Proper Overhead Crane Inspections: Don’t forget the runway!

During the life of your top running or underhung crane, you need to inspect the condition of the runway on which it operates for damage or wear. Depending on the frequency of use, ratio of nominal wheel load and available load capacity for the runway, these inspections may need to be performed more often than you might normally think.  The typical requirement for a runway on any crane is once a year.  With heavy class D or E cranes and for any crane operating in a harsh working environment, you should make an inspection more often, and in some cases much more often. Runway inspections should include:
  • General condition of the rail tread surface for the full length of the runway
  • Rail splice conditions and bolts
  • Rail fasteners including bolts, clips, or hook bolts
  • Rail span inspection for parallelism
  • Crane endtruck wheel condition
In some situations, rail elevation for levelness should also be checked. These runway inspections and any subsequent repairs can save your company or organization thousands of dollars in down time, emergency repair or damage from accidents.  Failure to make timely inspections can lead to endtruck/girder or runway cracks or fractures, broken tie-backs and other serious damage.
Eroded rail running surface
Broken and missing splice bolts
Broken or damaged splices can cause immediate and catastrophic wheel or wheel bearing failure.
Fractured and eroded rail splice
Broken and deformed splice joint
Repaired rail splice
Engineered Lifting Systems recommends that companies have a runway inspection once a year for cranes that are used in production. Also, a comprehensive report should be created and reviewed by a designated person at the facility in order to develop a course of action for any repairs needed to maintain the runway structure as well as determining the frequency of future interim inspections based on likely wear and tear.

Engineered Lifting Systems offers expert crane inspection and uses laser alignment, laser span (distance), and laser level for the most accurate evaluation and repairs of runway rails whether top running or underhung type. There is no substitute for proactive periodic crane and runway inspection for a safe and productive workplace.  Save money, save time and avoid accidents or injuries.  For more information or assisting with your crane inspection requirements, please contact Eric Brown.