the way it should.

What Are the Different Types of Cranes and Which One Is Right for You?

Cranes help us lift heavy objects with ease.

Without them, getting construction and manufacturing jobs done would be more difficult and time-consuming.

There are different cranes for different situations, and it’s important to know which one is right for you.

Continue reading to learn about the various types of cranes.

1. Mobile Crane

The mobile crane is a telescopic boom on a mobile platform. The fact that this crane has mobility makes it versatile. It’s a standard part of bridge, building, and highway constructions.

2. Floating Crane

This kind of crane is mainly used for offshore jobs and remains in a fixed position. They have a high lifting capacity of 9,000 tons, making it possible for them to get entire sunken ships out of the water. They are for bridge and port constructions.

3. Telescopic Crane

A telescopic crane incorporates hydraulics to change the height of the boom. These types of cranes are especially good at lifting objects to or from a high place. A telescopic handler crane has something like a forklift attached to the end.

4. Harbor Crane

A harbor crane is located in ports. It loads and unloads ship materials safely because of its power. They can have a lifting capacity of around 154 tons.

5. Crawler Crane

The advantages of the crawler crane are that they move on tracks and can lift up to 3,500 tons. They’re able to work on hard or soft dirt because of the tracks.

6. Rough Terrain Crane

Rough terrain cranes are like they sound. They are for off-road construction sites. They move on four large tires and have one engine that powers the crane and the undercarriage.

7. All Terrain Crane

All terrain cranes can have the same purpose as a rough terrain crane, while also being able to work on a smooth surface. They can have 8 to 18 tires. This larger amount benefits the balance of the vehicle that moves the crane.

8. Truck Mounted Crane

These types of cranes are great for a site that requires a crane for a limited number of things. The crane is mounted on a truck, so it can travel on highways rather than needing another truck to transport it. The lifting capacity is up to 50 tons.

9. Level Luffing Crane

A level luffing crane is fixed in a shipyard. It has a hinged jib that moves the crane hook inwards and outwards while keeping it level. These cranes unload ships and move cargo containers.

10. Railroad Crane

Railroad cranes are designed to travel on railroad tracks for maintenance and repairs. The boom can reach up to 100 feet and can lift 250 tons.

11. Aerial Crane

Aerial cranes are moved by what looks like a helicopter. The actual crane is a series of cables that attach to and carry material. A large advantage is that they can pick up or drop off a load at any place.

An aerial crane might be used to bring materials to a skyscraper or rescue a ship crew in the middle of the ocean.

12. Tower Crane

These cranes are used for constructing tall buildings and can reach from 230 feet to 265 feet. They are attached to the ground by concrete and bolts.

Connecting them to the building in construction will stop the crane from moving and possibly falling over. Their lifting capacity is up to 20 tons.

13. Loader Crane

A loader crane is an addition to a truck or trailer that is used to load materials in the vehicle or unload them. The crane can be compacted when it isn’t needed. The highest lifting capacity is 200 tons.

Choosing from the Types of Cranes

To pick the type of crane that is right for you, consider the kind of job it is and where the site is. Never forget crane safety when operating a crane. If you have any questions, contact us by filling out a form or call (888) 256-7725.

Hang Tight: How To Maintain Your Small Mobile Crane

The most common cause of crane accidents involve issues with the boom, the hook-lift, and heavy counterweights.

Operating a crane is difficult and requires expertise. Owning a crane, however, requires regular maintenance, a keen eye, and diligence.

If you possess a crane and want a quick introduction to small mobile crane maintenance, this article is for you. Here, we break down some of the best actions you can take to keep your machinery up and running.

Ready to find out more? Add these items to your checklist.  

Maintaining a Small Mobile Crane

Although some maintenance is required by law, understanding what to look for and when to do it saves you lots of money in the long run.

1. Use the Logbook

It seems obvious, but this is too important to gloss over.

Use the logbook, and have every single operator use it, too.

This ensures if anything suspicious pops up, it’s logged so that you have a clear foundation for troubleshooting. Furthermore, logging lets owners see the last time the machinery was inspected.

Logging makes keeping track of routine and required maintenance much simpler.

2. Lubricate Regularly

Lubricating the main parts, especially the boom, is easy. Unfortunately, not many workers do it.

Why?

Because it takes a few hours, however, those couple of hours are nothing compared to the lost production you’ll suffer if your crane stops working.

Lubricate the following once a week to maintain optimal performance:

This weekly step saves owners money and time in the long run.

3. Conduct Pre-Operation Checks

It doesn’t take long to do a visual check of the crane before operating it. Make it a company policy to conduct an inspection using a checklist that adheres to your model.

