Tips for Operating a Gantry Crane

The use of load handling equipment greatly simplifies industrial procedures. We can easily carry and move big objects thanks to the tools. The best thing about these devices is that they promote safety by limiting the need for excessive human engagement. These instruments not only increase safety but also make the procedure faster, saving a lot of time. Only when used properly can every tool function at its peak. Gantry crane manufacturers in India advise that, to get better results, gantry cranes must be handled properly just like any other load-handling equipment.

Let’s see what’s the right way to operate a gantry crane, and a few tips to help you operate a gantry crane more efficiently and safely-

What should you do before moving a load?

  • Make sure you have proper training, qualifications, or certification to operate the crane.
  • Make sure the crane is suitable to lift and move the load.
  • Ensure that the job site is organized and well-planned. If required, leave space for emergency vehicles to enter. Avoid working too close to overhead power lines, electricity wires, etc.
  • Check ground conditions to ensure stability.
  • Visually inspect the crane before use.
  • Before lifting the load, make sure any loose pieces, components, blocks, and packaging have been taken off it.
  • Also tighten any loose ends on the hoisting and sling ropes before lifting.
  • Inspect the lifting device to make sure it is seated in the saddle of the hook.
  • Ensure that the lifting device fits in the hook’s saddle.
  • Check to make sure the load does not exceed the maximum load capacity.
  • The driver must understand the crane’s design and functionality, be familiar with its operational mechanism and working principle, be proficient in its safety features and the proper methods of operation and undertake careful and timely maintenance.
  • Check for temporary power failure on-site for maintenance.
  • Check if the safety switches, transmission mechanisms and brakes are intact and reliable.
  • Check whether the fixing bolts of each part are secure, and whether there are any items scattered on the crane.
  • As needed, grease each lubrication point.
  • All control handles must be in the zero position before turning on, and each channel’s doors must be closed.

How should you move loads safely?

Operate crane controls smoothly. Try to avoid any sudden, shaky movement of the load.

  • Follow signals only from the one slinger in charge of the lift, except if it is a stop signal.
  • Use the signals that have been agreed upon.
  • Before lifting, make sure everyone is away from the load. Start gently hoisting after sounding a bell, siren, or other warning device.
  • Verify that all slings, hooks, hardware, etc. are suitable for the load being lifted, are in proper operating condition, and that all sling angles are correct.
  • Ensure nothing gets stuck or catches on the load it is being raised or traveling.
  • Ensure that nothing hinders the movement of a load.
  • Lift the load a little to verify proper functioning of the braking system before proceeding with the lift.
  • Be careful when lowering a load. If the braking system malfunctions, the load can be lowered by reversing the hoist controller to the first or second point.
  • Set the load, rather than the sling on blocking.
  • Never drop the load below a point where there are still more than two complete wraps of wire rope on the drum.
  • When there is an outage, remain inside a crane cab. Set the controls to “off,” draw attention to yourself, and wait for assistance.

What should you avoid when operating an overhead crane?

  • When climbing and descending ladders, avoid holding anything in your hands. Large objects that cannot fit in pockets or belts should be lowered or raised from the crane using a rope.
  • If limit switches are out of order or if cables show defects, DO NOT operate the crane.
  • Do not lower the blocks below the point where less than two full wraps of cable remain on the drum.
  • Do not try to lift beyond the mentioned load capacity of a crane or slings.
  • Do not lift a load from the side. Centre the crane directly over the load before hoisting to avoid swinging the load.
  • No one should be permitted to ride on a load or a hook.
  • Never raise anything from the side. Before lifting, position the crane directly above the load to prevent the weight from swaying.
  • Avoid raising loads higher than necessary.
  • Avoid lifting or moving loads over workers.
  • A motor should not be reversed until it has completely stopped, unless needed to prevent accidents.
  • Never leave loads that are suspended, unattended.

What should you do before leaving the crane?

  • The load must be taken off the crane hooks.
  • Raise all hooks to a mid-position.
  • Return the crane at its designated location.
  • Ensure that all controllers are in the “off” position before shutting the main switch.

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