Moving large or heavy loads is the defining trait of the construction and heavy equipment industries. These loads, by nature, are a hazard to both people and structures while being moved. They need to be moved safely and properly to avert any risk to their surroundings and themselves. It is from this need that one of the most popularly used implements was created: the mobile crane.
Mobile cranes, just like all other machines used in industry, wear down over time. They require frequent mobile crane inspection and maintenance to keep them working safely and optimally. The best way to keep tabs on their status is to carry out frequent inspections.
What Is Mobile Crane Inspection?
This is the evaluation of the proper functionality of a mobile crane. It should be carried out by a trained inspector, who checks that the crane’s components meet required standards, as well as parts that need to be fixed or replaced.
Total Equipment Training offers on-site mobile crane inspection services, which is OSHA compliant and NCCCO certified.
What Are the Types of Mobile Cranes?
- Crawler Crane – These are unique type of mobile crane. Instead of wheels, they use tracks to move between locations on site. The tracks provide greater traction, making them optimal for use on soft ground. They do need to be transported by other vehicles between sites.
- All-Terrain Mobile Crane – These are high-capacity cranes capable of operating over long periods of time lifting heavy (40 to 1000 ton) loads. Often powered by twin engines, these powerful multiple-wheeled cranes are seeing rising popularity in use.
- Truck-Mounted Cranes – As the name implies, this is a crane (boom) mounted on a truck. They travel easily and aren’t demanding when it comes to setting up.
- Carry Deck Cranes – This type of crane is small, highly mobile, and easy to set up. This is thanks to their four-wheel base, which allows for full 360-degree rotation.
- Rough Terrain Crane – These are similar to crawler cranes, but instead of tracks, they have four large tires powered by a 4-wheel-drive system. To improve stability, they’re fitted with stabilizers. This makes them great fits for work on off-road and rough terrains.
- Floating Cranes – These cranes are essentially a crane mechanism attached to a ship, and are used for projects at port and sea.
Thanks to advances in the types of materials used and mechanical design, it is possible to find mobile cranes fitted with both telescopic and fixed extension booms. Stabilizers also vary, modifiable by space available and intent of use.
Types of Mobile Crane Inspections
There are various types of inspections that the mobile crane must undergo to verify its proper function and adherence to operational requirements:
- Initial Inspection: This is the first inspection all cranes must go through after being installed before its use on the worksite, as stipulated by OSHA.
- Functional Test Inspection: This is an inspection carried out on the mobile crane before it starts on any work shift. Essentially, this is a daily inspection to make sure the mobile crane is ready for use.
- Frequent/Regular Inspection: This is an in-depth inspection of the mobile crane based on the frequency of its use. Mobile cranes in the ‘Normal service’ use category should have frequent inspections on a monthly basis, ‘heavy service’ inspected weekly to monthly, and ‘severe service’ inspected daily to weekly.
- Periodic/Annual Inspection: This is an in-depth inspection, similar to frequent inspection, differing only in when it is carried out. ‘Normal’ and ‘heavy’ service mobile cranes should be inspected every year, while those in ‘severe’ service inspected quarterly (every 3 months).
Total Equipment Training offers a helpful and FREE mobile crane inspection checklist.
Crane Load Testing For Mobile Cranes
Load testing is an essential requirement for all lifting implements, as determined by OSHA. Load testing will make sure the mobile crane has reliable and safe functionality. It checks all components put under stress during lifting work properly and helps benchmark parts most susceptible to wear during use. Manufacturers include load limits for various deployment configurations of the mobile crane being tested.
Certified inspectors tend to push these limits during tests, to help give maximum (danger) thresholds that should strictly not be surpassed, often 20-25 percent of load limits.
Mobile Crane Inspection Checklist
Having a checklist to refer to makes it much easier to professionally cover and document components inspected, as well as keep track of their statuses. Items on certified inspectors’ checklists include:
- The operator’s level of certification or experience
- Whether the mobile crane’s annual inspection has been done and how far to or since.
- The condition of the mobile crane’s stabilizers
- Has daily inspection been carried out
- Is the manufacturer’s manual clearly visible in the crane operator’s booth
- General condition of the mobile crane’s components. This can be broken down into sub-categories focusing on component groups or individual parts.
- Information on the load – description, weight, counterweight configuration, etc.
Where Can I Get Mobile Crane Inspection Services?
Total Equipment Training provides both crane inspections and load testing. Stay safe by keeping your crane inspections up to date. Compromising on the quality and skill of personnel carrying out the inspection can come to pose a costly hazard to both site staff and structures in the future.
As a site manager or employer, seek out professional OSHA-certified mobile crane inspectors. Complete your heavy equipment inspection at your work site for peace of mind.