7 Crane Functions You Need to Know About In the Construction Industry

To ensure you can complete a task right, and stay under budget, learn the many uses and varieties of construction equipment. One of the biggest and most important varieties are cranes.

There are dozens of different types of crane functions. These functions depend on the way the crane is built as well as the crane’s intended purpose.

To get a better grip on what you need from a crane, let’s look at seven of the primary crane functions and the cranes that provide them. 

1. Crawler Crane

The crawler crane switches out the standard wheels of the other varieties for sturdy tracks. This is to navigate soft and uneven terrain, which is common in many dig sites.

To help increase its adaptive style, some crawler cranes even include a telescopic boom. These help to change the height and angle of the pulley system.

2. Floating Crane

Floating cranes are additions to boats, either built-in or linked next to. This function helps to build and repair oil rigs as well as the occasional ship stranded at sea.

The floating crane is a highly specialized crane. It will often need an extra set of skills and demands to deal with the boat setup. 

3. Rough Terrain Crane

For the more solid terrain, the rough terrain crane has four massive, rubber tires and four-wheel drive. This allows it to move over rocks and debris to get where it needs to. Due to the uneven ground, it often has the most adjustable crane system. 

4. Truck-Mounted Crane

Truck-mounted cranes have the critical advantage of being able to travel on highways and other paved road locations. 

The crane mounts into a bed of a small truck. The truck comes with counterweights and outriggers to help keep a strong stabilization while the crane operates.

5. Bridge Crane

Bridge cranes are one of the fixed cranes. Its name comes from its shape, where it has two massive steel beams supported by structures on either end. 

The crane hoist is in the middle and slides along the beams to reach anything beneath it. This is a common crane for industrial stations with fixed places in the production line. 

6. Bulk-Handling Crane

Instead of changes to the crane set up and support structure, bulk-handling cranes have a big difference at the end of the pulley system. 

Bulk-handling cranes have a large and unique grabbing mechanism that opens wide to cover a large amount of material and clamps shut to move it elsewhere.  

7. Tower Crane

The common crane of the skyscrapers, tower cranes, have an incredible advantage of height. It also provides some power in the lifting department, using an entire hydraulic system to pull items up along its vertical post using its horizontal crane arm.

Due to the height of tower cranes, construction crews build them alongside the buildings they serve. This can mean extra hours of construction and maintenance. 

Getting the Most out of Crane Functions

These seven crane functions will cover most of the essential encounters you may have to deal with on a construction site. 

Once you have the core of what you need out of a crane, it will make buying parts and rentals easier. Contact us today for information about crane parts and services.

5 Key Crane Safety Tips You Should Never Forget

Approximately 3 million workers were injured or suffered from an illness in the construction industry in 2018. This showcases the importance of following safety procedures.  

Below we’ll review some crane safety tips to help reduce the number of injured employees at worksites. 

1. Inspect the Crane

Before operating a crane, it needs a thorough inspection. Review your safety checklist/card to make sure all safety procedures are followed.

Inspect the components of the crane and cables for any damage (e.g., cracks, worn down parts). If there is damage, you’ll need to get the crane repaired before you can operate it. 

Make sure it’s the right crane for the job. Each type of crane can hold a different amount of weight.

Check the load weight capacity for your lift to make sure it can handle whatever you’re lifting. If you don’t, the crane could tip if you try to pick up too much weight.

Find out when the last time your crane was inspected. If the annual inspection is overdue, don’t operate the crane until it has been done.

2. Familiarize Yourself With the Controls

Once you’ve been adequately trained and certified, it’s essential to know what you’re working with.

After you’ve inspected the crane, you’ll need to test it to make sure all the controls are working. This is especially important if it’s your first time operating a particular crane.

Learn where all the controls are as not every crane keeps the controls in the same location. You should test the controls every day to ensure everything is in working order.

3. Examine the Worksite

Ensure all workers know when and where the crane will be operated. Before you begin working, do a scan of the area to make sure no one is in the area.

Furthermore, you should check the weather conditions. How you operate the crane, or if you can use the crane, will be determined by the weather (e.g., rain, high winds).

Next, you’ll want to inspect the ground. Make sure whatever surface you’re working on can handle the weight of the crane.

