Due to their versatility in different industries and the ease of setup associated with mobile cranes, they have fast become the most popular types of cranes readily available. Mobile cranes require no complex setup procedures. They are simply driven to the site, the outriggers extended and secured on the ground, and work begins. The ease accorded with these machines, however, does not translate to low maintenance requirements. Mobile cranes should be inspected and maintained regularly. Official inspections always have accompanying documentation. There are, however, basic checks that the average individual can perform periodically, with or without the operator, to ensure that the mobile cranes are in proper working conditions. Here are some quick areas to focus on:
- Check the bolts, nuts, pins and rivets. Check if they are tightly lodged. Also, check if any are missing and seek replacement instantly.
- Check hooks and note any damage, cracking or deformation. The damage may either be physical or chemical. Damaged hooks should not be used since heavy loads may strain the damage and snap the hook at any time.
- Check the other crane members and boom for damaged, bent or cracked structures. Corrosion is a sign of damage and should not be ignored. Corroded parts tend to be weaker than their original form and such parts can be a point of weakness in the structure.
- It is also important to check the boom angle, the load, and other alignment aspects. Mobile cranes often require re-calibration after operating over certain durations. Re-calibration should be done by a professional. Periodic re-calibration eliminates risks of unforeseen accidents courtesy of calibration shifts through operation time.
- The operator can also check internal systems. Excessive wear and tear on brake parts, linings, clutch systems, and ratchets should not be left unattended.
- The steering, braking system and other devices for locking should also be checked for proper functioning periodically.
- The operator should be aware of the conditions of the chains. The chain drive sprockets should be checked for excessive wear. The chains should also be inspected periodically. These regions experience excess tension and, if poorly maintained, can be causes of fatal accidents.
- The truck tires should always be checked periodically as well. Although the tires may be off the ground when the mobile crane is operating, the weight of the crane coupled with the harsh environments that these cranes operate in can lead to excessive tire wear quite fast.
Finally, for a crane that has been idle, it is always important to check for the formation of rust on the piston rods and the control valves before putting it back to use. Click here to learn more about this topic.Share