4 Overhead Crane Part Issues

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that cranes must be inspected annually, at minimum, for safety purposes. Overhead cranes are powerful pieces of equipment that can lift several hundred tons. Each licensed crane operator must thoroughly check a crane before each use to make sure that there are no worn-out parts or other potential safety hazards. If a broken or worn part issue ensues, then a crane repair service must be called.

The Most Common Overhead Crane Part Issues

Overhead cranes move loads horizontally across a factory. The lift loads can be quite heavy and can move quickly across a runway. However, like all machinery, parts can wear out and break down. Here are 4 common overhead crane parts that may have issues: ropes, runways, wheels, and hooks.

Knowing the Ropes

An overhead crane's wire ropes can suffer from excessive wear due to load stress, lack of lubrication, and age. Common wear issues include bird caging (unraveling strands), corrosion, and internal wire breakage.

Runway Skew

Don't use a new overhead crane on an old runway system. This can cause crane misalignment as it attempts to travel down the runway. This can skew the entire crane tracking system and make it unusable until the misalignment is fixed. It is best to get a new runway installed when you get a new crane to avoid such problems.

Wheel Wear

When an overhead crane skews down the runway, this can cause excessive wheel wear. Wheels tend to wear fairly quickly anyway, often needing repair or replacement. If any part of the wheel system breaks down often, this is a sign that there may be an issue with the crane itself.

Bent Hooks

Rigging hooks hold your load in a particular direction that you want it to travel. When hooks bend or otherwise get damaged, the entire rigging integrity is compromised. This can be very dangerous as the load can slip off the hook.

When to Call an Overhead Crane Repair Service

Your overhead crane came with a maintenance manual and schedule. Aside from regular inspections, the manual will list service recommendations based on the particular capacity and duty cycle of the crane. Call your crane repair service that is aligned with your manufacturer's recommendations if any problems arise. Properly maintaining your overhead crane and all its parts ensures that you remain in compliance with OSHA and any other sanctioning body like The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Crane Manufacturers Association of America, Inc. (CMAA).