Wire rope: 7 reasons to replace

  • A very expensive truck can be sidelined for want of a $1 part. Daily inspections catch potential problems when they can be quickly and inexpensively addressed.

    Credit: IMT

    A very expensive truck can be sidelined for want of a $1 part. Daily inspections catch potential problems when they can be quickly and inexpensively addressed.
Spending $300 to $400 to replace wire rope before it breaks could save thousands in property damage or worker injury. Some signs of deterioration indicate immediate replacement; others, that the rope should be monitored closely:

  • Corrosion (to prevent it, lubricate wires regularly)
  • Three broken wires in one strand or a total of six broken wires
  • Flat spots on the outer wires; outside wires that are less than two-thirds the thickness of the unworn outer wire
  • A decrease in diameter of 1/32 inch or more (indicates a core failure)
  • Distortion such as kinking, crushing, or birdcaging
  • Noticeable discoloration indicating heat damage
  • Broken wire protruding or looping out from the core of the rope

The hook: avoiding fines

Hooks must be monitored carefully for safety reasons. Make sure safety latches are present and operate properly. Remove from service and repair if any are deformed or malfunctioning.

A broken or missing latch could result in a dropped load or, if found by an OSHA inspector, fines.

Next steps

If the operator finds something amiss with any of these three major components, take the crane out of service until the necessary replacement or repair is completed.

IMT’s equipment manuals provide an inspection checklist. The company also offers a Crane and Vehicle Log for recording inspections, tests, maintenance, and repairs to help keep the crane in safe and productive condition.

Additional inspections and service should be performed according to manufacturer-recommended intervals and applicable regulations. IMT recommends performing monthly, quarterly, and annual inspections, each with their own specific list of items.

With strict adherence to guidelines and requirements—starting with daily inspections—operators can help ensure safe operation, minimize downtime, and control repair expenses.