Ways on How to Select the Proper Equipment for Outdoor Crane Applications

September 3, 2019

When a client selects a tough outdoor crane, what comes first? Quick to respond, someone says the load-bearing capacity of a rugged mobile lifter should receive attention before any other feature. In a more contemplative frame of mind, a second crane hiring customer picks out the right answer. Even before that all-important load-carrying feature, decent lifting equipment can’t get by without a powerful set of outdoors operating qualities.

Outdoor Environments Impact Crane Runnings

It’s not that the first answer is wrong, not exactly. It’s just that even the largest, heaviest tonnage conveying cranes in the industry can weaken and fall into terrible states of disrepair when they’re not built to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Primarily, we’re referring to the weather, but other fatigue-contributing factors can afflict crane operations. Abrasive grit and sand will find their way into the working of the equipment. Mud and water is another pair of system inhibiting culprits. Even bits of tree bark and leaves when left to collect on a road-parked crane, can mess with the heavy equipment’s lifting capabilities.

Outdoor Hazards Spread Dangerously Far

That’s a commonplace occurrence, sadly. In a wet environment, patches of orange and brown-hued corrosion spread on exposed metal surfaces. If that bloom takes place on a crane boom, it’ll weaken, perhaps to the point that it’ll no longer support its manual-listed weight. Then there are wet fungal patches and moulds, which also disseminate. The wetter the weather and local surroundings, the farther the fungal growths will spread. Low temperatures cause rubber hoses and seals to crack. With high temperatures and UV exposure, the rubber parts melt. Even hardened steel, attacked by cyclical heating and cooling weather, will become brittle if the alloy isn’t designed to cope with such environmental extremes.

Reliable Cranes Resist Harsh Weather Extremes

More than that, they positively thrive under the toughest conditions. To do so, the chassis and boom steels of cranes are imbued with alloys that withstand high and low environmental temperatures. They’re also coated in special organic primers and polyurethane finishes, all the better to assure a weather-resistant trolley frame and boom. Seals and hoses, switches and valves, all moving parts and polymer-toughened components are made out of engineering plastics, which are extremely weather-tolerant, too.

The design specifications touched upon here impact every crane subsystem. Keeping the equipment protected from the weather and environment, IP55 and IP66 (Ingress Protection housings stop sand and moisture. Motor strip heaters warm cold moving parts while temperature-stable lubricants keep hot mechanical components operational. Motors, hydraulic hoses and glands, equipment frame metals and more, nothing is left to form an outdoors sensitive weak link on a quality-branded hire crane.