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.