Check the soil to make sure your crane won’t sink. If you’re on another surface material (e.g., concrete or asphalt), make sure it won’t break under the weight. Don’t just check the weight of the crane, learn if the surface can handle the force of the outriggers.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure there are no obstructions in the air (e.g., cables/wires). You don’t want anything attaching to the load while you’re working.

4. Don’t Rush

Make sure there is enough time to inspect the equipment, the worksite, and get the job done. Moreover, when operating the crane, don’t make quick movements. You could end up dropping the load all over the place.

Rushing or flying objects can increase the chance of someone getting injured.

5. Be Alert

Always pay attention to the surrounding area and know where everyone is. Be in radio contact with everyone. If you can’t get in contact with people, try using an air horn or hand signals to alert others in the area.

Check with OSHA’s guidelines on how to communicate.

Furthermore, remove all distractions while you work. At no point should you eat or drink (especially alcohol), talk on the phone, smoke, or be under the influence of drugs.

Crane Safety

Now that you know more about crane safety, it’s time to use these tips the next time you work. Spend ample time making sure everything is working correctly. This will create a safer environment that will help keep your workers safe and happy. 

Review our services if your cranes require repairs.

Why You Need to Know How to Read a Crane Load Chart

The proper and safe operation of cranes mainly falls to the operator. This means that both operators and managers must understand crane load charts.

Foremen, along with other managers, need to not only understand the charts but be able to use them to plan the lift and make sure the loads are positioned in a way where the equipment can lift the load safely and move it where it should go.

One example of this is if you have a truck full of pipe located too far from the crane being used. If this is the case, it may not be safe to lift the pipe from the truck and place it in or next to the trench.

In addition to safety, there are several other reasons you need to know how to read and use the crane load chart.

Understanding the Crane Load Chart is Mandated by OSHA  

According to the OSHA Crane Standard – subpart N mandates that all crane operators be certified. To pass the certification, operators must demonstrate their ability to use modern load charts. This is necessary for each crane type the operator is using.

Load Charts Ensure Proper Use and Safe Operation

Crane load charts are unique from the backhoe and excavator load charts. While the basic concepts are similar, there are some essential differences.

For example, the closer a crane is located to the load, and the higher the boom angle is, the more lifting capacity the crane has. This rule isn’t always applicable to excavators.

Before making a lift safely, the operator needs to know the load’s weight and how far the load is from the boom’s turntable. This is called the load radius. If the load is being lifted from a point that is higher than ground level, knowing this height is also necessary.

The use of a crane load chart makes this easier. With this, an operator can figure out the angle the boom needs to be at to make sure they are positioned directly over the load. Before lifting the load, operators must check the boom angle indicator, which provides the boom angle from horizontal.

Avoid Injuries and Liabilities

Injuries and liabilities are a serious issue on any construction site. This is exacerbated when cranes are used.

Understanding how to safely use a crane load charge reduces the possibility of these issues. If operators are unclear on the purpose of these charts or the purpose they serve, serious problems may arise.

The Importance of Crane Load Charts

A crane load chart is a vital tool that managers and operators need to understand fully. With this knowledge, they can safely operate any crane while ensuring the safety of others on the worksite.

To learn more about crane use and operation, along with crane repairs and maintenance, contact us. We provide an array of information, resources, and parts for all types of heavy equipment and can answer questions related to care and operation.

What are Gantry Crane Wheels?

Are you looking to incorporate a new gantry crane into your construction portfolio? It’s a great idea, but you’ll want to know as much as you can about these vehicles, ahead of time. Specifically, you’ll want to know about gantry crane wheels, from what they do to what they’re made out of, and everything in between.

So join us today as we break down this crucial component in the gantry crane system.

What Are Gantry Crane Wheels?

In a gantry crane, the wheel serves a critical role: to withstand its weight while running on the track as smoothly as possible. This, in turn, allows the gantry crane to operate as it should, lifting loads and carrying them from one end of the beam to the other. Throughout all of this, crane wheels are under a lot of stress and should be made strong and durable.

Gantry or bridge crane wheels are typically either single or double rim. Single rim flanged track wheels are common, mainly used in gantry cranes under 5 tonnes. You’ll also see them on double beam bridge gantry cranes.

A double rim is chiefly found on heavier gantry cranes, double beam bridge gantry cranes, and mechanisms for crane operation. They’re also more than adequate for casting crane operation mechanisms and electric flat cars, as well as many others.

