Today, cranes are the backbone of many industries due to their efficiency. They make it easier and faster to lift heavy loads reducing the need for human labor. Heavyweights that used to take days to load can now be lifted and loaded within minutes, thanks to cranes. They also save time, money and spare people from potential accidents when lifting heavy loads.
Unfortunately, crane brakes are prone to failure, just like many other machines. Losing the ability to control the crane during operation is dangerous and can result in a catastrophic accident which is even scary to think about it. A crane accident can negatively impact the morality of other employees, and it is also costly for a company.
That is why you must keep up with your crane brakes maintenance and always have a professional conduct routine checks. It would be best to look for signs that signal your crane brakes are not working correctly.
The movements are not smooth.
One of the signs that your crane brakes are not functioning well is when you notice that the motions are not as smooth as they used to be. If you hit the brakes, the crane should immediately stop, but the pads may need a replacement if you notice some vibrations.
A screeching sound
Does your crane produce a screeching sound when you are maneuvering it? If so, there is a problem with the braking system. This is the easiest way to know that your crane brakes are not functioning well. This sound which resembles a squealing, grinding, or howling noise, indicates completely worn-out brake pads. And if the pads are completely gone, it means that metal is grinding on metal hence there is nearly no stopping power.
The brake parts look rusty.
According to crane experts at Kor Pak, a significant decline in temperature can cause the brake pads to shrink and rust resulting in a malfunction. Corrosion on the matting faces also builds up and interferes with the functioning of the crane brakes. For example, you may notice that the crane doesn’t move in a straight line when you hit the brakes, indicating hard friction that rusty parts may cause.
Presence of moisture on the brake parts
Moisture on the brake drum can also cause it to slip. Additionally, condensation between the lever and the pin can freeze in low temperatures causing the brakes to slip. If there is moisture on the brakes, it’s time to address it.
Do you have to hit the brake pedal almost to the floor before getting a response from the crane? If that is the case, your crane brake pads are almost entirely worn out, and you need to replace them. Besides, this problem can be caused by the presence of air in the brake lines or a brake fluid leak.
A key takeaway
You should be careful when operating a crane and beware of the signs of brake failure to address it early on. Also, ensure you source the brake parts from a certified supplier to guarantee efficiency and quality.