As per OSHA’s latest crane operator guidelines, operator training is a must for every construction business. Employers need to train and evaluate crane operators if they are going to be using the equipment. But is this enough to boost productivity and workplace safety? Certainly not.
It is equally important to invest in construction equipment upgrades to stay on top of your schedule. But most site managers don’t know when a crane is in need of an upgrade.
Here are some telltale signs:
Lifting requirements have changed
Production needs can change due to a variety of reasons: maybe you added another production shift to your schedule, maybe a certain project requires heavier materials to be lifted. Moreover, clients often ask construction companies to speed up the process, leading to more consistent, heavy loads.
All of these changes will render your existing crane system (including the hoists and drive systems) not sufficient. If you continue using the crane, you’d be using it beyond its designated capacity. What you get as a result is premature wear and tear and increased costs in the long run. Simply upgrading the system is a lot more financially viable.
Crane components frequently require repairs
If you feel like you’re replacing crane parts over and over again, you might want to consider upgrading the system as a whole. The cost of replacement is often a lot lower than the accumulated costs of repairs.
Moreover, you also have to account for downtime every time crane equipment is sent for repairs. Production losses vary for each industry, but they can go up to tens of thousands of dollars per hour!
You want to improve the safety of the crane system
Higher productivity isn’t the only motive behind system upgrades. In many older crane designs, an enclosed operator cab is attached to the crane body. The operator sits in the cab, while another person stands on the ground, relaying instructions to help them operate the lift.
In this case, the operator’s safety depends on the instructions and directions given by another employee—these are highly subject to human error and mistakes. In modern models, you can provide cameras and load moment indicators so the crane operator is in charge of moving the payload all by themselves. This helps you save on the cost of hiring additional personnel and also makes the entire process safer.