Non-flanged track wheels are also available.

What Are They Made Of?

Because crane wheels are put under so much stress, they must be made out of hardy materials for longevity. The hardness of the steel you use to make your wheel influences its “toughness.”

These wheels are made from raw materials and alloys. These may also include low-or-medium-carbon steel. With medium carbon steel, we find a much wider availability of the material and a subsequent drop in cost. As a result, this is easily the most commonly used raw material in this field.

Why You Need One

“So,” you’re wondering, “It’s a crane that uses wheels to lift and move things. What are the benefits for my construction business?” Well, as luck would have it, there are more than a few great benefits:

  • 100% mobility
  • Rapid assembly
  • Versatility
  • Easy customization

A gantry crane is a versatile option, first and foremost, because it can be used both indoors and outdoors. Use steel or aluminum. Adjust the height, span, or tread.

Quick, modular assembly means a gantry crane can roll up to where it needs to be used and be operating within seconds. Single leg gantries even exist for jobs where space is an issue problem, lifting using wall-mounted I-beams and A-frame leg. 

Time To Get Wheel, With A Gantry Crane

The benefits of a gantry crane boil down to two things: versatility and maneuverability. It’s a powerhouse of lifting capability, designed to be put to use in diverse and demanding situations. And gantry crane wheels have a lot to do with that.

Are you looking for more great content, straight from the construction site? Check out some of our other blogs, today, or get in touch to find out more about our service portfolio.

What Are Overhead Crane Training Requirements? Things to Know to Pass

Do you want to be an overhead crane operator? If so, you should know what to expect from the role. Overhead crane operators lift and move materials, products, and machines. This requires knowledge of rigging, proper operation, maintenance, and signaling.

To gain the knowledge you need for the role, every overhead crane operator must undergo training. The typical training is only a few days long and includes practical lessons and classroom theory.

Most employers provide this training. You may also take different tests through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

What can you expect from overhead crane training? Here are the overhead crane training requirements you need to pass.

Physical Ability

Overhead crane operation is a physically demanding job. Most operators are often on their feet. When you are sitting, you’re using your arms and legs to control machines, tools, and equipment. Most of the work is done at great heights, and you’ll work with potentially dangerous machinery.

The working conditions can get pretty extreme, including exposure to loud noises.

To ensure you can handle the conditions, you must prove you can physically handle the job. All students require a medical examination and obtain a certificate from their doctor that shows they fit all the standards needed by the Department of Transportation.

Safety Training

The OSHA requires overhead crane safety training. When you pass the training, you receive certification. This certificate lasts three years, and re-certification is required.

Most of the safety training includes pre-operation inspections and signaling. Some of the inspections you’ll learn include load hook and safety latch inspection, control pendant inspection, walkway and site inspections, and load-bearing rope checks.

Most pre-operation checks start with checking controls, operating the crane in every direction, slowly raising the load block, checking the emergency stop button, and ensuring the wire rope is spooling correctly. This ensures you don’t endure machine failure and other problems.

For operation safety, you’ll learn how to lift each item slowly to maximize safety. You’ll know how to identify obstacles and move objects without abrupt movements.

You’ll also learn basic safety information, such as keeping hands away from pinch points.

In addition to these necessary training tools and inspections, you’ll learn what to do in case there’s an emergency.

Job Performance

Overhead crane operators are required to know the proper operation, signaling, rigging, and maintenance of the overhead crane they’re using. Here are some of the complex tasks you’ll learn:

  • Modes of operation
  • Pre-operation inspection
  • Wire rope construction design, uses, and inspection
  • Reeving
  • Gross and net capacity
  • Crane work areas
  • Capacity reduction
  • Operator and rigger responsibilities
  • Knowing hand signals
  • Lift problems
  • Site conditions and inspections

You’ll learn these topics through a combination of classroom and hands-on training.

Know the Overhead Crane Training Requirements and Earn Your Certification

If you want to be an overhead crane operator, you must complete the mandatory training courses and achieve your certificate. These overhead crane training requirements will help you prepare for the training.

Do you have an end of life crane or another piece of equipment that requires a professional inspection? Take a look at our overhead crane inspection services.

