Back into service
18 March 2008
In today's market crane owners are looking to get their accident damaged cranes back into revenue generating service in the most time– and cost-effective manner. Depending on the severity and extent of the damage, there are several options to consider when determining the best route for repairing a structurally damaged crane.
While many crane owning companies are capable of handling repairs for lightly damaged cranes, structural damage can make for a more challenging repair. Generally speaking, the first option is to contact the servicing distributor or OEM and inquire about the price and availability of replacement parts and components. In today's market, availability is most often the key issue. Too often structural components, particularly for older cranes, can have long lead times that can significantly delay getting the unit back into service.
Most manufacturers are operating at maximum capacity, and replacement part lead times are frequently challenged by the demand to move new cranes through production. Also some structural components are simply not price practical to replace without exceeding the insured or replacement value of the crane. However, where practical, replacement of damaged components is generally recommended.
It is when availability and price of replacement parts become prohibitive, that an owner may want to consider an alternative repair option. Most structurally damaged components will require an “engineered repair” which assures that the repair has restored the crane component to its original configuration and strength so that the capacity and operation of the crane is unaffected by the repair.
Structural repair companies can provide safe, compliant time– and cost-effective repairs for even the most heavily damaged crane parts and components. Provisions have been made by OSHA and Cal-OSHA for the repair of structurally damaged components.
When shopping for a third party repair company, make sure that they are willing to provide documentation including engineering, metallurgical and non-destructive testing reports and welding certifications. An engineered repair option is best to consider when it will put the crane back into revenue service in a more time– and cost-effective manner.
Another option is to consider used components. The aftermarket is fiush with companies and websites (including OEM distributors) offering used replacement components. While there are quality parts that have been salvaged from accident-damaged cranes, theses components may have been salvaged and repaired, and often are not up to OHSA, Cal-OSHA or ANSI standards. Working with reputable distributors, knowing the component history and being able to visually inspect and certify the component are important steps in helping to make certain that you are purchasing a reliable component or part.
In the event of an accident, a crane owning company will need to take the necessary steps required by its insurance company in terms of post accident analysis. When trying to determine if a crane can be cost effectively repaired, having a third-party assessment or a second opinion can help to mitigate the crane owner and insurance company's exposure both in terms of time and money. In this case, it is wise to call on a reputable company with a history of assessing accident damage and providing documented and compliant repairs.
When trying to determine how best to get a crane back into service, benchmarking the repair versus replacement options is a good way to measure the best option, or combination of options, to use. Ultimately the best repair is one that puts the crane back into service with the highest degree of safety and integrity in the most time– and cost-effective manner.