In this article, we would like to use our experience as manufacturers to help standard crane buyers make the right decision on purchasing these vital production assets. Our “Ten Tips For Buyers” list a series of minimum precautions to be taken before embarking on this major investment. They are not aimed as a set of instructions for buying, but we hope they will help answer some of your queries.
It is a strategic mistake to only base your purchase on elements such as the cost of the crane itself and not others such as corrective and/or preventive maintenance over the next few years, as these are just as important. Manufacturers who invest in the durability and reliability of their equipment will realise that they may be more expensive today… But they’ll be much more profitable tomorrow.
Ignoring the crane’s safety elements is a big mistake, and it also has a direct impact on the crane’s working life. The buyer may not need to know about the European safety standard, but he does need to ensure the manufacturer complies with it. Just try this out: ask about the cable’s safety coefficient (it mustn’t be any lower than 5).
The hook might seem like a mere accessory, but it’s vital to safety as a load hanging element. Ask to see the design of the hook. Many manufacturers are more concerned with design than with hook strength, and their hooks don’t meet the required standards.
All production assets have to be in perfect working order to fulfil their expectations, and the crane manufacturer should therefore recommend preventive maintenance that will extend the working life of the crane. Electronic devices exist today for checking the state of the cranes, their correct functioning and the maintenance requirements that will prevent unwanted problems from occurring. If the manufacturer has provided a robust, tried-and-tested standard design, part replacement will be much quicker, cheaper and efficient.
That’s a really big mistake. Overloading the crane endangers its safety and shortens the life of its components. For loads of over 1000 kg a load limiting device is required by law, to prevent temptation. Many manufacturers offer the option of a display showing the weight of the load, which can save you unpleasant surprises.
If the drive is only on one side, the trolley will be subject to cross-stressing that will shorten its lifetime. Make sure the manufacturer provides transmission on both sides.
Ask for a jointed frame design that will ensure all four wheels are correctly secured and prevent premature wear.
Frequency inverters for crane drive improve crane movement control and prolong the life of electrical components, mechanisms, motors, gears, bearings…
Frequency inverters will prevent problems with load swing and inaccurate movement.
A well-manufactured support structure for the crane is vital (camber, pre-camber, squaring, correct wheel alignment, etc.).