Reviewing overhead crane repairs, replacement, and modernization with OHS Canada

Feb 14, 2022 | Alberta

In the January 2022 episode of Safe Zone, OHS Canada editor Marcel Vander Wier wrapped up Hoisting’s interview series by speaking with technical sales representative Jason Sarluis and VP sales Andrew Phelan about overhead crane repairs, replacement, and modernization. Here’s what they covered during the fourth and final episode.

What should overhead crane owners think about when considering equipment modernization or repair?

If a client is moving into a different facility with an existing crane, they may need to update the system. The structure is probably sufficient, but the hoist itself might need to move faster and do multiple lifts in a shorter space of time. There are also a number of other factors that could influence why and to what extent an overhead crane needs to be upgraded. This is why Hoisting starts every project with a detailed conversation to understand client needs and expectations.

Why is modernization so important?

There’s still plenty of 30- to 40-year-old lifting equipment still in service. While older equipment might still work well, overhead crane owners can run into problems sourcing parts or getting service from the original manufacturer. This often leads to Hoisting needing to upgrade or install new equipment. Newer equipment also includes modern electronics, safety considerations, and built-in failsafes to keep operators safe, which older units don’t have.

What concerns might clients have when upgrading equipment?

  • Time: Manufacturing equipment from start to finish has a long lead time. We can work twice as fast if we’re modernizing existing equipment—for example, leaving the structure and some electrics in place, but upgrading the hoist and some of the control systems.
  • Safety: Clients want equipment that isn’t obsolete for parts, is up to date with modern manufacturing and safety standards, and comes with engineering and performance specs that match their business’s current needs.
  • Capacity: As a business’s focus changes, an existing system might need a higher capacity. This can be done with a structural engineer’s assessment, added steel, and an update to the hoist and other electrics.

When can overhead crane repairs and modernization take place?

At Hoisting, we line up repairs and modernization with the next facility shutdown. The client is doing maintenance work on a range of equipment anyway, so it’s easy to layer in the lifting equipment. For smaller businesses, this is often around a holiday season. The client enjoys their time off while our techs work hard to get them back up and running, and operations can resume again after the holiday.

Do you have any repair and upkeep advice for crane owners?

When equipment goes down, a client must either pay employees to do nothing or send them home without pay. If parts aren’t available or need to be custom-made for an older overhead crane, the problem of downtime becomes even more serious. That’s why it’s important to upgrade or modernize as soon as possible. Avoid unnecessary downtime by planning ahead. Check out our Services page for more information on these services and how we can help.

Any final thoughts about overhead crane health and safety?

Overhead crane owners are responsible for the safety and upkeep of their equipment. They also need to hold inspectors, maintenance contractors, and manufacturers to the same standard. As part of their due diligence, crane owners need to stay on top of the following tasks.

  • Get inspections done on schedule (e.g., quarterly, biannual, annual).
  • Complete repairs and do daily checks when operators are coming in (pre-shift or daily).
  • Ensure all safety functions are in place and working effectively.

Listen to the full podcast episode on OHS Canada.