Top HIAB Crane Troubleshooting Tips


HIAB cranes are tough machines and will usually provide your business with many years of efficient, trouble-free use, so long as they are kept in good condition and serviced regularly. However, like any other plant, HIABs can develop faults. If unaddressed, these can result in equipment failure leading to unscheduled downtime, delays and disruption to your business. In some circumstances, a serious fault can lead to an accident, bringing with it a risk of serious injury or death to employees and bystanders.

HIAB crane troubleshooting therefore plays an important role in general maintenance and good operational practice. Operators should cultivate an awareness of the health and safety issues involved in using a HIAB crane, have a professional maintenance schedule in place and be able to spot potential faults before they get serious.

Health, Safety & Training

Minimising accidents and equipment faults begins with establishing sound health and safety guidelines. Cranes can be dangerous if not used properly, so care should be taken to advise employees of the risks and the steps needed to use equipment safely, such as maintaining the right distance while the machine is in use.

Operators should always be given the right training before they use a HIAB crane. This not only reduces the risk of accidents but also increases the useful working life of your machine. Fully trained operators are more aware of careful use practices and less prone to human error, making your equipment more efficient and cost-effective to run.

Maintenance & Repair

Two types of maintenance may be required to keep your crane in good working order.

The first type is repair, or corrective maintenance, which is reactive action taken to address faults that have already been detected. Faults are inevitable from time to time and can happen without warning, leading to downtime and delays. The impact on your business can be reduced by having a good, HIAB approved service partner on hand to get you up and running again as quickly as possible.

The second type is servicing, or preventative maintenance. This is scheduled in advance and consists of a thorough inspection where all components are examined for potential faults. During the service minor parts may be replaced, components cleaned and advice given if more thorough maintenance is likely to be required in the future.

Fault Prevention & Detection

Implementing a thorough awareness of health and safety and providing your team with the right training will go a long way to minimising faults on your crane. Routine servicing will also help to reduce your need for major repairs.

You should also ‘listen closely’ to your equipment, carefully looking out for signs that something is wrong, and training your team to know the appropriate action to take when they detect a fault. Many users find it useful to keep a maintenance journal for each crane where they can log work carried out during maintenance sessions, and also report any issues and warning signs.

The following signs may indicate a fault developing:

  • Abnormal noises, such as clanking or grinding.
  • An unexpected increase in noise volume.
  • Juddering and vibrations.
  • The machine stops or suddenly slows down.
  • Abnormal odours, especially acrid or burning smells.
  • An increase in heat emissions.
  • Warning lights or error codes on the control panel.

If you are at all concerned about your machine, we recommend getting a professional to look at it as soon as possible. The earlier a fault is detected the easier repairs will be and the less downtime you will experience. Faults invariably get worse if left unaddressed, causing even greater inconvenience and disruption.

Error Codes

HIAB cranes have a comprehensive catalogue of inbuilt error codes which display on the control panel whenever the machine detects a fault. When you call a HIAB service engineer, such as one of our Truck Loaders team, please let us know the model of your crane, how many lights are showing on your control panel and any numeric error codes. These can be found on the control panel display at the base of your crane. Take a photo of any fault warning lights on your phone as soon as it happens, as this will greatly assist an engineer in diagnosing and fixing the problem. Many common faults are easily fixed if addressed early. Our engineers are experts in HIAB crane troubleshooting and can frequently talk people through a fix over the phone.

You can find out more about HIAB error codes in our free Guide To HIAB Fault Codes. The guide is full of useful information about maintenance, fault fixing and emergency repairs. Click here to download your copy. To speak with one of our engineers, please call 0330 999 0003.


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