Recently, we discussed tips on how to avoid downtime with your equipment. Now we’re diving deeper into that subject, because maintaining a safe environment for employees and avoiding costly downtime are are top-of-mind goals for any business. When cranes enter the mix, those goals become that much more magnified, which is why it’s imperative to remain up-to-date on all maintenance and inspection. This not only extends the life of the equipment to protect your investment, but also ensures that you’re remaining compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and mandates. So when should you be scheduling preventative crane maintenance or inspections? The answer depends on the type of crane you’re operating and how it’s being used

Spotting Potential Problems

If your crane included an OEM owner’s manual, be sure to read it immediately. Get acquainted with any information you may not have otherwise been aware of and you’ll thank yourself later. Additionally, those manuals often include a recommendation by the manufacturer about how often any inspections should occur. Let the manual be your guide—it’s there to help keep the crane in working order, limiting downtime and helping you avoid pushing timelines back.

Just as you’d expect your body to give you warning signs when something wasn’t working properly, your equipment will do the same. The most obvious time to schedule an inspection is when you notice the crane operating differently than it has before. Don’t wait until a problem becomes a disaster. If your crane is showing symptoms of an issue, it’s not going to heal itself. The person operating the crane on a daily basis knows it best, so the crane operator will be the first to recognize a potential problem and a possible solution.

Of course, sometimes equipment breaks without any obvious signs of a problem. Mechanical failures happen, seemingly out of the blue. While it may have inspections up to the OSHA standards, those inspections may not be occurring often enough. There’s also the possibility that the inspections are, in fact, up to OSHA standards and happening frequently enough, but the part that failed was not part of the inspection and/or maintenance program.

The Three Stages of Preventative Care

A good rule of thumb to follow is to implement a three-stage inspection/maintenance plan:

  1. The Initial Inspection: This should be performed by a qualified professional to ensure the initial installation of the crane is proper and the crane is safe to operate.
  2. Regular/Periodic Inspections: Also performed by a qualified individual, these occur at regular intervals that depend on how often and how you use your crane. For example, these may be scheduled weekly, monthly, or at any other interval you feel will accommodate the duty cycle of your crane. RTL Equipment also offers annual crane inspections so that you can be sure that a professional technician is keeping an eye on things.
  3. Frequent/Daily Inspections: These should be performed by someone familiar with the crane—ideally the crane operator. Frequent inspections should happen daily or otherwise before every shift.

Of course, sometimes problems arise even when we do all the right things. When that happens, our emergency services are ready. We pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date with the latest technology and our technicians are trained in OEM standards and practices. Our knowledge of the most recent equipment news also allows us to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to give us a call.