when to call it quits on your old front door

when to call it quits on your old front door

Best Practices For Maintaining Overhead Cranes

Carrie Castillo

For warehouse owners, overhead cranes from places like Winslow Crane Service Co are an indispensable tool for material handling. But even the most innocuous of tools can quickly turn dangerous – or even deadly – if neglect is allowed to come into the picture. Reviewing and understanding best practices for inspecting and maintaining overhead cranes can save your workers plenty of effort and perhaps even their lives.

Inspections for overhead cranes should always be thorough and comprehensive, with attention paid to details that could put operators and other workers at risk if glossed over. The following offers several best practices for inspecting and maintaining overhead cranes.

Daily and Monthly Inspection Items

There are several items on an overhead crane that should be inspected each day, preferably prior to operation. Making a cursory check of the following items can help prevent premature failures from occurring, which in turn saves downtime and prevents dangerous safety hazards:  

  • All hooks should be closely inspected for signs of deformation or cracks.
  • Hook latches should be present and operating properly with no deformities.
  • Wire ropes and hoist chains should be closely inspected for signs of severe kinking, twisting, cracking, corrosion or overall wear. All end connections should be subject to the same inspection criteria.
  • Both primary and secondary hoist brakes should be thoroughly tested for proper operation.
  • Limit switches must be tested to prevent excessive travel and load failure.

In addition to daily inspections, the hoist chains and hooks should be subject to a monthly inspection with a certification record documenting the date of the inspection, the serial number of the equipment and the signature of the inspector. Running ropes should also be subject to monthly frequency and standards for inspections.

Periodic Inspection Items

In addition to daily and monthly inspections of critical overhead crane components, operators should also perform periodic inspections of the crane's overall physical condition. During the inspection, operators should take note of the following:  

  • Members or parts suffering from cracks, corrosion and/or deformation
  • Loose bolts or rivets that should be tightened or replaced
  • Pins, gears, bearings and other parts that require replacement due to excessive wear or distortion
  • Excessive wear on braking system components
  • Signs of pitting or corrosion on electrical components, including limit switches and controller contactors
  • Motors powered by electricity or fossil fuels

Maintenance and inspection requirements may also dictate a test of the overhead crane's load capabilities. OSHA guidelines state that such tests should not be done with test loads rated at more than 125 percent of the crane's rated load unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise. The test results should also be kept on file to other operators and authorized personnel.

Using OEM Parts

Another way to ensure the longevity of an overhead crane system while also ensuring worker safety is through the use of genuine replacement parts supplied directly through the manufacturer. These original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supplied parts are designed and manufactured to be within exact tolerances, making these parts the best fit for critical operations. In contrast, aftermarket manufacturers may not have access to detailed schematics and information that could be used to produce components with exact tolerances.

Using non-OEM parts may seem like the best way to save on maintenance costs, but these parts often carry a hidden cost that could easily wipe out these savings. As crane expert John Bittner points out, the overall lifespan and functioning efficiency of a non-OEM part may not be as high as that of a genuine OEM part. Although it may cost significantly less, the trade-off could be thousands of dollars spent on downtime due to accelerated wear and/or premature part failure.

Adhering to these best practices for maintenance and inspection will ensure a safe and productive environment for operators and other personnel. 


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About Me
when to call it quits on your old front door

How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.