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.


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.  

Posted in Crane.