In container yards, we find mainly two types of gantry cranes, namely rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes and rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes, which are used to lift and relocate shipping containers. The choice of the perfect gantry crane will depend on a number of factors including the yard layout, size and operation. RTG cranes, as the name indicates, come equipped with rubber tires that promote free movement of the crane through the container yard. However, the rubber tires have their own limitations with regard to the size and lifting ability of the RTGs. On the other hand, the RMG cranes are designed to move on rails and hence, they cannot be made to move freely around stacks in the container yard. However, because the RMGs are equipped with steel wheels, they can carry greater weight compared to RTG cranes.
The higher load-bearing capability of the steel-wheeled RMG cranes makes them an option that can be modified very easily in terms of design. You can get a number of rail configurations installed to the RMG cranes to promote its versatile use in an intermodal container yard. An RMG can be made to cover more than 300 feet with cantilevers being used to lengthen an RMG’s range and with the average distance between the legs being 150 feet. An RMG crane can cover eight rail tracks as well as the stacking sections. Notably, they can be made to reach drive lanes for trucks as well.
However, when you deploy RMG cranes as the major relocation tool in your intermodal facility, you need to take additional precautions to ensure proper equipment upkeep. In the event of an outage, you may need to keep your operations halted for some time until you get your RMG crane repaired. There are chances that your RMG crane breaks down right in the middle of your site that remains busy throughout the entire day, demanding you to take quick actions to restore your operations to their full potential. RMG cranes are noted for their greater efficiency compared to RTG cranes and they are powered completely by electricity.
Industrial lifting operations involve the use of wire rope hoists which are designed to lift objects that may weigh more than 80 tonnes. The selection of the right wire rope hoist depends on a number of factors, including the number of lifts that you expect your hoist to handle at a given point of time, the weight that your hoist will lift on a daily basis, the type of objects that you will be dealing with, and your future requirements.
You should check if you need to facilitate additional lifts that may exceed your usual workload. In such cases, you may want to buy a wire rope hoist or a crane that has the capacity to lift higher loads. Secondly, if you have plans to make important changes to your product line in the next few years, you may want to choose a wire rope hoist that will meet your future needs as well. With this, you will prevent further expenses which you might otherwise have incurred at a later stage while replacing your existing hoist with a new one. You will need a basic wire rope if you need to lift solid steel pipes. On the other hand, you will need a hoist with advanced controls if you need to lift materials related to the nuclear or aerospace industries.
Wire rope hoists come equipped with motors that are controlled by variable frequency drives (VFDs). Such drives allow for slow, controlled movements, which, in turn, facilitate the lifting of delicate items. Additionally, the VFDs that are required to facilitate trolley movements accelerate or decelerate the load-travelling speed which, in turn, promotes safe object relocation. Look for wire rope hoists that come with shock load prevention features. This feature prevents shock loading which may damage the wire ropes if a lift is initiated abruptly with a heavy load that has started getting detached from a mount.
Wire rope hoists facilitate most applications. However, chain hoists may be a better option for you if your operations are executed in rough or hazardous environments. Additionally, chain hoists have enclosed bodies which protect them from damages that may be induced by contact with caustic chemicals or environmental elements.
If you are looking to invest in a second-hand electric hoist, you may come across some really great bargains and capitalise on your investment provided the equipment you choose has been maintained properly and is now in a functional state. A second-hand electric hoist that is maintained in a good state will not only come for a low-cost, but would also function like a new device. This boils down to the fact that you can use a second-hand electric hoist for years and if you take adequate care, you may even sell your equipment and earn good returns on your investment. So the best way to buy a used electric hoist is to get it inspected to make sure that it is in working condition and will serve your purpose for a certain period of time.
