Repair or replace your HIAB parts? The answer can make a difference to cost, productivity, and safety, so it pays to get it right. There are a few different things to consider, as well as some golden rules that everyone can benefit from adhering to.
1) Start By Identifying The Problem
Error codes are your ally. You can locate the error code by opening the Space Box at the base of the crane. Report your error code to your approved HIAB engineer, and they will be able to advise on the best course of action.
Don’t have an error code? It might be something simple. Check:
- Hydraulic fluid levels
- Whether there are any loose clamps
- Your logbook – is this a regular problem?
2) Prevention Rather Than Cure
Preventative maintenance is important for all cranes. If a part is not replaced until after it has broken, it can cause damage to surrounding components. Inspectors know what to look for when parts are nearing the end of their working life, and can organise replacements before costly repairs are necessary. Preventative maintenance:
- Prevents unnecessary downtime
- Reduces the risk of system failure
- Ensures that the correct replacement part can be sourced in ample time
3) Know Your Parts
HIAB parts have guaranteed life expectancy, which is calculated based upon extensive quality testing. Different components have different repair and replacement requirements:
Replace. Repairs introduce the risk of reducing structural integrity. This can lead to overloading and failure. Don’t forget, heat created in the welding process weakens the metal, so the safety calculations required for repairs need to be carried out by a qualified engineer. Replacing is therefore the preferred option.
Repair or replace. If the problem is caused by something such as corrosion or heat damage, replacement may be necessary. However, if the problem is a minor matter such as a malfunctioning valve, simple repairs may be the solution. Check with your HIAB supplier for advice, and carry out monthly visual inspections to identify minor problems before they become major interruptions.
Repair or replace. This depends upon your access to qualified diagnostic electricians. When electrical units are fully insured, the easiest option is simply to carry out a replacement. However, a trained eye can often identify and solve issues. Extend the life of your electrical system by using HIAB control units and systems.
There are some basic rules that can help to keep HIAB cranes performing to their optimal capabilities.
1) Replace Slide Pads Regularly
Slide pads prevent damage to crucial assemblies. They are made from high-strength polyethylene and absorb wear and tear so the surrounding metal is protected. If slide pads are cracked, uneven, or show signs of melting, your metal component will be next.
2) Only Use Genuine HIAB Parts
HIAB machines are designed to work with approved parts. Not doing so can introduces structural weaknesses and vulnerabilities into the system, leading to increased risk of damage.
3) Keep A Logbook
This simple technique can help with the repair/replace decision-making process. In combination with monthly visual inspections, a logbook will help you to know which parts are due for replacement, which are starting to show signs of wear, and will identify any recurring issues that need to be dealt with.
4) Replace Before Failure
A failure of one part of the system almost always causes damage to other components. Know the expected working life of each component and replace it in due time before allowing it to fail.
Know Your HIAB Error Codes
Truck Loaders have a free e-book that explains how to find and diagnose common HIAB crane faults. Download a copy today to ensure your crane has a long and productive working life.