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How to Tell When a Hoist Needs Replacement

How to Tell When a Hoist Needs Replacement

The hoist is a system of wire ropes you can see between the boom and the hook. These wires are part of the crane that creates lift. An electric or hydraulic motor works in conjunction with the wire drum and the cranking mechanism to raise and lower your load safely.

Whether the hoist is part of a modular workstation crane, monorail, or overhead crane, it is a critical part of the crane lift system and, as such, requires constant review for safety and maintenance.

How to Tell When a Hoist Needs Replacement

Part of operating a crane safely on any work site is to incorporate daily safety and maintenance assessments before lifts start for the day. Regular safety inspections allow any faults or needed repairs to be identified before the damaged hoist sees any use.

If a daily assessment or more thorough maintenance check uncovers damage, the hoist should be immediately removed from use until service repairs can be completed or the unit is replaced. While hoists can be maintained and serviced over long work lives, there are some telltale signs that it is time to consider replacement, rather than continuing to repair the hoist.

1. Maintenance Inspector Recommendation

While daily assessments by crane crews are an invaluable way to catch significant maintenance issues, they are not a substitute for a more thorough inspection by a certified crane mechanic. More in-depth inspections are better able to detect potential faults in the hoist system that may be difficult to see while in the field.

If your maintenance technician recommends that it is time to have a hoist replaced, you should listen. Crane accidents on worksites are some of the most costly, both in terms of damage to work and structures also in injuries and death. Safety and maintenance of critical lift components like the hoist are essential to protect your workers, worksite, and project timelines.

Inspectors may determine a hoist needs a full replacement for a variety of issues, including:

  • Advanced component wear or corrosion. Rust is the downfall of both electrical systems and the mechanical strength of the hoist system. And advanced wearing can indicate a part is under undo stress.
  • Cracking or crushed chain links
  • Distortions or warping indicative of internal failures
  • Improper mechanical responsiveness 

2. Recurring Hoist Failures

Hoists that begin to show inconsistent and repeated improper function while in use on-site, even with good maintenance and repair, should very likely see replacement as soon as possible. Even if you are consistently managing around repairs, repeated failures can be indicative of an overall faulty hoist system, or that it is being operated improperly.

Repeated failures may keep a maintenance team vigilant, but may also draw attention from other areas. Opting for replacement over repair after repeated failures ensures any lingering issues are not overlooked and saves you lost time due to waiting on repairs.

If the same component needs replacement multiple times, review operating procedures with the crew after hoist replacement. 

3. Repairs Become Expensive and Difficult 

Perhaps the most practical reason that it is time to outright replace a crane hoist versus opting for repairs is the cost of the repair or availability of replacement parts.

There are a lot of crane components that can last an incredibly long time if well-maintained, and hoists are no exception. But that also means you may eventually find yourself with a hoist that is no longer currently maintained by the manufacturer. If you can’t quickly, reliably, or financially source replacement parts for repair, it is time for a new hoist.

The general recommendation is that if the cost to repair a hoist is 50% or more of the cost to replace, you should be giving serious consideration to purchasing a new one. This is especially if you have started to have repeated failures, as those costs add up, and in no time, you have spent more than if you had invested in a new hoist.

With a newer model, you get not only manufacture support with warranties but more readily available parts and less potential downtime in the immediate future.  

4. Proper Operation and Maintenance Going Forward

Once you have made the decision to replace a damaged hoist, make sure to back it up with on-site actions to keep it in good condition.

  • Prepare: Follow OSHA regulations regarding site layout and electrical line distances. Cranes should always be on flat, firm ground, with no exceptions.
  • Train: All worksite employees should know the basics of crane operation, including OSHA hand signals, proper PPE, and moving-around equipment. Operators, riggers, and spotters must be appropriately qualified for their job.
  • Inspect: Perform daily site, machine, and risk assessments. Be aware of the weather or any changes overnight or over the course of a workday.
  • Maintain: Cranes should not only be inspected daily but also serviced regularly to maintain peak operational capacity.
  • Secure: Double-check the weight, orientation, and hoist security of every load.
  • Communicate: Have daily check-ins with all operators and site managers on personnel and equipment statuses. 

After all, as much as it can sometimes cost to have a project delayed, it is much more costly to have a project destroyed by reckless usage of machinery.

Crane Rental Experts in the Carolinas

If you have never rented a crane before or are looking for a new rental company to partner with, Parker's Crane provides quality crane rental, rigging, and heavy hauling services throughout the Carolinas and the East Coast. 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.

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.

Contact us today 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.