Devices that are sold in EU will come with an EC Declaration of Conformity which indicates that they fulfill the criteria laid down by the European Machinery Directive. Initially all devices will come with a number of certificates that will guarantee safe and efficient usage, but later, you may need to look for certain signs to make sure that the equipment you buy will be worth the price you pay. Check if you are able to spot the presence of cracks in the equipment itself. Fissures or cracks are the signs of wear and tear and they indicate that you may not be able to use the equipment for a long time. These cracks may lead to undesirable incidents and may indicate that your equipment is not safe for use.
Regular servicing and proper care actually work to preserve and prolong the functional life of an electric hoist and you may want to hire the services of an inspector to make sure that the device does not have problems with regard to bearings, electronics, or cogs. Some companies offer used electric hoists that are backed by warranties and this may give you some confidence to invest in those devices.
There are certain other factors that you should consider while buying a used electric hoist. You should take into account the reputation of the equipment manufacturer while making a purchase decision and you should look for suppliers that can provide you with the necessary usage and care-related documentation. It is a good idea to involve an independent third party in the inspection process. Independent professional inspectors who handle such devices on a day-to-day basis will be in a better position to guide you on the purchase of the right equipment.
With the cost of a winch ranging from 100 pounds to thousands of pounds, you may find it hard to select a winch that not only suits your budget, but serves your purpose as well. There are a few major considerations that one should take into account when you purchase a winch so that you feel good about your investment at the end of the day. Think about your intended usage before you determine how much winch you exactly need. You also need to have knowledge about the purpose and safe use of winch accessories. As a rule of thumb, winch rating is calculated by multiplying the gross load weight by 1.5. The product indicates your minimum winch size. However, this is just the minimum rating and there may be situations that may demand your winch capacity to be exceeded. Hence, you should carefully determine usage before you make a choice.
Secondly, your choice of winch motor should also be determined by the frequency and intensity of use. Light duty winching and permanent magnet motors work well together whereas heavier and more frequent winching will demand the use of a Series Wound winch. Hydraulic winches are an appropriate option if you winch throughout the day regularly and beyond any electrical winch’s capability. The weight of the winch may be one of your primary considerations and the dimensions of your winch may also influence your choice as well as the orientation of which it is mounted and the rope deploys. Winches may come with an Integrated or Remote Solenoid Pack and each option has its own set of advantages, including their ability to reduce the space required to mount the winch.
Read the manufacturer’s warranty thoroughly to be aware of the warranty coverage time and other terms and conditions. Consider serviceability as a vital decision-making criterion as you need to ensure that you find a service centre whenever you need it most. You will surely not want to spend your time hunting down hard to find replacements of broken parts after the warranty period expires.
Safety should be your primary consideration when it comes to handling lifting equipment. When you do not practise adequate care to minimise risk elements, you put your life and others’ lives at risk and this is the last thing that you will want to be affected with. Fatalities at work sites are commonly caused by dropped loads and needless to mention, such incidents can be attributed to the use of excessively worn load chain and ropes. While timely inspection and maintenance can prevent mishaps, the fact is that even a little bit of negligence can reverse situations and cause irrecoverable damages.
UK law requires companies to inspect above the hook equipment every 12 months whereas the equipment that is used more intensely should be examined on a frequent basis. It is quite easy to inspect load chains and a visual inspection on a daily basis may help you notice the danger signs. Check if the diameter of the rope looks worn. While this is one of the most obvious signs, you should look for other signs such as splintering and kinking. If you spot a minor splintering, monitor it regularly so that you can prevent an imminent accident. If the splintering appears to be substantial, you need to replace the existing rope with a new rope.
When it comes to inspecting chains, you need to adopt a slightly different approach. The lower inside half of the chain link is subjected to most wear and tear as this is the area that faces the maximum amount of pressure. Excessive wear is often attributed to the lack of lubrication to the inner sides of the links. There can be a lot of doubts and questions during inspection which may put you in a “change-not change” dilemma. The best way to deal with such scenarios is to eliminate your doubt completely. Change – if you think that this will reduce risk, save lives, and give you peace of mind.
