5 Maintenance Tips For Hoist Systems

Often, we see companies and manufacturers inspect only their overhead cranes and neglect the hoist systems. However, they don’t know that hoists are just as crucial as overhead cranes to the smooth running of industrial operations.

In particular, hoist systems are responsible for lifting and lowering loads. For that reason, they are crucial components of your crane setup.

Besides, inspecting and maintaining your hoist systems is a standard safety requirement. In other words, a well-maintained hoist will result in less hazard in your workplace.

Bottom line: if you have not been inspecting or maintaining your hoist systems, you should. If you don’t know how to, the tips in this article can guide you.

Learn How Your Hoist System Works

If you don’t know how hoists work, the chances are that you will hardly notice when there’s a fault. So, first things first, understand your hoist system. How does it work? What sound should it make when working perfectly?

That said, let’s start with the different types of hoists. Generally, there are three hoists: differential, hand chain, and level ratchet.

Regardless of the type of hoist you use, they all work similarly and come with the same parts.

Controller – this is either a radio or pendant; it is what you press to direct your hoist system.

Electric cubicle – this part receives your command from the controller and kickstarts the hoist system. It is also the responsible unit for the speed, pause, and delay in the response of your hoist.

Rope – is a helix of metallic wire that winds and unwinds to lift/drop a load.

Hook – is the anchor attached to the rope that grabs onto the load you want to carry.

Summarily, the hoist starts working when you press the controller. It then follows your command through the electric cubicle. If anything otherwise happens, your hoist system is faulty.

Pro tip: if the rope on your hoists fails to wind or unwind, the fault is probably down to its “wear and tear.”

Clean And Lubricate Your Hoist Chains

As we stated earlier, the common fault with hoists happens because of the wear and tear of their rope. Luckily, you can nip the problem at the bud by keeping the wires clean.

However, keeping the chains clean isn’t enough to improve their lifespan. While cleaning can clear rust and grit, it doesn’t protect your hoist from the harsh effects of friction. This is where lubrication can help.

Note: there is a tiny problem with cleaning and lubricating hoist systems. You can’t do it adequately without disassembling the entire system.

So, if you don’t have the required experience to disassemble and reassemble your hoist units, you’d best hire an expert.

Pro tip: clean and lubricate your hoist system once per year. The frequency can be more than that. But it depends on what your operations entail.

Actively Lookout For Damage

Outside the usual wear and tear, your hoist can suffer several damages. For example, the gear might start malfunctioning.

Now, you might wonder why all the cleaning and lubrication?

Cleaning and lubricating are preventive measures. If your hoist system already shows signs of damage, such measures can’t stop the inevitable.

For context, oiling a hoist that already gives an absurd pop sound won’t stop its part from wearing out. In essence, regularly check your hoist and confirm if the parts are intact. Also read: Crane Inspections: Are They Necessary?

Schedule Your Hoist For Regular Inspections And Testing

Even when you actively check for signs of damage on your hoist, the chances are that you won’t find any fault. How come?

You’re not an expert on hoist systems, regardless of how many of them you own. Some issues won’t even show signs; how about that?

Bottom line: check for signs of damage. But more importantly, engage experts to inspect your crane and hoist setup.

Expertise aside, hiring experts to inspect and test your hoist system for efficiency is a standard safety requirement.

That said, here are a few guidelines on the required inspections and tests for hoist systems:

● Daily inspection (but brief) by a hoist operator

● Monthly, in-depth inspection by a crane and hoist servicing professional

● Quarterly load testing by crane and hoist professional

Let General Crane Help You

Keeping tabs on your hoist system, though vital, can also be stressful. Despite your eagerness and carefulness, the chances are that you’d even forget to enforce the necessary maintenance routine.

Good news: you don’t have to go through the hectic routine. Let us help you! Contact us, and let’s design a personalized care routine for your hoist systems!