Crane Maintenance: Procedures For Servicing Cranes

When a facility needs to move heavy equipment and supplies to other areas, workers may use overhead cranes. Overhead cranes allow loads to move across the space through the air instead of along the floor. These cranes are used along with other materials handling equipment for more efficient processes.

Since this equipment goes through daily use, workers should engage in crane maintenance to ensure equipment runs optimally and that any worn or damaged components are serviced at the right time.

Crane Maintenance Procedures

Maintenance procedures should align with the manufacturer’s crane maintenance and repair recommendations. There are many overhead cranes in use, along with different types of load lift attachments. Using the manufacturer’s directions makes it easier to design a preventive maintenance program for that specific crane so that no components are overlooked.

In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides maintenance requirements for overhead cranes and gantries. Here are some basic procedures for servicing cranes.


Before performing maintenance, staff should inspect all aspects of the crane to identify any warning signs of damage or excessive wear and tear. Types of inspections you may perform include an area evaluation, preliminary equipment check, and daily equipment safety check. The daily equipment safety check should focus on the bottom block assembly, all electrical and power systems, the brake systems, and all miscellaneous items.

Hook Maintenance

Hook maintenance involves replacing hooks with wide openings from the standard 15% nominal opening. You should also replace hooks with permanent deformations or section wear that reaches a 10% height.

Pulley Maintenance

Pulleys with a 10% wall thickness for sheaves or rope wear that’s 25% of its diameter at the bottom should be replaced. Rims that are cracked or damaged should be replaced as well. Check the pulley to see if its rotation is flexible and doesn’t jam.

Brake Maintenance

The brakes, brake drum, and wire rope should be inspected carefully. The pin should not have more wear than 5% of its diameter. Also, the side wheel and brake shoe should have a gap that is equal to each other.

When evaluating the brake drum, ensure that the surface temperature does not exceed 200 degrees Celsius and that the groove surface area should be around 60% with a depth of 3mm. In addition, the wire rope should have no broken strands as the rope along the drum should be tightened.

Reducer Maintenance

Check the reducer for any leaks while looking for any loose screws along with the feet, bolts, and joints. In addition, you will want to inspect the wear of the teeth on the reducer, as the wear should not be more than 15% along with the crane housing mechanism.

Additional Maintenance

Additional servicing may focus on lubricating all lubrication points, replacing failed safety devices, and motor replacement. You may also need to replace any pins or screws that are badly worn, and check the reel for damage.

Keep in mind that maintenance standards exist for other types of cranes. For example, OSHA also has requirements for crawler locomotive and truck cranes. So you need to develop a preventive maintenance program that reflects the components present in your crane that will require a constant inspection on a daily or periodic basis. For more information about crane maintenance, contact Kor-Pak.

Posted in Crane.