More Than Just Large Cranes: 5 Types of Hoisting Equipment in the Construction Industry

The construction equipment market will grow to $89.3 billion next year.

It’s easy to see why. A job is only as good as the tools used to construct it. But with so many different tools out there, it’s essential to get the right ones for the job.

Read on to learn how to tell your large cranes from your moveable pulleys.

1. Movable Pulley

A pulley consists of a wheel on a shaft (or axle) that supports movement. It also supports a change of direction or a belt (or cable) along the wheel’s circumference.

They’re used in many ways to transfer power, apply force and lift things. A pulley is also called a drum or a sheave. Sometimes it has a groove between the two edges of its circumference for the belt to sit. Belts consist of cable, rubber, rope, or chain.

2. Rope and Pulley

The rope and pulley have been in use since antiquity and is most suited to lifting heavy loads and loads with rough surfaces. Usually, the ropes are chain or wire. For hoisting operations, an alloy chain works best.

The weakest part is the load hook – the hook securing the chain to the load item. This can straighten out and fail. When you notice straightening on the hook, you should replace it to avoid accidents.

3. Chain Hoist

This system consists of chains made into two sets. These are the load chain and the hand chain. Hand chains are useful for remote, isolated locations where electricity isn’t available. The force applied from the hand chains transfers over to the load chain.

Chain hoists use a load cook to secure the load as well as a support hook. This supports the mechanism. You shouldn’t interchange these hooks, though. The support hook is stronger than the load hook, so if changed, the load hook won’t be up to the job of supporting.

4. Tower Crane

These cranes are of the swing jib type and usually mounted on steel towers. The towers can be up to 30m tall. Tower cranes are best utilized on tall buildings that are being built in built-up areas. This is because they need a minimum ground area.

Tower cranes combine the best parts of a log boom from a derrick crane and mobility from mobile cranes. The rotating part is an outer framework.

The boom is then added to the front end of this. A counterweight balances out the back end. Two motors at diagonal points on the base are what gives the middle shaft movement.

5. Derrick Crane

There are two types of derrick crane — guy derricks and stiff leg derricks. There is a vertical mast on a guy derrick, and the number of guy wires supports it.

It has a 360° movement. Usually, they’re powered by electric or diesel motors. Guy derricks can have a 200-tonne lifting capacity. Stiff leg derricks replace the guy wires with a trussed structure. The carrying capacity of stiff leg derricks is between 10 to 50 tonnes.

From Large Cranes to Moveable Pulleys — Know the Difference

Each piece of hoisting equipment is suitable for different jobs. Hand chain hoists are great for off-the-grid locations. While guy derricks are capable of handling huge loads for big projects.

If you’re looking for the perfect piece of hoisting equipment, contact us today to see how we at Kor-pak.com can help.

5 Crane Lift Safety Tips Every Crane Operator Should Follow

When you’re trying to get the best from your industrial and construction work, it pays to get to know the equipment that you’re using. Not only should you use this equipment effectively, but you also need to learn how to use it as safely as possible. 

This will prevent workplace injuries and liabilities to your company as a whole. Consider these crane lift safety tips to help your business.

1. Keep a Safe Distance From the Load You Are Carrying

If you want to be safe when using a crane lift, you must manage your distance. By standing too close to the load and lift when using it, you are more likely to sustain an injury or damage your load. 

Actively maintain this distance with each use and post the proper range with signage throughout the workplace. 

2. Only Use Seasoned and Professional Crane Lift Operators

It’s also crucial that you hire nothing but high-quality crane lift operators to assist you. When you have a professional that understands the equipment and uses the right technique, you’ll avoid setbacks with each construction job. 

Be sure that you are also getting regular crane lift repairs and changing out parts when necessary. The help of experts is the best investment you can make. 

3. Wear the Best Safety Equipment

It’s vital to use the right equipment when operating a crane lift. 

This means wearing a hard hat, gloves, thick-soled work boots, and other equipment to keep safe. Wearing this equipment at all times should be mandatory for anyone on the work floor.

4. Be Mindful of Weight and Safe Working Load 

Always be mindful of your crane’s Safe Working Load (SWL) when operating it. 

When you are aware of the different loading capacities of the crane that you operate, you will be able to avoid weighing it down too much. Weighing your crane down with more than it can handle is an easy way to cause accidents that can be damaging and even fatal. 

