Common Mobile Crane Inspection Questions Answered Here


If you’ve recently added a mobile crane to your construction equipment fleet, you may have some questions pertaining to its inspection, such as why it needs to be inspected, how often it needs to be inspected, and who qualifies to inspect it.  


Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about inspecting your mobile crane, including significance, frequency, qualified inspecting authorities, and more.  


Why you should have your mobile crane inspected?

Like any piece of equipment or machinery, your mobile crane is prone to wear and tear due to everyday use. Therefore, it is important to inspect your mobile crane regularly and make any minor repairs before they lead to a breakdown—or worse, an accident at the construction site.    

How often should you inspect your mobile crane?

There are four categories for mobile crane inspections:


  1. Initial Inspection – This inspection should be conducted prior to using your mobile crane for the first time. It includes load testing and visual inspection of all components.

  2. Functional Inspection – This inspection should be conducted before every shift. It includes inspecting the pneumatic and hydraulic systems for leaks, hoist chains for signs of wear, hooks for cracks or deformation, and rope reeving system for noncompliance.   

  3. Frequent Inspection – This inspection should be conducted based on the usage of your mobile crane. A mobile crane that has normal usage should be inspected monthly. A mobile crane that has heavy usage should be inspected daily to weekly. The frequent inspection includes all aspects of functional inspection, in addition to operating mechanisms checks.

  4. Periodic Inspection – Again, this inspection should be conducted based on the usage of your mobile crane. A mobile crane that has normal usage should be inspected annually. A mobile crane that has heavy usage should be inspected every 3 months. The periodic inspection includes checking for loose rivets, corroded or deformed members, worn-out drums and sheaves, excessive wear on brake parts, signs of deterioration or pitting on electrical apparatus and inaccuracies in the safety systems.  


Who is qualified to inspect your mobile crane?

OSHA has specified clear guidelines for mobile crane inspections. In these guidelines, the agency has provisioned instructions for who should be considered as “qualified” to inspect a mobile crane.


According to OSHA, periodic inspections of mobile cranes can only be conducted by certified inspectors with 2,000 hours of minimum field experience. Other inspections can be conducted by any competent professional with formal training in the areas of crane safety and design.   

Inspecting your mobile crane may seem a costly and time-consuming task, but rest assured it’s an important one. Take it seriously and don’t skip it.  


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