How to Properly Use an Overhead Crane

CraningWhen you think of overhead cranes, most of you probably envision the enormous cranes that sit in a construction zone in a big city. If this is what you think of, you’re right on point. Besides helping to lift heavy objects from one area to another, cranes are also known for being extremely dangerous. In order to properly use cranes, follow these guidelines below!

Know the load capacity

This is one of the most important points to using a crane safely. By making sure of what your capacity is and not exceeding it, you will eliminate opportunity for danger. Before using the crane, also make sure to test hoist brakes and if they don’t hold properly, slowly lower the load and report the situation to the manufacturer of the crane. This can help to determine whether this issue has already been reported and if so, what the cause is.

Inspect equipment daily

Each day you’re using a crane, make it a routine to check the equipment for any potential problems with the machinery. Pneumatic and hydraulic parts should be dry and never leaking, and when operating, you should see nothing but smooth movement. Another key item to look for when inspecting is for any unusual sounds which could indicate a problem.

Remove loose materials

Before lifting a load, remove any loose materials or parts that shouldn’t be there. Sling and hoisting ropes should be completely free of slack and the lifting device should be right in the hook’s saddle and no where else.

Prepare for an emergency

Sure, it might sound a little dramatic to always be thinking about the worst case scenario, but when it comes to operating a piece of machinery like this, you should always be prepared. In case of an emergency, make sure all staff on duty is trained to handle an emergency situation whether it’s electrical, mechanical or a power failure.

Be aware of overhead power lines

While working outside, you have to be familiar with overhead power lines and the voltage of them. Before even starting the work, have the lines de-energized and erect insulated barriers to the lines. Also keep in mind that since the crane might bob or weave, be extremely cautious when moving on an uneven ground.

Switch “off”

This might be the most important tip when ending your day on-site. It’s easy to forget to turn things off, just like it is at home. Before you leave at the end of your shift, switch ALL controls to the off position, and always remove the load hanging from the crane’s hooks.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

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