Cranes are a piece of indispensable machinery in the construction industry. So, it goes without saying that a well-functioning crane is mission-critical equipment for any worksite. Crane maintenance and repair, therefore, is mandatory to not only conform to regulations but also to maintain the safety of the workers and other people involved in the project.
Apart from safety, a broken-down crane can halt an entire job site. So crane maintenance is not just for safety but also boosts the productivity of your business. Like any other heavy machinery, cranes also need regular check-ups and repairs to stay in their top shape.
Why Do You Need To Conduct Crane Inspection and Maintenance?
Crane inspection and maintenance are vital for the early identification of corrosion or damage to parts. A proper maintenance schedule ensures that the equipment is in top condition, minimising the likelihood of an accident.
Any incident on the worksite taking place due to crane breakdown will not only compromise the safety of the staff but would also cause damage to expensive material. A timely inspection enables you to locate these risks and gives you enough time to address them.
Preventative maintenance must be given more thought than just a quick look-through. The maintenance schedule must be customised based on the issues that need to be addressed and use, storage, equipment, and more.
Apart from preventive maintenance, a basic maintenance routine includes regular lubrication and parts adjustment to ensure that the machinery works properly.
What Are the Major Benefits of Crane Maintenance and Inspection?
Here are a few ways in which you can benefit from timely crane maintenance:
The Safety of Crew and Employees:
Safety will always remain the priority of any construction site. Therefore, all machinery, including cranes working on the job site, must be adequately maintained.
Neglecting the timely maintenance and inspections of heavy machinery such as cranes increases the risk of equipment failure. It jeopardises the safety of everyone working on the site. The bottom line is that it might be more costly to tend to the lawsuits, injuries, and machine damage that could have been avoided easily.
Compliance with the Regulation:
As project managers and contractors, you will be required to conduct inspections regarding heavy machinery. This will help you comply with current regulations set out by the Australian government to minimise workplace risk and ensure safety.
The interstate WHS and the Vic OHS mention that in the general duty of care guidelines, the employers must ensure that the plant, including cranes, is safe and works properly. Furthermore, Safe Work Australia also has detailed policies regarding crane inspection and maintenance for a safe work environment.
Low Chances of Equipment Breakdown:
As mentioned before, regular cranes and other heavy machinery maintenance will reduce and prevent equipment damage and failure while working on the site. This means that there will be no hurdles on the path to productivity. You will experience lesser downtime due to repair, and it would also be less expensive to maintain a crane than to get a new one.
Daily or Weekly Inspections Before Annual and Monthly Maintenance
While it’s best to entrust a reputed maintenance engineer or company to carry out the inspections and maintenance. You can carry out procedures regularly to keep the machine in top shape.
Often these inspections are done by the operator at the start and end of each shift. During these inspection checks, the operator usually walks around the equipment to look for visual damages, defects, or problems. Below are some places to check during regular inspections.
- Sticky or jerky movement in emergency switches, safety switches, and other push buttons.
- Inspect the crane controls, motions, and functions
- Proper inflation in the wheel tires. Look for signs of tread wear and tear along with tears or cuts.
- Leaks in the hydraulic systems and also the fluid levels if there is no leak
- Filters, attachments, and the wire ropes
- All the parts used for lowering, swinging, or lifting weights and material
- Rotation of the swivel
Look for physical damage on the boom and jib of the crane. Warning signs may also include corrosion, bending, kinks, and cracked parts.
When it comes to the best practices regarding heavy equipment maintenance, it is first advised not to go the DIY route. Working with a reputed crane and heavy equipment maintenance specialist will help you address these issues effectively.
There is a protocol for doing certain things, and these experts know the best. So, it is best to outsource preventive maintenance and repair of cranes to the experts for optimum results.