The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulations state that cranes services should be conducted regularly, from an initial inspection done prior to the crane’s first use, to frequent and periodic inspection throughout its lifecycle. 

Preventive servicing and maintenance is a cost-effective alternative to reactive repairs because they identify the minor issue before it becomes a major problem. As well as reducing the risk of crane breakdown, you can minimise the downtime and cost that usually arises out of such incidents and improve overall productivity of your equipment as a result.

 

Why do I need frequent crane services?

The main reason why you should have frequent crane services is that it is a legal obligation. The HSE requires that all users and owners of any kind of lifting equipment must ensure that it is checked and maintained as necessary to keep it safe for use.

Besides safety, there are other reasons why you should be servicing your cranes. By reducing risk, you ultimately minimise the amount of downtime you or your fellow employees accumulate when a crane breaks down, which optimises productivity. 

There are also other more informal inspections you can undertake optionally that can regularly be done in-house. These are recommended in addition to the legal requirement because they can help you avoid unexpected costly repairs and keep productivity of equipment high.

 

For more information on the legal requirements of crane servicing, download our guide: How to choose crane service provider.

 

Crane Service Life Span Factors

Every crane is different - its individual lifespan depends entirely upon how often the crane is being used, what it is being used for and where it is stored. 

When a crane is used regularly, it naturally becomes subject to general deterioration. However, if it is being used in extreme conditions then damage will more likely occur, meaning that more frequent servicing will be needed. These environmental conditions include:

  • Humidity: This can corrode parts of the crane or lead to moisture ingress. An example of this is a crane used in a paper mill

  • Outdoor: Extreme weather such as rain, wind and freezing temperatures can significantly affect the lifespan of a crane or its components
  • Chemicals: Chemical environments can have a substantial effect on a crane due to the corrosive gases and fumes that arise out of chemical process, such as galvanizing.

In order to effectively manage these lifespan factors, be sure to assess the location and use of each crane in your possession to accurately determine how frequently each individual crane should be serviced.

 

Daily Crane Inspections

Each crane should be inspected daily, in-house, to keep an up-to-date record of each crane’s status and it should be done using a checklist. The reason for this is that it enables all inspections to be done consistently and effectively - you can measure deterioration as it happens and highlight any issues before they require urgent repairs. 

By doing this, you reduce the risk of urgent repairs or crane services needing to be done, which can save you both time and money. You also have the freedom to choose when you undertake daily inspections, which will significantly reduce downtime because, even when an issue is identified, any subsequent dips in productivity can be accounted for and planned around.

 

crane services

 

LOLER for Cranes

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) place duties on companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. Under this regulation, cranes should be thoroughly inspected every twelve months by a competent person in order to ensure that your equipment is compliant with LOLER regulations. 

This is a legal requirement, however, there are other benefits that come with ensuring you stay up-to-date with inspections. Not only does it keep employees safe from dangerous equipment, but it can provide you with peace of mind that your cranes are performing at the required standard, which keeps productivity high. 

 

Crane Overhauls 

Every ten years of service, a crane will need a general overhaul based on the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) recommendation - unless the crane has been poorly maintained, or is faulty. In which case an overhaul will need to be done more frequently. 

Complete overhauls begin with a thorough inspection, followed by basic disassembly in order to determine the current condition of a crane and identify any potential issues which could leave the crane beyond repair, such as a cracked or bent frame. After this, any repairs will be done and the crane will be reassembled and tested thoroughly to ensure that it is in full working order.

Overhauls are a complex ordeal and they should be undertaken by a competent expert. It is recommended that you use an overhaul specialist from the company that provides your LOLER inspections, because they will be more familiar with your equipment and any issues it has. Not only this, but using the same company saves you the time and effort of having to source another provider.

 

To help you choose the best provider for your Crane maintenance services, we’ve created a short informative guide: How to choose a crane service provider. In this free guide, we have outlined all the questions you need to ask and everything you need to look out for from your inspection provider, from what accreditations they have to how they perform inspections. Download your free guide here.

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