The companies who utilize the overhead cranes and runway systems we build expect their equipment to last for years of worry-free operation. We engineer the products we manufacture to deliver just that – a high degree of quality plus excellent performance for “the long haul”.
However, cranes, hoists, and the other components of overhead material handling systems have a lot of moving parts, and, subsequently, they are subject to normal wear-and-tear from daily or periodic use. For the sake of performance and for the safety of your workplace, routine preventative maintenance should be a top priority for your company. In fact, OSHA regulations require maintenance and inspections regularly on all overhead traveling cranes and gantry cranes. Consider the following excerpt:
Inspections and Preventative Maintenance: 1910.179 OSHA Guide, Section J
Inspection procedure for cranes in regular service is divided into two general classifications based upon the intervals at which inspection should be performed. The intervals in turn are dependent upon the nature of the critical components of the crane and the degree of their exposure to wear, deterioration, or malfunction. The two general classifications are herein designated as “frequent” and “periodic” with respective intervals between inspections as defined below:
Frequent inspection – Daily to monthly intervals.
The following items shall be inspected for defects at intervals as defined in paragraph (j)(1)(ii) of this section or as specifically indicated, including observation during operation for any defects which might appear between regular inspections. All deficiencies such as listed shall be carefully examined and determination made as to whether they constitute a safety hazard:
- All functional operating mechanisms for maladjustment interfering with proper operation. Daily.
- Deterioration or leakage in lines, tanks, valves, drain pumps, and other parts of air or hydraulic systems. Daily.
- Hooks with deformation or cracks. Visual inspection daily; monthly inspection with a certification record which includes the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number, or other identifier, of the hook inspected. For hooks with cracks or having more than 15 percent in excess of normal throat opening or more than 10° twist from the plane of the unbent hook refer to paragraph (l)(3)(iii)(a) of this section.
- Hoist chains, including end connections, for excessive wear, twist, distorted links interfering with proper function, or stretch beyond manufacturer’s recommendations. Visual inspection daily; monthly inspection with a certification record which includes the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and an identifier of the chain which was inspected.
- All functional operating mechanisms for excessive wear of components.
- Rope reeving for noncompliance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
Periodic inspection – 1 to 12-month intervals.
Periodic inspection. Complete inspections of the crane shall be performed at intervals as generally defined in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(b) of this section, depending upon its activity, severity of service, and environment, or as specifically indicated below. These inspections shall include the requirements of paragraph (j)(2) of this section and in addition, the following items. Any deficiencies such as listed shall be carefully examined and determination made as to whether they constitute a safety hazard:
- Deformed, cracked, or corroded members.
- Loose bolts or rivets.
- Cracked or worn sheaves and drums.
- Worn, cracked or distorted parts such as pins, bearings, shafts, gears, rollers, locking and clamping devices.
- Excessive wear on brake system parts, linings, pawls, and ratchets.
- Load, wind, and other indicators over their full range, for any significant inaccuracies.
- Gasoline, diesel, electric, or other powerplants for improper performance or noncompliance with applicable safety requirements.
- Excessive wear of chain drive sprockets and excessive chain stretch.
- Electrical apparatus, for signs of pitting or any deterioration of controller contactors, limit switches and pushbutton stations.
Visit https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9830 for a complete list of Overhead and Gantry Cranes regulations.
Hoist and crane equipment should be inspected for the bare minimum requirements with each shift change daily. The operator should check that the equipment if functioning properly in all motions and should test the hoist limit switches.
Professional Maintenance Services
Many potential failures can be detected during an inspection by a crane service professional. Oil levels can be checks and all moving parts such as bearings, gears, etc., can be appropriately lubricated. Repairs can be quoted so you are aware of costs, and any repairs or maintenance procedures can be performed in off hours. This ensures that there are no surprises during your peak hours of operation when you need your equipment the most.