Best Practices for Crane Maintenance and Repairs
Make sure your crane is still in good operating condition with daily machinery inspections. If an operator speaks up about mechanical issues, have the crane inspected and serviced before putting a load or lives at risk of injury and damage. Regular maintenance can help prevent site workers from being struck by objects or caught in between.
Our best practices for keeping up with maintenance and repairs include the following:
- Regular inspections
- Following the manufacturer's guidelines
- Tracking crane usage and prior maintenance
Construction safety should be a top priority, especially when heavy machinery such as cranes is in use on-site. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2011 to 2017, there was an average of 42 deaths a year involving cranes. No project is worth someone’s life, so it is critical that you regularly review your safety training and machine condition.
1. Inspect Cranes on a Regular Schedule
The best way to ensure proper crane maintenance and timely repairs are to have the crane inspected on a regular schedule. Before each crane operator starts their shift, they should do an inspection to verify that nothing has changed since the last shift.
Pre-shift inspections can help catch a wide array of issues like fluid leaks such as oil or hydraulics, but can also spot misalignments, frayed cables, and more. In general, an inspection should cover the following key categories.
- Wheels and Tracks: Most cranes remain stationary in use, but they still require the ability to maneuver around a job site. Any quick inspection should take a look at the cranes' wheels or tracks to ensure they are up to the task of safely transporting this piece of heavy equipment around job site structures and personnel.
- Air and Hydraulic Systems: Most cranes rely on a variety of pressurized air and hydraulic systems for operation. These should be checked daily for leaks that may impact performance and safety. Tubes and seals for these systems can be more susceptible to wear than metal components.
- Alignment and Stability: After periods of heavy use, oversized lifts, or dramatic changes to weather conditions, a crane may become misaligned. This results in a lean-to-one side, which not only puts increased tension on crane components but also increases the risk of tipping. Crane alignment and stability should be checked at least daily, with periodic visual checks before significant lifts.
- Chains and Hooks: Taking care with rigging is vital, and so is making sure the chains and hook you are attaching to are also up to the task. These components are very durable, often lasting years without showing any degradation or damage, but they still need to be inspected regularly.
On top of this regular pre-shift inspection, make sure the crane is inspected by a certified maintenance technician on a regular basis as well. If you are renting the crane or plan to have it on-site for an extended period of time, ask your crane rental provider what their maintenance plan coverage will entail.
2. Follow Usage and Maintenance Guidelines
Every crane comes with manufacturer recommendations and information on proper maintenance and use. Whether you have purchased a crane yourself or are using one from a rental company, it is good to be aware of the recommendations for the crane you have selected so that you can ensure those specifications are being followed.
These guidelines will generally lay out reasonable timetables for checking and changing out different system fluids, belts, electrical components, and more. And will also include lift capacity limits that will help you plan usage on-site safely.
3. Keep Track of Crane Use and Maintenance
A significant portion of maintenance tasks for cranes won’t be measured in months but rather in hours of use. To facilitate this better, make sure to keep an accurate log of use and keep your rental company and rental crew informed of these hours.
If maintenance is performed on-site, be sure to thoroughly document that as well, so it can be incorporated back into the crane's maintenance schedule.
Comprehensive, Safe Crane Rental
You need to know that you can rely on the equipment on site. Poorly maintained equipment can put not only project deadlines at risk but also personnel safety. If you are in the market for a crane rental company for a residential, commercial, or telecommunications project in the southeast, pick a company you can trust.
The best tools for operating a crane safely are experience, communication, and proper training. With over 40 years of moving and using cranes, Parker’s Crane Service has the expertise you need for safe, reliable crane operations, no matter the job site or weather
We pride ourselves on safety and our Zero Accident Philosophy and conduct many detailed safety measures when performing a job to ensure that no project carries unnecessary risk. We perform the following for every single job we take:
- Pre-Lift Job Assessments
- Daily Risk Assessments
- On-Site Hazard Analysis
- Routine Management Audits
With a fleet of well-maintained hydraulic truck cranes, we offer not only the best equipment but can also help with site installation, maintenance, and operation. Our crew is OSHA and MSHA-compliant to ensure your site and crew safety.
Parker's Crane provides quality crane rental, rigging, and heavy hauling services throughout the Carolinas and the East Coast. Contact us if you would like to discuss your needs and whether or not our services and equipment will work for your construction project. We provide free on-site quotes and evaluations.