State Crane Laws
Practical Exam
Crane Study Material
Washington Crane Inspection & Maintenance


Crane Pre-Operation Inspection

What should you check for before operating a crane?

• Rope appearance - lubrication, kinks, breaks, corrosion, reduced diameter, or other signs of wear or damage.
• A rope drum - position of cable in groove tracking, means of anchoring and drum wear or damage.
• Sheaves - alignment of ropes, guides, dead ends, wear in sheave groove.
• Hooks - cracks, twisting, straightening, hook throat opening or other signs of wear or damage.
• Lights - burned out, broken.
• Mechanical parts and guards - loose, bent, broken, and missing.
• Rails - broken, chipped, cracked.
• Wheels - worn (showed by bumpy riding).
• Bearings - loose, worn.
• Brakes - shoe wear.
• Bridge bumpers and a trolley end stop - loose, missing, improper placement.
• Controllers and collector shoes or bars - worn, pitted, loose, broken, or faulty operation.
• A foot walk - condition of the boards, railings, and ladders.
• Gears - lack of lubrication or foreign material in gear teeth (indicated by grinding or squealing).
• A fire extinguisher must be in the crane cab.
• Make sure that no one is on or around a crane before closing the main or emergency switch, even when starting on regular duty.
• Before closing the main switch, make sure that all controllers are in the "off" position.
• Inspect oil only after opening and locking out the main switch.
What should you inspect a moving crane for?
Before lifting any load you should start the crane and inspect it when it is moving
• Smooth play out of wire rope to and from a drum.
• Sheaves turning without binding or jerking as a rope passes over them.
• Proper alignment where ropes enter sheaves.
• Ropes not rubbing on rope sheave guards.
• Rubbing, scraping, or clattering noises during operation.
• Proper operation of controls and brakes.
• Test the limit switch. Slowly raise the hook block with no load attached to the hook. If the switch is defective, make sure the block does not strike the cable drum.

Crane Maintenance

What should you check for when inspecting a crane before maintenance?

• Lower hoist to unload rope sheaves.
• Unwind all wire rope from the hoist drum to expose all parts of a rope, making sure that the rope does not rewind in the reverse direction.
• Inspect sheaves, sockets, dead-ends, thimble joints, and all wire rope hardware.
• During rope changes, check the sheaves for worn bearings, broken flanges, proper groove size, smoothness, and contour.
• Inspect all parts of the cable, cleaning wire rope only as required to complete an inspection. Excessive removal of lubrication will lead to damage.
• Re-lubricate rope to prevent corrosion, wear, friction, and drying out of the core.
• Check for ropes that may have been operated dry (unlubricated). Replace dry ropes. There may be hidden damage that is not detected by visual inspection.
• Compare the rope length and diameter with the original dimensions. Lengthening accompanied by diameter reduction is often an indication of interior core defects.
• Visually examine the crane structure for deformed, cracked or corroded members in the structure and boom. Check for loose bolts or rivets. Check for excessive wear on brake and clutch system parts.
• Check for deterioration or leakage in air or hydraulic systems.
• Check all control mechanisms for poor adjustment or excessive wear.
• Check accuracy of marking on the load/radius indicator over full range.
• Establish a schedule of rope replacement to change wire rope before it breaks. Periodic replacements do not take the place of inspections. If rope breaks or inspections reveal abnormal wire breakage or defects, reduce the time between replacement. Do not make wire rope slings from used wire rope.
What are some things to remember when repairing a crane?
• Take a crane to a location where repairs will least interfere with other cranes.
• Ensure that all controllers are placed in the "off" position, and the main switches are open and locked.
• Place on the switch a standard warning tag stating "DO NOT START." The tag must be filled out and signed
• Place rail stops or make other safety provisions when another crane operates on the same runway.
• Use fall protection equipment.
• Do not carry anything in your hands when going up and down ladders. Items that are too large to go into pockets or belts should be lifted to or lowered from the crane by a rope.
• Prevent loose parts or tools from falling to the floor.
• The area below the crane must be cleared and a barrier erected to prevent injury from a falling object.
• Replace all guards and other safety devices before leaving a crane.
• Remove all stops, tools, loose parts and other material and dispose of them before completing the repair job.
• Enter all service inspections and repairs in a crane log book or file.