Hydraulic Boom Maintenance: Take the Time & Avoid Downtime

Hydraulic boom maintenance

Hydraulic boom maintenance for all terrain and rough terrain cranes can often become an afterthought amidst busy work schedules. As Tadano discussed in “Rough Terrain Crane Maintenance and Extreme Working Conditions,” maintenance schedules can often even be accelerated if a crane is working several shifts around the clock.

This is even more important with the pinning style booms that use location sensors and requires more precision than conventional cable extend and retract boom systems.

As we think about keeping hydraulic booms in order, ignoring the maintenance schedule can result in unnecessary or excessive downtime for your crane. Brendan Casey from Machinery Lubrication states, “You wouldn’t start an engine without oil in the crankcase – not knowingly, anyway. And yet, I’ve seen the same thing happen to a lot of high-priced hydraulic components.”

He goes on to explain that there are two parts to keeping a hydraulic boom in order. The first part, knowing how to properly grease a boom, is easy enough to teach. But remembering to do so on a regular basis according to usage is much harder.

Investing Time in Hydraulic Boom Maintenance

Properly lubricating a hydraulic boom can take anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Particularly with busy oilfield work, finding this amount of time to shut down a crane may seem difficult.

Compare this to multiple days of unplanned downtime and the cost to replace damaged parts, and this maintenance becomes more do-able. Wondering how to get this done with a minimum of shutdown time?

Simple. There are probably periods during some workdays when your crane is sitting idle and the boom isn’t holding a load. Since each section of the crane can be greased separately, this can be the perfect time to get part of the job done.

Another veteran tip is that it never hurts to overgrease your boom. This applies especially to the topside wear pad locations.

Lack of Maintenance Causes Downtime

It may seem obvious, but I tell our customers time and time again: lack of maintenance is often what causes crane downtime. Take a few minutes to examine your crane’s maintenance schedule.

For example, Tadano lists the interval to “grease slide pieces, slideway linings, side bars, cross-heads and guide rollers,” as every 125 operating hours or once a week depending on usage.

Not sure? Contact the service team today and we’d be happy to help!

Categories: Parts, All Terrain, Rough Terrain, Maintenance

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