Keep the SWL posted at all times so that your workers are fully aware. 

5. Follow the Best Load Safety Practices 

In addition to understanding the load weight limits, follow the practices that’ll be the most useful. Always be as careful as possible and work in teams. 

Take the time to carefully hoist and attach every part of the load that you’re managing to avoid having anything fall and break. Above all, be sure there are onsite managers to supervise. 

Manage Your Crane Safety Daily

Safety is of the utmost importance when operating a crane lift. Utilize the tips above to maintain crane safety. 

Be sure to contact us when you need crane inspections, equipment repair, and more. 

6 Tips For Industrial Crane Service

The powerful industry crane is the workhouse foundation for a large variety of industrial sites. With it, your productivity can be enormous, but you must use it in the right ways.

Keeping up with your crane service requires an organized schedule, a sharp eye for details, and proper diligence. Without this, you can waste a lot of money and productive time

Here are the most critical pieces of appropriate crane service to keep in mind. Follow these, and you’ll have a long service from your cranes.

1. Organize Regular Maintenance

From production to maintenance, keeping a refined schedule is the best way to ensure that nothing slips under your radar. The last thing you need is something to fall apart because you weren’t monitoring your equipment.

Putting together weekly, monthly, and yearly checks will depend on how often and intense you use your cranes. More often is always the safer option. 

2. Checking The Small Things

When doing your maintenance checks, it can be easy to check the major functions and parts. These are important, but even the smallest of details can be problematic.

Lubrication, loose bolts and rivets, and signs of rust are all pieces you need to keep an eye out for. Any of these things can cause significant problems if ignored.

3. Keep Your Records Straight

To get a proper picture of the wear and tear on your cranes, you need all the information you can get. Every piece can paint a more accurate picture.

This will include the number of times used per day, the weight of loads, the speed that you operate it, and more tiny details. These can help you plot out maintenance schedules as well as show which aspects get worked the most. 

4. Test Your Loads 

No matter what your cranes are carrying, you need to do frequent tests of their load capacity to ensure you aren’t pushing it. When you have consistent loads, then a change can throw you off.

It’s good to know the top end and low end of your crane’s capacity. This can also help you test for potential strain. When your production shifts, you know how far you can push it. 

 

5. Structure Frequent Safety Checks

In all industrial environments, safety is paramount. As you test the equipment, so too should you test your employee’s ability to operate it. 

A crane service can be pointless if your employees aren’t following the standards you are testing by. As well, your cranes and employees can be in danger if safety standards aren’t followed.

6. Note Wear Before Disaster

Strain can build up over time, and all mechanical objects suffer wear and tear. It is inevitable, so it is best to prepare yourself for when it happens. 

Check the points of strain, such as cabling, joints, and clutches. Grinding of metal, damage to the metal or even rust can spell bad news for your crane’s parts.

Be ready to repair and replace when your crane shows too much damage so that you don’t waste time waiting for parts

Perfecting Crane Service

With these tips for better crane service, you know you can keep your powerful industrial machines in the best of shape. Your investment matters and is the lifeblood to your work, so best to keep it that way.

When you need quality cranes to go with your quality crane service, there is no better provider than Kor-Pak. Contact us today to get your quality crane parts.

What Happens to the Various Crane Components During Modernizations?

Like other equipment and machinery, cranes age. And with age comes wear and tear and the inability to keep up with newer equipment. Of course, investing in a modern crane doesn’t always fit into your budget.

The fast pace of innovation makes keeping up with the latest and greatest in equipment difficult for many companies. But you’ve got another solution, crane modernization. 

Read on for a brief breakdown of the various crane components and what happens during modernization. 

Crane Components and Crane Modernization

During modernizations, cranes often undergo control upgrades, lifting upgrades, and mechanical upgrades. Let’s break each of these down further. Along the way, we’ll discuss the components involved, too.

The modern workplace makes worker safety paramount. As a result, control upgrades are often in order when it comes to bringing a crane up to today’s standards.

Control Upgrades

What’s the problem with outdated control systems? They tend to be load-dependent and must regularly get tuned or adjusted. What’s more, getting parts for older systems can prove difficult and time-consuming.

Fortunately, control system upgrades are affordable. And they’ll improve the safety of your workplace. They include installing a radio control system and a load display system, so you always know how much you hoist. 

