Overhead Crane Operations: How To Minimize Downtime And Increase Productivity

25 July 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


When you are on a job that utilizes an overhead crane and it breaks down on you, you are going to see a huge drop in productivity, which is costly, not to mention the fact that you are going to be out the money to repair the crane. So, as a construction site or project manager, you need to take certain steps to minimize the risk of breakdowns and downtime, thereby increasing – or at least maintaining – productivity. Here are a few ways you can go about doing this:


Periodic inspections are an integral part of reducing crane downtime. You can perform these yourself or you can hire a professional service to do them for you. Inspections are so important because they will identify issues that can easily be corrected at a cost-effective price. If inspections were not conducted, these issues would not be apparent until the crane broke down. This could lead to other parts being damaged and a much more costly repair.

Operator Training

To those new to construction management, operator training may not appear to be a solid strategy for reducing downtime with on-site cranes. However, if your crane operators have been trained properly, they are going to operate the crane in a way that is best for it and everyone else. In doing so, the piece of equipment will last longer. On the other hand, when you have a crane operator that is constantly making use of bad operating habits – which may or may not be due to lack of adequate training, parts on the crane will wear down much sooner. For example, a common bad practice of crane operators is known as side pulling, which is when the operator initiates the lift from the side, or at an angle, rather than vertically. This significantly increases wear on the wire rope, rope pulleys, rope drums, etc. This wear also increases the threat of dropped loads, which puts everyone's safety at risk.


The older your crane gets, the more difficult it becomes to replace the technology and parts on it. However, by upgrading and modernizing your crane regularly, you will help avoid downtime due to the repair of outdated machinery. In addition, when you update your crane with the latest technology, you will extend the crane's useful life, which increases productivity and safety of your workers. Plus, this is a much more cost-effective route than purchasing a new crane altogether. Contact a business, such as Cook Crane Corp, for more information.