Important Mistakes to Avoid When Using an Overhead Bridge Crane

An overhead bridge crane is a great way to increase productivity and efficiency. However, if you’re operating a crane incorrectly, you won’t just hinder productivity and efficiency, you also introduce a number of safety risks. Make sure your operators know what mistakes to avoid when using an overhead bridge crane.

Overlooking Load Limits

The load capacity of the bridge crane should never be taken as a suggestion; it’s mandatory. Some operators assume that exceeding the weight load limit from time to time won’t cause much harm. This mistake can result in costly facility repairs and most importantly, injuries.

Load capacity is dependent on the load capacity of the beams that support the crane. When you exceed the weight limit, you’re also exceeding the amount of weight the beams can support, potentially causing them to detach and send the crane downward. Consider installing a plaque with the weight limit near the operating controls to ensure this information isn’t overlooked.

Pulling from the Side

Bridge cranes work best when loads are lifted in a vertical position. Side pulling is an operation mistake that involves lifting an object from the side, causing the load hoist to operate horizontally. This issue commonly occurs when an operator picks up an object in hast and instead of adjusting the crane directly over-top, they get close enough to grab it from the side.

With side pulling, the rope doesn’t hang vertically. It hangs in a horizontal position that causes it to rub against the drum. When repeated often, this mistake causes friction on the rope that will eventually cause it to break or fray, which can also send your load crashing down.  

Avoiding Suggested Maintenance

One dangerous quality about overhead cranes is that problems aren’t always evident during daily operation. Take the previous scenario about the fraying rope, for example. You may not know there is an issue with the rope until it actually collapses. You can avoid this type of problem by making a commitment to follow through on any suggested maintenance outlined by the manufacturer.

Within the owner’s manual, there is generally a clear schedule by which certain inspections or updates should be performed. If this information is not available, a service technician can help. In addition to regular maintenance, the operator should also give the crane a quick, daily inspection to look for any obvious issues.

Proper operation is key to getting the most use out of your bridge crane. For more information, see this site.