Cranes are among the most common pieces of equipment seen on construction sites. Their ability to lift and move large loads is indispensable for any project. Nevertheless, crane repair and part replacement will be necessary at some point in every crane’s life. A proper understanding of a crane’s components, along with which parts are most commonly replaced, will help ensure you get the most out of your crane.
The Terex and Demag brands epitomize the crane industry, and LC Crane Parts and Service technicians specialize in mobile cranes, crawler, rough terrain and all terrain cranes.
Below, we will discuss five of the most common parts we source for these kinds of cranes, along with some common causes that result in upgrading or replacing.
1. Chain Links
Cranes that rely on a chain lifting system should have that function replaced regularly. Due to the constant, continuous lifting, it’s possible for chains to break or crush before someone notices. Other reasons for replacements include distorted links, cracks, stretch and wear. Properly greasing and lubricating links will help prevent these damages and lengthen the life of the chain. It’s also important to make sure chain links are set properly in the chain guide and sprockets.
During routine crane inspections, gear cases (which include gears, shafts and other components) can sometimes be overlooked. While gears are considered to be more durable than other parts, they are also prone to failure if not cared for properly. Common reasons for replacement include general wear and fatigue due to heavy use over many years. Older gears also have an inadequate tooth depth-to-rim ratio, making them more prone to failure. During a specialized gear case inspection, all components inside are checked to see if they need replacing. Please note that it’s recommended to have spare parts available in the event of immediate replacement.
3. Hoist Brakes
Working brakes are vital to ensure crew safety, as they prevent loads from falling if the crane isn’t running. While secondary brakes, such as mechanical load brakes, are present on most cranes today, properly checking and replacing hoist brakes as needed is important. Common causes for replacement include not properly changing gearbox oil and wear on brake lining. If a load’s weight is near the crane’s capacity, it’s important to test the brakes before moving forward with the lift. This can be done by lifting the load a few inches to check for slipping.
For any crane, the hook is essential. Used to grab and lift load during any project, the shank hook is attached to what is called the hook assembly. Most hooks today are equipped with safety latches to prevent the disengagement of what is carrying the load (e.g. wire rope sling). Common reasons for hook replacements include wear on the bearing (saddle) point, deformations on the throat, surface indications and corrosion. A condition called cumulative fatigue is also possible, typically originating from a slight crack in the hook shank. Make sure your single and double hooks, eye hooks and other machined parts are produced to international safety standards.
5. Wire Rope
Of any crane component, it should come as no surprise that wire ropes undergo frequent wear and will need replacing. Two of the most common reasons for wear are rushing caused by spooling on drums and fatigue caused by the wire running over sheaves and drums. Inspecting wire ropes for damage includes looking out for unstranding, birdcaging, strand displacement, and changes in the rope’s diameter. Rope that hasn’t been used in over a month should also be checked before use. Please note that wire rope, like other crane parts, is prone to corrosion.
Contact Larry Collier Crane
No matter your crane component needs, Larry Collier Crane (LC Crane Parts and Service) carries parts from many kinds of mobile cranes. You can search available inventory by part number here. Please contact us directly if you cannot find your part; we are always here to help you get back to work!