Some points to consider for these inspections include:

  • Fluid levels
  • Cracks
  • Any oil or grease on the clutch lining or brakes
  • Tire pressure
  • Fastener tightness and stripped threads
  • Rust or wear, especially on the chassis

These visual checks alert operators to any problems before they begin work.

4. Replace Filters and Oil

Contaminants are the biggest enemy to hydraulic machinery. That’s why it’s important you not only check for contaminants each week but also make sure you’re replacing filters and oil on time.

Follow your manual’s guidelines. If you replace these too early, you’re spending unnecessary funds. If you replace them late, you might have bigger things to worry about.

Don’t forget to check the air filters regularly.

5. Conduct Overload Tests

A standard error that results in injury is overweighted cranes. Therefore, conduct overload tests with every inspection for optimal crane safety.

Overload tests are mandatory in certain circumstances, but by conducting one with each primary inspection, you’ll increase production and keep workers safe.  

Since it’s a common issue, it’s well worth the investment.

Hang Tight for More

These starter tips help owners of small mobile cranes form good habits. With these five suggestions, you’ll enjoy more production, greater safety, and fewer repairs.

Owning a crane comes with responsibility. Part of that accountability involves understanding the equipment you and your employees work with.

Although this article provides excellent starter information, there’s much more to learn.

Are you curious about other common issues to watch out for? Then read our article about frequent problems of overhead cranes.

Don’t let your crane hang loose.  

How to Maintain Your Hoist Motor

Everyone feels like a little kid when walking near a crane. They’re like metal dinosaurs that build things.

It’s easy to lose that sense of a hoists’ majesty and awesomeness if you work around them all the time. And this can also have the dastardly effect of making you forget to maintain your hoist.

If not properly maintained, a hoist can be deadly. Crane-Related injuries kill about 71 workers a year.

Let’s keep you and your crew safe. Today we’re going to talk about how to keep that hoist motor running smoothly. Let’s break it down.

1. Hoist Motor Corrosion

Depending on the outdoor environment you’re working in, the elements will likely attack your motor. Often corrosion is rust. There are other kinds of corrosion, batteries being the other culprit.

Rust happens when metals oxidize. Unless metal has a protective coating, moisture and oxygen will react with the metal and cause rust.

When installing your crane or hoist, be aware of what parts of the motor will contact the elements. If it’s directly in the rain, you’re more likely to see rust develop.

When not using your motor, cover it. While most of the components should have a protective layer, either epoxy paint or plastic covering, you want to minimize weather impact.

There could be hidden damage to your motor. Be sure to disassemble what you can and thoroughly inspect your motor.

2. Run the Equipment Even When Not in Use

Just like airplanes are made to fly and will break down if not in use, cranes will break down if not operated.

Why? The heat from the motor evaporates excess moisture.

This will prevent corrosion as well.

Assign this task to someone on your crew. Or schedule a quick rundown on the equipment daily.

Run the crane for a least fifteen minutes a day. This will allow the motor to warm up sufficiently to cause excess moisture to evaporate.

3. Keep the Chain Clean and Lubricated

Most cranes use a chain to hoist objects into the air. If the chain gets rusty or dirty, it won’t roll through the mechanism well. Any extra resistance in the chain setup will wear on the motor.

How often should you clean your chain and lubricate it? Only once a year.

You’ll need to disassemble the housing before you can clean the chain. In busy operations, this could mean a whole day of lost productivity. Be sure to schedule this cleaning during slow seasons.

4. Regularly Inspect the Entire Hoist

OSHA requires certain standards when inspecting overhead hoists and gantry cranes on job sites. Most of these regulations touch on safety rather than merely crane function.

But you or your hoist operator should perform a quick visual inspection every time they use the equipment. This will ensure that any apparent corrosion, misalignments, and other problems get fixed early and often.

A full and in-depth inspection should happen once a month.

Respect Your Crane Hoist

Cranes are incredible machines. And if you don’t respect the machine, accidents are waiting to happen.

If you need someone to give a thorough hoist motor inspection, contact us.

How To Tell Its Time For Crane Brakes Maintenance

An accident on a work site is the worst thing that can happen. Not only can it be detrimental to a worker and their family, but it can lower morale for other employees. It can also be costly for the company.

Construction sites can be dangerous. 5,147 workers were killed while on-site in 2017.

There is an average of 42 worker deaths per year due to the use of cranes alone.

That’s why it’s essential to keep up with your crane brakes maintenance. Keep reading to find out how to tell if it’s time for you to check your crane brakes and why it’s important to perform routine checks.

What Are Crane Brakes?

Believe it or not, many components make up the different brakes used in cranes.

