If you’ve purchased a crane, whether through us or another manufacturer, then we hope that you view it as more of a key part of the worksite, than simply another tool! While great steps can be taken to prolong the service life of a crane, through things such as regular inspections or lubrication, there will naturally be newer releases of products year-on-year. If you are looking for ways to keep your crane modern, don’t want to purchase a new one, or are interested in making it more efficient or productive, then there are various ways that you can upgrade your crane.
There are many ways that you can look to upgrade your crane
Why should you modernise or upgrade your crane?
There are several reasons why you may want to choose this avenue for your equipment:
- Upgrades are typically less expensive than purchasing a brand new crane, and so for many, are a better option
- Cranes are usually seen as more of a long-term investment, and so it makes sense to try and keep the one you have
- Upgrading a crane can also increase its value if you are looking to sell it further down the line
- You may have seen a new innovation on the market that can increase the performance of your lifting gear
- Some modernisations are designed to make cranes more efficient, productive and safer
- You may also find that the service life of your equipment can be extended through these upgrades
Whatever your reasons are, choosing to upgrade your crane can be a savvy and smart business decision!
Are you having problems with your crane?
Before we look at ways that you can modernise and upgrade your crane, it’s important to rule out any defects, damages or issues with your equipment. If you are looking to upgrade or modernise because you believe your crane isn’t operating properly, then it may be that it is damaged.
Please ensure that you conduct a thorough inspection and test first, to rule out any issues, before sourcing upgrades. If you are unsure how to inspect your crane properly, we offer expert inspections and servicing. This is done in accordance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
Things to consider first
It may be that you know exactly what route you want to take with your modernisation, but if not, there are a few factors to consider before you look at options.
- First, ask yourself why you want an upgrade. Look at what areas you are trying to improve upon
- Analyse the current capabilities of your crane, and what may be needed for an upgrade
- Once you have decided on these two things, create a plan for modernisation, detailing any necessary materials that you may need
- Then you can begin the sourcing process for your new upgrades
Upgrades and modernisations
Here are some ideas for upgrades that you can consider. Please note that not all upgrades are applicable with all types of crane.
Variable frequency drives
These are utilised with overhead cranes, and can be used to replace the existent motors that are currently used. They help to increase the level of control that is provided, and also reduce the impacts of stopping and starting.
Typically, the motors that are currently installed are single speed, and so a variable frequency drive offers greater levels of flexibility, performance and production. Single speed motors can also be controlled by a variable frequency drive, which is used to minimise the shock on loads.
Remote control systems
These are popular upgrades for cranes, and are become more and more standard with modern cranes. These allow the operator to control a crane from the floor, rather than having to do so from the operator’s cab or a fixed pendant. It makes the crane easier to operate, and increases the level of safety of the operator.
Retrofit jib drives
A retrofit jib drive is used to adapt a current manual rotation jib crane into a motorised rotation. Not only does this hugely increase productivity and efficiency, but it is also a fraction of the cost of what it would be to purchase a brand new motorised jib crane.
Items such as wheels, gears and bearings typically have a service life of more than 20 years, but they may start to notice more problems after 10 to 15 years. It is therefore worth upgrading these parts regularly to ensure that they stay productive. You may also find there have been more modern innovations in this time, such as newer precision gearing which reduces vibrations and friction.
Another key area of improvement in this area over the last few years is with braking performance. Brake linings now last much longer than in previous years, and many are self-adjusting, shock-resistant and can operate with ease in corrosive environments.
Cranes can last many, many years, and it’s not uncommon to see a crane having been in use for a long time. With this, the structure may have become outdated. Considering replacing some of this structure, for instance an older trolley with a newer one to upgrade your crane.
It’s important to upgrade mechanical and structural parts such as these
You’ll likely find that newer, lighter alternatives of many of these objects and structural parts have been invented, meaning you can reduce the overall weight of your crane too.
Cranes need to work in conjunction with accessories, such as lifting hoists, and there are always newer and better alternatives being introduced to the market. Consider upgrading your accessories at regular intervals to maintain as high a level of efficiency and productivity as possible.
Would you like to find out more information from us?
If you have seen an upgrade above that you would like to discuss further, or you have any other questions for us, then we would be more than happy to help. Please either give us a call on 01384 76961, or get in contact with us via this page here.
Image credits: 3dman_eu, crowninstrumentation and OpenClipart-Vectors