Safety Importance of Crane Wheels

This blog will discuss the safety importance of crane wheels, more specifically the issue of mismatched wheels. Mismatched wheels: the wheel must match the profile of the rail. I Beams require angled wheels, and W Beams require flat wheels. This is part two of crane wheels as discussed in the previous blog. Clearly mismatched wheels is an important safety concern. So, you realized you have mismatched wheels… so what now? Let’s answer these two questions: What are the issues and how do we correct them? Did you know that underslung crane wheels exist all over the place? Well they do. Simple examples are Jib Crane Trolleys. A simple trolley is easy to replace, and is cost effective! Unfortunately, in the case of 5 Ton Capacities and greater, repair costs are high. On top of that, purpose built wheel situations are really difficult… really difficult! From experience, we had a customer question why a a crane passed inspection one year and not the next. Well, the reason for this was the units angled I beam and its’ flat wheels. Actually, when we had a technical meeting about the issue and went to observe the crane, we noticed that the pump lifted by the hoist and on the load hook, on this particular day approached 90 percent of the maximum 5 Ton loading… not good! Sadly, corrective action is difficult in the case of mismatched wheels. However, if loading of the wheels is within 25% to 50% of maximum loading, then there is potential that the trolley stub shafts will survive. Another example we have seen and had to repair by welding, is the twisting of beams, more specifically, the case of “Wheeled Gantries”. Similarly, stub shafts are under shear and bend. This is normal. However, when the bearing surface is not riding on the beam properly, point loading becomes extreme. The moment on the stub shaft is more than designed for. This can cause the stubs to bend and possibly fracture. As a result, catastrophic failure can occur. In the nondestructive world, we are looking for indications. How can you possibly see behind the wheels? Well, “Squealing” noises are an indicator. In one recent situation, the squealing of the wheels on the rails was the giveaway. When the end trucks were reinforced (our engineered repair) with C-Shaped ends, the wheels were reinforced. They were no longer in “bend”. Each situation has to be considered upon what the service condition looks like. Our technicians spot this prior to failure. Consulting Crane Tech Services prior to major installs and builds can save you a lot of money. The savings become significant 10 years down the road when workers find out that the crane doesn’t operate properly. At Crane Tech Services we save you money, and using Crane Tech keeps your workers safe. If you are in the Barrie, Newmarket, Huntsville, Peterborough and Toronto areas give us a call. We inspect cranes, auto hoists, elevating lift platforms, bridge cranes to name but a few. Remember that the Crane Tech Inspection team can conveniently inspect all of your lifting equipment at the same time. One call for all of your lifting equipment! Crane Tech inspects and maintains your Hoist Lifting Equipment. See us on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook, visit our website, or call us today for more information! We know your equipment best!