How to Best maintain the usage of Cranes

Your life as a general contractor is one likely filled with periods of uncertainty as to where your next paycheck will be coming from, and this fear is compounded even further if you fit into the category of being self-employed. One piece of equipment that opens doors to a vast number of jobs is a crane, and if you’re new to these devices you will discover there are maintenance requirements you can’t afford to ignore.

Be a Smooth Operator

When most people are asked to describe a crane they will likely first detail the rope that hangs from the hoist and raises and lowers objects. Just as this part is in the forefront of many layman’s minds, so should it be one of the first things you inspect on a regular basis.

There is nothing more important than making sure the rope stays sufficiently lubricated at all times. You will have two types of lubricant to choose from.

  • Penetrating – This type of lubricant not only coats the surface of the rope, but is specially designed to go beneath the surface and protect the core. Since cores are often cited as the first part of the rope to fail, it is vital that you purchase lubricants that are able to protect the rope inside and out.
  • Coating – If your rope is has a steel core rather than a fiber one than you are safe using a lubricant that only coats the outer surface. The primary difference you will notice when using this type of lubricant is that the thick coating on the outer surface of the rope doesn’t get absorbed over time.

Keep That Oil Fresh

Many issues with the hydraulic system can be linked directly to the oil, and there are a couple of problems you should be on the lookout for at the start of every workday.

  • Cloudy Appearance – If the oil has a cloudy appearance than water has likely seeped into the system. If this occurs you should change the oil immediately before the water corrodes the hydraulic motor and causes it to seize.
  • Burning Smell – If your oil is gives off a burning smell this indicates the hydraulic system is overheating. The best thing to do in this instance is immediately change the oil and then check the pressure levels to see if they return to normal.

Once you have determined what the problem with the oil is you should make sure all systems are disengaged and then locate the drain plug on the hydraulic motor. After draining all the hydraulic oil in the system and replacing it with the proper amount based on the manufacturer’s specifications you should grease all of the o-rings to ensure the system operates smoothly.