Top 5 Defects – Lorry mounted cranes

The Thurra Engineers’ verdict of the most common faults with lorry mounted cranes.

Some very real issues here with potentially life threatening implications, highlighting how regular inspections are vital preventative measures.

  1. Sub Frame Assemble – Lorry mounted cranes have a wide range of uses from recovery of vehicles to the delivery of building supplies and as such they are in constant use in some very arduous and challenging conditions. Areas that can be overlooked are the crane’s sub frame. As part of the statutory thorough examination Thurra’s engineers will:
    Visually check the sub frame of the crane mounting and the lorry chassis for damage or signs of cracking and corrosion.
    Visually inspect all bolts and fastenings used to attach the crane to the sub frame and the sub frame to the lorry to ensure that they are not coming loose.Failure of the sub frame assemble could result in a very dangerous situation with the potential to cause injuries to those personnel in the vicinity. A failure whilst the vehicle is in transit could cause a major road traffic accident.
  2. Hydraulic leaks and signs of overall system integrity – Leaking hydraulic fluid either at a pipe union / hose or unseen leakage within the hydraulic pump / rupture valve can cause a suspended load to descend slowly or in the worst case, uncontrollably. In such incidents the hydraulic pump and motor could easily overheat and ultimately fail, whilst trying to keep the load elevated. Thereby causing significant inconvenience to the crane operator and ultimately the customer. An assessment of the condition of the hydraulic system is carried out at every examination conducted by Thurra’s engineers. With defects reported in person to the crane owner / operator so that repair actions can be undertaken, thereby preventing any down time.
  3. Slewing Mechanism – These are examined for security and wear during operation throughout its full range of movement and with the crane at maximum reach, ensuring that any limiting device operates effectively. Failure of such devices could result in injury to personnel, damage being caused to adjoining structures, damage to the load being lifted or the lorry itself. The slewing mechanism is a complex piece of equipment and generally expensive to repair / replace. Thurra’s engineers after conducting their examination will bring to the attention of the operator / owner any areas that require repair actions.
  4. Hoist Ropes – Lorry mounted cranes fitted with hoist rope are very susceptible to broken wires due to the nature of their operating environment. At every examination, the condition of the rope(s) and anchorages are examined. Any failure of the hoist rope, anchorage points or the attached lifting hook will present an immediate danger to personnel and property. The results of the examination are reported to the crane operator / owner and are recorded on the inspection report.
  5. Rated Capacity Indicators and Limiting device The rated capacity indicators and limiting devices are fitted to most modern cranes to ensure that the crane is not used to lift loads beyond their design. Any such lift could cause significant damage to the crane and in doing so endanger personnel and equipment. The function of the Rated Capacity Indicators and limiting device will be examined at every thorough examination by Thurra’s engineers. Additionally, conformation that rated capacity indicators and limiting device’s calibration status is being maintained. These functional checks and assessments will help ensure that the crane continues to operate safely and within its design specification.

Thurra’s team of experienced engineers will assess the overall condition of lorry mounted cranes, advising on the condition of the equipment and whether or not any remedial action is required to ensure that they continue to operate safely and effectively. A formal written report is produced which should be kept as confirmation of the equipment’s status and if required, presented to the maintenance contractor.

If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker or get in touch for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

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