When searching for a reliable supplier for a new load rope, regardless of the manufacturer, size or complexity Cranes-UK are the UK’s premier crane servicing company offering nationwide support, installation and global supply of crane components, give them a call or visit their informative website for further details.
While the main purpose of using trolleys at work sites remains the same, there can be unique needs that businesses may look to address. This explains why the use of platform trolleys has a wide and a varied scope and why businesses typically want to invest in customized trolleys that would match specific job requirements. The nature, weight, shape, and size of products that need to be transported should be taken into consideration in order to identify the most appropriate models that best serve your purpose.
A platform trolley is of high quality if it is constructed with a sturdy steel frame that has no sharp edges. Platform trolleys may have a width of 500 mm and a length of 600 mm and they may come with a carrying capacity that ranges from 300 kg upwards. Businesses can choose to customize the carrying surface depending on the nature of job. The base can be constructed with metal or wood. If you need to transport curved items, such as oil drums or bottles, you may choose to equip your trolleys with specially tailored cages. If you need to carry materials that have long lengths, you may choose to add racks to ensure safe carriage. If you think that you need to secure items, you may get a security cage installed to safeguard your items.
A customized platform trolley can come with sides added to it. The sides can be constructed with steel, plywood, mesh, or plastic and they can be hinged or gated depending on your requirement. The size and the nature of wheels of your platform trolley depend on the type of surface that the trolley is supposed to be used and the weight of the materials that the trolley needs to carry. If you need to transport heavy loads, go for trolleys that have wheels constructed with cast iron and polyurethane treads. If your trolley needs to be used on uneven surfaces, select trolleys that come equipped with air-filled pneumatic castors. More sensitive environments may demand the use of nylon or anti-static castors. Platform trolleys come with the same braking system as we find in an airport trolley which requires us to push down the handle so as to release the brake.
Reputed manufacturers may offer you quality add-ons that may enhance your operating experience, helping you capitalise on your investment.
Have you ever looked at a construction site and wondered in amazement how huge loads are hoisted several hundred feet above the ground?
A closer look will give you a hint about how this is possible. Lifting and rigging equipment is made up of several complex components, each of which plays a critical role. Among the most integral components are lifting shackles.
They aren’t the largest devices, but lifting shackles play an important role in all kinds of rigging. They are made of a thick piece of metal that is curved or shaped like a ‘D’ or bow-shaped, like Ώ’. Lifting shackles usually have a pin or bolt across the opening. Depending on the length and the purpose of their use, a screw pin can be used or the more secure nut and bolt option which can be reinforced with a locking mechanism.
Shackles are typically used to connect the lifting device such as the hoist or rigging equipment with the object to be lifted. They can be used in a variety of hoisting, rigging and pulling applications. Because they are used as a connecting device, they need to be extremely strong to withhold weight on both sides and must be checked regularly for safety and maintenance.
An experienced rigger needs to be aware of how to use a shackle safely to ensure that the weight of the object being hoisted is balanced properly on the shackle and shackle does not tilt at an angle while an object is being lifted. The right kind of design makes all the difference in ensuring that a shackle works correctly. The most common designs are the ’D’ shaped and bow-shaped shackles, but it is also possible to have shackles shaped like a triangle or with a very long and narrow ‘U’ curvature.
The sturdiest shackles are made from super strong carbon, alloy or high-grade stainless steel. Depending on their size and composition, they need to meet US Federal certification guidelines. If the rigging equipment is being exposed to corrosive material or is being used in extreme heat, shackles that can withstand these environmental conditions must be used. Shackles used for lifting can bear weights up to 1000 tons or slightly more.
Typically, lifting shackles need to be inspected by a competent authority at least once every six months to check for their integrity and safety. Shackles should also be stored carefully and care should be taken to ensure that the pins and bolts in a shackle fit correctly and the threading is not damaged with each use. Deformed shackles should be discarded and no attempts should be made to weld or repair them or replace pins or bolts from another shackle.