Load display systems and load limiting systems both impact employee safety. These systems prevent dangerous situations created by overloads. 

Another important system is the collision avoidance system. As the name suggests, it prevents a variety of different accidents in the workplace between cranes. 

Lifting Upgrades

Besides safety considerations, antiquated cranes don’t have the same lift capacity as newer ones. Working with this type of equipment results in inefficiencies and loss of time and money.

But lighter weight materials and structural reinforcements can increase lift capacity. So can higher strength wire ropes and modern components. 

Best of all, these component upgrades work with the existing structure. Changes worth considering include replacing cast iron:

  • Frames
  • Drums
  • Bull gears
  • Gear cases

By reducing the weight of the crane with lighter weight components, you’ll increase lift capacity

Mechanical Upgrades

Mechanical components, such as overhead crane components, also make a big difference. 

Mechanical improvements include new braking systems and bridge crane component upgrades. It’s also worth upgrading wheel cube and end-truck installations. 

And don’t forget about gear reducer upgrades and hoist replacements.

Why these particular systems and components? For one, many older cranes come with hoists equipped with mechanical load brakes.

These are constant wear components, which mean plenty of replacements. What’s more, substitutes prove time-consuming and costly.

Some parts prove so old they’re no longer manufactured. You know what that means? Custom-manufactured parts, for which you might have to pay top dollar. 

An overhaul of your overhead crane system comes with many advantages when it comes to modernizing your equipment. 

Retrofitting Your Crane

If you’re tired of workplace safety hazards and inefficiencies, then upgrade your crane. Not only will it mean you get more work done, but it’ll help you comply with OSHA.

Fortunately, there are many ways to modernize this workplace staple without costing you an arm and a leg. Ready to learn more? Contact us to discuss your current equipment and workload needs.

Hoists & Cranes: 5 Can’t-Miss Important Maintenance & Repair Tips

Some of the world’s biggest crane crashes have caused devastation in cities and on worksites. Not only are crane accidents costly, but they can also be fatal. But there is good news — they’re often avoidable with proper maintenance for cranes and hoists. 

If you work with cranes and hoists, you’re probably aware of the danger of not doing regular maintenance and repairs. Still, with so many moving parts, it’s easy to miss something important.

We’re here to help brush up your knowledge of maintenance for hoists and cranes, so you and everyone nearby will stay safe. Read on for some essential maintenance and repair tips to keep in mind on your next inspection!

Check Alignment and Skew

A misaligned crane that skews to one side or the other may not be an obvious hazard. But the lack of alignment can cause excess stress on the whole system, resulting in damage that you might not be able to see right away.

Over time, this can increase the chances of a collapse. Make sure to always get your crane checked for alignment. 

Look for Wear on Chains and Connections of Hoists

Hoist chains and end connections can sustain a lot of wear over time. Make sure to also check them regularly visually for wear and tear. Check that nothing is stretched beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations, as well. 

Inspect Hooks for Damage

The hook is an essential part of the crane since it holds the load in place. Hooks only stay strong when they can hold the load the way they were designed to. Wear and tear or damage compromises the hook, creating a risky situation. 

A hook that’s bent or otherwise damaged loses its internal integrity. It might stretch or crack, and if this goes too far, the load might even slip off the hook. 

Before each shift, you should check your hooks to make sure they don’t show visual signs of damage. 

Make Sure Air and Hydraulic Systems Aren’t Leaking or Damaged

Valves, pumps, tanks, lines, and other parts of a crane’s air and hydraulic systems need to get inspected for damage, too. 

You should check these components every day. One small issue can result in significant problems for the operation of the crane. 

Replace End Truck Wheels as Needed

The end truck allows the bridge and hoists to move along the crane’s runway. As you can imagine, these wheels can sustain a lot of damage with regular use and need to be replaced often.

If you notice uneven or premature wear, this can also be a helpful sign that the crane is skewing. 

The Importance of Well-Maintained Hoists and Cranes

Maintaining hoists and cranes can help prevent deadly accidents. But even barring a worst-case scenario, it can also help save money and time by reducing downtime for crane repairs. 

In addition to doing your own inspections, it’s also valuable to get regular third-party inspections to keep your cranes and hoists up to par. Looking for an inspection service? Learn more about ours here!