Don’t Cut Back on Crane and Hoist Inspections

The common reaction to a business slowdown is to cut back on regular expenses to maintain the bottom line for the business.  A natural place that most manufacturing firms look at cutting is the maintenance budget.  Cutting back on your crane maintenance and inspection costs for equipment that remains in operation during a slowdown could likely cost you more in the short run as well as the long run.

A good crane inspection program using a trained and qualified inspector will identify problems on the crane that relate to safety as well as those that require repairs that will lead to costly unplanned downtime.

Beyond ensuring the safety of your employees that operate the crane and work in the vicinity, the primary objective of routine crane inspections is to lower your cost of unplanned breakdowns.  When you defer or eliminate crane and hoist inspections; the equipment will continue to wear, and parts or components that will cause downtime will not be identified.  One unplanned breakdown could easily cost many years of rigorous inspections on all your equipment.

For example:  If you defer proper and routine crane inspections and the hoist wire rope fails during a shift you not only have the potential for a catastrophic personnel accident but that crane is put out of service until a new wire rope can be delivered and then installed.  The part will need to be express shipped and the labor to install done on overtime to get your equipment running sooner.

What if the part is days or weeks off due to supply issues?  What was the real cost of the downtime and the loss of production as well as the impact on your own customer that may now receive a late delivery?  And this example is just a very common hoist failure point since a wire rope typically has a life of around two years.  The inspection likely would have identified the rope wear, allowing you to order the part for efficient replacement without impact on safety, production, and minimizing cost impacts.

In a much more severe case, you might have a very custom or special crane parts such as a hoist motor, crane wheel, or gearbox that could shut you down for 10 weeks or more.  The average cost of a crane inspection for a standard crane is a couple of hundred dollars.

As can be easily understood, this minor expense done four or more times a year on your production equipment could easily be the best investment you make since an unplanned outage could cost many tens or hundreds of thousands.

A typical high-value OSHA / ANSI overhead crane and hoist inspection by a CRANE 1 certified Inspector is comprehensive and includes:

  1. Site introduction to your appointed contact and equipment operators as applicable
  2. A site safety check and securing the work area as required
  3. Operational check to determine that the hoist and crane controls and limits are operating properly
  4. Safety lock-out of electrical systems to the crane during portions of the inspection
  5. Using a personnel lift to allow hands-on inspection of the mechanical, structural and electrical systems of the crane and hoist
  6. Lubrication and adjustment services depending on the inspection program
  7. Inspection of the runway structure and electrification system to identify observable problems
  8. Full written inspection report using our proprietary software and inspection system which includes images of found deficiencies
  9. Post-inspection review with our site contact to communicate areas of concern.

The CRANE 1 team members are experts in crane and hoist inspection and repair.  Give your local branch a call and we will develop a program that reduces the risk of production loss and improves the safety of your people.