Crawler cranes are one of the most important and popular types of cranes used in construction, transportation, and other industries. These machines are built to lift and shift extremely heavy loads. To keep them running effortlessly, it’s the responsibility of crane rentals to look after them and provide proper maintenance to prevent risks. If you intend on buying or renting a crawler crane or have recently purchased one, this is what you need to know about its maintenance.
The most important factor when it comes to crawler crane maintenance is crane inspection. Inspections should be carried out both daily, weekly, or monthly based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and international standards. The primary purpose of an inspection is to look for any signs of wear and tear that might pose a risk when lifting heavy weights.
In addition to that, crane inspections should always be performed by a professional. The operator of the crane is also required to do the same before operating the crane every day. If any problems are detected, they should be recorded and conveyed to the relevant authorities for repair and replacement.
The first thing that needs inspection is the engine. Needless to say, it’s a critical part of a crane. As mentioned earlier, crawler cranes are engineered to deal with heavy loads daily. This means the engine has to be consistent with its power to support the lifting. This will lead to wear and tear.
However, engine inspection must be performed daily which involves inspecting the appearance of the engine components and its parts to ensure there are no visual signs of damage, cracks, leakages, etc.
To make sure the engine runs smoothly, you should check the pipe fittings, mountings, hydraulics, and other important components. Once that is done, the operation status of the engine should also be checked. For this, a scanner might be needed. Connecting the device to the crane will give you values allowing you a better look at the condition of the engine while it runs.
When it comes to the maintenance of the engine, it should be done based on the recommendations of the engine manufacturer.
Hydraulic System Maintenance
To ensure the hydraulic system works without any complications, you will need to perform inspections and maintenance on time. Then again, depending on the make, model, and variant of the crane, the maintenance interval may differ. However, using the right hydraulic oil is the most important factor in terms of maintaining a hydraulic system.
To pick the right option, consult the user manual. The recommendation may vary based on the manufacturer as different oils possess different capabilities to cool and lubricate the system. If you were to pick the wrong oil, do not be surprised if the hydraulic system malfunctions prematurely.
Furthermore, the hydraulic system should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent dirt, dust, and other external factors from affecting the life and performance of the machine. Oil mixed with dirt and dust accumulation can cause serious problems down the road. Plus, make sure the system is cleared off the air and water does not mix with oil.
Cranes services MD must perform hydraulic maintenance else the lifting and shifting capability of the crane will be impacted. In some cases, it can lead to mishaps as well because the crane might not lift a load that it’s rated for.
Cooling System Inspection
As the engines work to lift and shift heavy loads for hours during the day, it is easy for them to overheat. This is why the cooling system needs to be working in perfect condition to keep the engine running. Depending on the manufacturer and model of the crane, the location of the cooling system may vary. So, you will need to consult the user manual.
Crawler crane engines create a lot of pressure and force when dealing with heavy weights. This could easily rip or damage the pipes. As a result, the coolant could leak and evaporate. Check the expansion tank for the coolant level. If the coolant level can be seen, no addition is required.
However, if the situation is the opposite, you should add coolant. Moreover, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about cold-proof capacity before each cold season checks in. The last thing you want is the coolant freezing in the expansion tank.
Electrical System Maintenance
The maintenance of the electrical system is as important as the mechanical system. Several components need an inspection on a daily basis to ensure the crane functions effortlessly. To begin with, the battery, hoisting limit switch, and the entire illumination system should be checked.
Modern cranes feature advanced safety features that keep electrical circuits to begin to burn because of various reasons. However, ignorance and mistreatment can cause fire and other serious hazards. One major factor that leads to such incidents is the use of aftermarket parts that are not tested and approved.
If the battery is in use, you should check it every 200 hours of usage. However, if it is not in use, it should be properly stored in a clean and dry-ventilated space. Make sure the battery is not filled with electrolytes when stored. Plus, do not compound the electrolyte with well water, river water, or water with impurities.
The electrical system helps with visibility when the crane is working at night. It is important for both the operator and the crew on the ground. This is why failures should not only be prevented but seriously attended to, to avoid panic situations.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
The operator’s cab can turn very hot in the summer season. That said, it is of utmost importance that the air conditioning system works effectively to keep the cab environment cool and comfortable. For that, performing a thorough inspection and maintenance of the system will help maintain its effectiveness.
The maintenance of the air conditioning system requires checking the refrigerant level, air filters, and other relevant parts. If there is a leakage, it should be immediately fixed as it could damage the compressor. Plus, the condenser and other parts should be regularly cleaned for proper heat dissipation.
And do not let the air conditioner sit dormant for long. Use it every day for 10 minutes to keep the components in motion.
Operator’s Cab Maintenance
The operator cab is where the magic happens. It contains all the features, and functions of the crane used by the operator. This means every button should be in working condition and the operator should be able to clearly see through the windshield.
Check the windshield fluid and refill if required. Additionally, the sliding door of the cab should also be functional to help the driver escape in time if something goes wrong. The video monitoring system should also be in perfect working condition to help the operator have a clear view of the crane and areas that are otherwise hidden.
Crawler crane maintenance is of utmost importance. Failure to do so can cause severe accidents. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. More importantly, hire professionals to inspect and maintain the machine as it helps avoid serious mishaps. If you’re an entity you want need cranes, get cranes from crane for rent VA services that have a track-record of high maintenance standards for cranes.