Good brakes used for trolly and bridge motions of a motor crane depend on what you’re looking for. DC Thruster Drum brakes, for example, have gained popularity due to their sliding torque tube and lowering valve.

Dual Caliper Disc Brakes have proven to be the safest option as they provide a balanced load.

Hoist brakes are indispensable to the safety and functionality of a crane. Magnetic disc, thruster, or drum brakes are used on the high-speed side of the crane for service duty. Caliper Disc brakes are used on the low-speed side of the crane and are used in the event of an emergency to stop a load from falling or the transmission from blowing.

What Part Should I Replace?

There are many components to a crane brake such as:

  • anchor plates
  • pads
  • shoes
  • friction discs
  • coils

For brakes to function correctly and safely, it might need something as simple as new brake pads.

How Can I Tell If It Needs Repair?

Do you hear a squeaking or screeching sound while you maneuver your crane? This means it’s time to check your brakes and some parts probably need to be replaced.

Are things looking rusty? Aside from equipment use, it’s the wear and tear that comes from weather that causes machinery to break down over time. If there’s any sign of rust or noticeable wear, your brakes might need repair.

Are movements not as smooth? If you notice that your crane’s movements aren’t as smooth as they were before, your pads might need to be replaced.

What happens when you do a brakes testing? Perform a brakes test regularly to make sure components are working as they should be.

What Can I Do to Prevent Repair?

Don’t overload your crane. Overloading it could cause parts to break, and will compromise the safety of your workers. While it might be tempting to save time by overloading in the short run, it’s not worth the costs and incidents that could occur as a result in the long run.

Carry out regular inspections of your crane to avoid any failure. And make sure that the crane you purchase or use is specific to the type of job you plan to use it for. If you only need to move something up and down, a hoist motor is all you’ll need. But for heavy lifting in all directions, finding the right crane is essential to the success and safety of your job.

Click here for more tips on how to avoid a massive crane failure.

The Importance of Crane Brakes Maintenance

You don’t want to wait until you hear a loud screech to check the brakes of your crane.

For maximum efficiency of your equipment and the safety of workers, it’s a necessity to keep up with crane brakes maintenance.

If you need a part, we can get it for you in an emergency. We can also answer any questions you may have about crane brake maintenance and your rights as an owner.

Contact us today to stay informed, stay safe, and get anything you need for your equipment.

5 Things to Do Before for Your Next OSHA Crane Inspection

There were over 5,000 fatal work-related injuries in 2017 in the United States.

That’s a startling statistic.

OSHA performs inspections to ensure that equipment and businesses are following safety regulations to prevent injuries.

Having a crane inspection can be a stressful experience. You want to be sure that you’re adequately prepared so that you can pass with flying colors. Check out these five things you must do before your next OSHA crane inspection.

1. Be Prepared  

You should always be prepared for an unexpected OSHA inspection. OSHA inspections can happen virtually anytime. It’s rare that you get a heads up before they show up.

When you’re already prepared and know what to expect, it will help your odds of passing and relieve stress. You should be educated on OSHA crane inspection requirements so that you know what will be looked at during the visit.

2. Mind Your Manners

You should always be polite and treat the OSHA inspector with respect when they arrive for a crane test. Professionally conduct yourself and avoid oversharing. Treat them with kindness so that they can return the gesture.

If, however, the visit becomes tense or the inspector becomes confrontational, keep your cool. You will also want to call the OSHA office and let them know of the situation.

3. Give Responsibilities

Prior to the OSHA visit, you should already know who within the company will meet with the investigator. This responsibility should already be set in place. This person should be aware of all proper procedures and know where all important documentation is located.

4. Keep Documentation and Records

Speaking of documentation, you need to be sure that you keep good records so that you’re prepared for inspections. You should have documentation and records of all the training performed by all employees. All these documents should be in a safe place along with safety policies, insurance documents, performed maintenance, and third-party audits.

Along with keeping proper documentation of paperwork, you may also want to keep records of the inspection itself. While you’re with the inspector during the visit, consider writing down the things that he or she observes.

5. Understand Your Rights

It’s important to know that you and your employees have rights when it comes to an OSHA inspection. Employees are under no obligation to speak to the inspector. If an employee chooses to talk to an OSHA inspector, the conversation should not be recorded, and the employee is not required to sign a witness statement.

Pass Your OSHA Crane Inspection

When an inspector shows up for an OSHA crane inspection, don’t panic. Follow these tips and understand the OSHA overhead crane regulations so that you’re prepared to pass the inspection with flying colors.

Do you have questions regarding overhead crane inspections and crane load tests? Contact us today, and we will provide you with the answers you’re looking for.