Important Signs Your Lifting Equipment Needs Crane Servicing
Cranes, hoists and other types of lifting equipment are large, industrial machines which require regular maintenance. Our blog dives into the key signs that your equipment needs servicing, and why this is so important. To find out more about crane servicing and how it could help you, keep on reading!
Lifting Equipment Issues To Look Out For
These are some of the most serious problems you should look out for on your site, as they could indicate a problem with your lifting equipment.
Corrosion is one of the most important things to look out for when it comes to your lifting equipment. It’s one of those problems that can creep up on you, and you may not notice anything is wrong until it’s too late or the damage is irreversible. Rust can start as a small problem that may go ignored or even unnoticed, and doesn’t seem to affect your equipment that much, however as it worsens, there may be corrosion that you can’t actually see.
Corrosion can lead to electrical shortages as well as a loss in strength. These can negatively impact your equipment’s lifting capabilities which is extremely important, and lifting heavy loads with corroded equipment is not safe.
If your lifting equipment is chain based or made from similar components, it’s easy for these chains to break without anyone taking notice. It can be the result of frequently lifting extremely heavy items during working hours.
This is an important part of why regular inspections and maintenance checks are vital for keeping employees safe on site. A crushed chain is a little different to a broken chain however, and could be more difficult to spot. It’s important that you make everyone on your site aware of these potential safety risks.
Your cranes and hoists will often have pads, which take the brunt of the force when the machine is operating, and make the movements of your machinery less clunky. These will most likely be stabiliser pads, outrigger or slider pads, and as you can probably guess, they will become worn down over time, and at a quicker rate than some of the other components.
You can examine your pads for wear and a lack of shine, which is a big indicator that they need replacing. You may also notice a difference in the sound of your equipment, which is another tell-tale sign that something needs to be looked at.
Dry Ropes & Slings
With the more flexible parts of your machinery, such as ropes and slings, they require a little more checking and maintenance to keep them working efficiently. Heat, cold temperatures and general wear and tear can impact your ropes or slings.
You should regularly oil and maintain the flexible parts of your machinery to ensure that they don't break. When ropes become dry, the fibres can become extremely brittle, stretching and cracking because of a lack of maintenance. This can be extremely dangerous on site, especially if ropes or slings give in whilst operating your equipment.
The hooks you use to lift items and transport them safely are a crucial part of your lifting equipment. While you may think ‘Hooks are already bent?’ if you apply the wrong weight to your hooks, or attach items in the incorrect way, your hooks can become bent and cracked. This makes the hooks fragile and more prone to completely breaking, which can be extremely dangerous.
You should regularly inspect your hooks for any sign of damage before every use, as cracks and breakage can be a big safety risk.
Abrasion is another sign to look out for, and could indicate that your lifting equipment needs maintenance. Abrasion occurs when material is scraped or worn away over time. It usually occurs slowly and over time, and much like corrosion, it can sneak up on you without you realising.
You will want to check your wires and wire-joints as well as the moving parts of your crane or hoist machinery. Shiny surfaces that are worn away can also be signs that abrasion is occurring, and you should have this looked at or serviced as soon as possible.
Maintaining The Right Load Capacity
While this isn’t a physical sign of damage that you need to look out for, it’s still an important part of the risks associated with your lifting equipment. It’s vital that anyone who uses or operates the lifting equipment is absolutely aware of how to safely use these machines. One of the most important things to be aware of when using these machines is the load capacity.
Each piece of machinery will have its own specific load capacity and when operating any machinery, the load capacity should be adhered to. Loading your equipment above the weight capacity can lead to extreme damage, like pad wear, broken hooks and broken chain links. These damages will put people at risk and be a hazard, which is why adhering to the weight limit is so important.
What Will Crane Maintenance Involve?
When it comes to crane maintenance and servicing of other lifting equipment, there are a range of things you can carry out yourself before operating machinery. These might include:
● Inspecting all areas of each machine for any visual signs of damage
● Regular rope changes and cable checks
● Re-lubricating ropes that seem dry or prone to corrosion
● Checking controls for signs of wear and tear
● Check for deterioration in the hydraulic systems
● Ensure the accurate load capacity is made aware to all operators
This is a short breakdown of some of the ways you can check your machinery on site, on a regular basis. Many pieces of equipment will require regular, professional servicing to ensure the equipment is working properly.
Professional crane maintenance should be carried out annually, however you can choose to have it carried out more than this. Professional crane maintenance can be beneficial to companies, as they may spot signs of damage or wear and tear that you may not have noticed. If you’re looking for a professional crane servicing, you can read more about our services on our website.
Why Is It Important To Maintain Your Lifting Equipment?
There are a few reasons why maintaining your lifting equipment is so important. Firstly, for safety reasons. Staying safe on site and when operating these machines is extremely important, so that employees or visitors don’t become injured when they are at your worksite. Workplace injuries can be extremely stressful and damaging, not only to the person who is injured, but also to your business. Not to mention, injuries caused by large or industrial machinery can be quite severe, so avoiding this at all costs is definitely in your best interest.
Another reason why maintaining your lifting equipment is so crucial, is to expand the lifespan of your machines. Most machinery deteriorates naturally over time and will have a natural lifespan. Poor, little or no maintenance can damage the machinery in the long run and reduce its lifespan, which may result in more frequent and expensive replacements or repairs. By looking after your cranes and hoists with proper maintenance and care, you can keep them up and running for longer periods of time.
Last, but certainly not least, properly working machinery that is cared for and maintained effectively will work more efficiently. It is less likely to break down, need repairs or need replacing, which means anyone operating these machines will be working at optimal productivity. Tasks and jobs can be carried out seamlessly and the overall productivity of a site may improve.
Crane & Lifting Services: Your Harness Supplier & More
Here at Crane & Lifting Services, we understand the importance of staying safe on your worksite, which is why we offer crane repairs, installation services, testing and more. From hoist repair to LOLER crane inspections, our services are professional and thorough, to ensure your equipment is safe and operating smoothly.