A crane simplifies work by making it efficient and fast to lift, haul and transport heavyweights. Investing in a crane in your business saves time, money, labor and results in efficient workflows. However, like many other machines, cranes are prone to breakdowns which can cause significant downtime. That is why regular maintenance is vital to prolong the lifespan of your crane and prevent unnecessary downtime. After all, purchasing a crane is a significant investment that you want to protect.
So, how do you deal with a crane breakdown? Learn more about the common problems associated with cranes and how to address them.
Degradation of the wire rope
One of the common problems you will face with an overhead crane is the damage or degradation of the rope. Common instances include:
- Corroded and broken wires at end connections.
- The wire rope has extended out of the reeving system.
- Wear of outside wires.
- Internal or external corrosion.
- Loss of core support.
Bending, loading conditions, stress, corrosion, abrasion, speed of load application, environmental conditions (chemical or heat exposure), sling design, material handled, history of use, and lubrication determine how long the wire rope stays functional. The best way to prevent problems with the wire rope is to inspect it before every shift, ensure proper lubrication to minimize friction, avoid corrosion, and replace the wire if damaged.
Crane alignment issues
A crane that is out of skewing and alignment can cause significant stress and damage to the entire system leading to a breakdown. That results in costly repairs and equipment replacement, downtime, productivity loss, and worse accidents. Signs that your crane is not well aligned and is skewing as it moves the runway include:
- Loud scraping noise.
- Extra power is required to move the crane through certain areas.
- Wheels are floating or climbing over the rail then crashing down.
- Unusual wear on the wheels.
- Broken wheel flanges.
You should have a professional third-party service provider inspect your crane when you notice such problems to correct any issues before they worsen.
Wear and tear of end truck wheels
A runway that is not smooth or properly aligned cause significant premature wear and tears to the cranes’ motor drives, end trucks, wheels, and other parts. Premature wearing down of the wheels, wheel bearings, and wheel flanges means that the crane is skewing and is not appropriately trucking down the runway system, which can negatively impact the entire equipment.
End truck wheels in overhead cranes require frequent adjustment, maintenance, and replacement with quality parts from a reliable crane parts supplier such as Kor Pak. But to avoid premature wear and tear, your overhead crane runway system should be designed, tested, and regularly inspected by an expert.
Crane hooks are designed to hold a load in a particular direction. But when it doesn’t support the weight of the load as intended, it is prone to bending, cracking, or stretching, and the weight can even slip off the hook, causing an accident. Therefore regular inspections of the hooks and other pieces of hardware on the crane are necessary to catch any deformities or damage early and prevent an eventual crane breakdown.
The bottom line
Regular inspection is the best preventative maintenance to prevent a crane breakdown.