Shackles are an integral part of rigging equipment and an experienced rigger counts on them to do all the heavy lifting.
If you work closely with lifting equipment and hoists you maybe aware of the Kito brand, having become more established in the UK market over the last few years Kito are well respected on a global scale for producing some of the most robust and technologically advanced hoists with favoured Japanese engineering.
The construction of Kito’s ER2 series of hoists is impeccable, offering as standard their aluminium die cast body designed with both strength and stability in mind while also remaining lightweight and tough, many hoist makers out there now are using plastic covers which will certainly not standup to the work that the Kito ER2 can. The Nickel-plated load chain offers an alternative to the traditional Zinc-plated version that many alternative brands offer, ideal for demanding environments.
A huge feature of the Kito ER2 is the thermal motor protection device which prevents the operator from using the hoist beyond its capability and burning out the motor (a common occurrence with poorly trained operators) A sensor in the hoist cuts the power to the motor in any case of overheating, when activated with a load suspended the load will remain securely braked in place while the motor cools down, once cool the operator can begin using the hoist again and safely lower or raise the load suspended, this feature can save you from having to replace the most expensive component in the hoist, a huge investment as standard!
Not only does the hoist protect the operator from burning out the motor (and having their boss to answer to when he has a broken hoist motor) but also protects the user from overloading the hoist, the Kito ER2 features a unique friction clutch developed by Kito as an overload protection which cuts the transmission power from the motor in the case of overload.
A feature that few other hoists offer (especially as standard) is Kito’s CH meter with integrated inverter which neatly displays the number of operation hours the hoist has encountered, ideal when it comes to servicing and especially in the case of warranty claims, this also helps control inspection and maintenance intervals and shows the true usage of the hoist. Standard upper and lower limit switches protect the operator from human error when controlling the hoist, limits can be set to prevent the hook from travelling too high or too low, these limits are extremely precise.
With health and safety regulations getting tighter each and every day we are forced to pay attention to new legislation. It is essential by law that all cranes and above hook equipment is inspected by a qualified body every 12 months, with under the hook equipment requiring 6 monthly inspections (this is most likely because there is more chance that under the hook equipment gets damaged or worn out). With hoists or cranes in a more intense environment such as a nuclear facility or wet room it is recommended by experts that equipment be inspected every 3 months by a qualified body and of course a visual inspection by the operator before each use as standard.
Preventative maintenance not only helps reduce the risk of equipment down-time and expensive repair bills but also ensures that your team remain as far away from danger as you can help, the last thing you want on your hands is a fatal accident and years of court dates with potentially the responsible persons looking at serious jail terms for not abiding by the law.
When searching for the ideal company to carry out an maintenance plan for you the best thing to do is a quick internet search for your nearest lifting equipment or crane company that offers servicing and inspection. Many think that these two things are the same; they are not. Often people believe that the inspection their insurance company provides is sufficient, in terms of law abiding it is, however a visual inspection of the crane and load rope will not help prevent in depth issues, visual inspections do not open up the gearbox and check the whole crane, a service will provide you with an inspection but at the same time a full service of mechanical parts as well as an oil level check and much more. The service is a more physical look in to detailed components of the crane or hoist as opposed to a tick sheet of visual conformities.
Many people ask me what Bottle Jacks can be used for there for I decided to write this article to do some explaining.
Bottle Jacks allow controlled raising and lowering of loads up to 50 Tonnes. Made up of a hydraulic cylinder that is raised when pressure is built in the chamber by the operator using the hand pump to increase this which in turn raises the hydraulic ram within the cylinder. This ram lifts or pushes the load (depending upon how one is using the equipment) steadily in to position.
To lower the load most Bottle Jacks allow the user the turn the handle which releases pressure from the cylinder which retracts the ram and lowers the load slowly in a controlled manor. This type of Jack should always be used on a flat level surface and not on uneven ground and the user should always find the correct jacking points of a load before initiating a lift.