• Diligent truck-mounted crane inspection and maintenance are critical to ensuring safe operation, minimizing downtime, and managing repair expenses.

    Credit: IMT

    Diligent truck-mounted crane inspection and maintenance are critical to ensuring safe operation, minimizing downtime, and managing repair expenses.
Truck-mounted cranes provide lift and reach for a variety of public works applications, but operators have a lot on their plate. Between the pre-trip vehicle inspection and the day’s upcoming schedule, it’s easy to overlook the crane mounted on their service truck body.

However, daily inspection is critical. Maintenance and repair needs can be identified and corrected long before they endanger employees or damage equipment. A retainer bolt pin costs less than $1, but if it falls out, it can cause the crane to drop a load. Unchecked cracked welds destroy boom integrity. Blown hydraulic hoses spill oil.

Diligent inspection facilitates safe operation, maximizes uptime, and lowers repair costs. Iowa Mold Tooling Co. Inc. (IMT), a manufacturer of service trucks and truck-mounted cranes based in Garner, Iowa, recommends the following daily practices. IMT is just one supplier of this type of equipment, however, so make sure operators and service technicians follow the manuals for the specific brand they’re operating, inspecting, and/or maintaining, along with applicable regulations.

The crane: 12 checkpoints

These recommendations apply to both telescopic cranes integrated with a mechanic’s truck body and truck-mounted articulating cranes used for material handling.

Daily crane inspections should be conducted by a “competent person,” defined as someone capable of identifying hazards and having the authority to take prompt corrective action to eliminate them:

  • All load charts, safety and warning labels, and control labels for presence and legibility
  • All safety devices for proper operation
  • Control mechanisms for leaks, cracks, and proper operation of all functions
  • Hydraulic system (hoses, tubes, fittings) for leakage and proper oil level
  • Crane hook’s safety latches and proper operation
  • Condition of wire rope
  • Connecting pins and pin-retaining devices for proper engagement
  • Overall crane for damaged or missing parts, cracked welds, and presence of safety covers; crane should be observed during operation for abnormal performance
  • Lights and alarms for proper operation
  • Remote control devices for proper operation
  • Anti-two-block device for proper operation
  • Electrical apparatus for malfunctioning; signs of apparent excessive deterioration, dirt or moisture accumulation