Understanding Gear Case Inspections for Optimal Crane Efficiency

It's time to get down to the lifeline of crane operations, the gear case. This small yet important part of the crane is what enables your large machine to carry out nearly all its operations. The gear case comprises a system of cogs, chains and lubrication channels. These components are connected to the engine and a few levers used by the operator to control the movement of the crane. Maintaining your gear case is, therefore, necessary to safe and fast operations on your site. Here is a thorough look at gear case inspections to help you gain the much needed insight:

What Are the Common Gear Case Problems in Cranes?

Problems with the gear case can occur in cranes because gears are used throughout the operation of the machine. Common problems include difficulty moving the gear lever, slipping gears where the crane change gears without command from the operator and the inability of the gears to generate or draw the required power from the engine. All these scenarios impede the safe and proper operation of the crane.

What Should You Anticipate During a Gear Case Inspection?

First of all, gear case inspections should be carried out by a professional who has a good understanding of the crane's system. Typically, the technician must separate the gear case in to two symmetrical halves to access the internal components. After doing so, the technician will assess the condition of the gear case visually to identify any obvious defaults visible on the components. If there is none, he or she will carry out a liquid penetrant test. This test enables the technician to identify pores, crevices and cracks that may not be visible to an unaided eye by using chemical identifiers.

After examination, the technician can then recommend the next of line of action which may involve sealing the lines of weakness, replacing worn out valves and bad gaskets.

What are the Indicators that Your Gear Case Needs an Inspection?

Just like many other parts on the crane, the gear case will always tell you when it needs an inspection. There are other elements you can also consider to determine if the gear case needs to checked or not. These are:

  • Regulatory Specifications-in some case, occupational safety recommendations regarding cranes will sometimes specify a certain time-frame that you should have your gear case checked.
  • Noises-if your gear case produces some abnormal noises whenever the machine is running, then it's time to call in a technician and have it checked.