Overhead cranes are staples in the construction business for good reason. These cranes are powerhouses that can lift objects that would not otherwise be maneuverable, so even the slightest flaws can put you and your employee in danger. Whether you own your own overhead crane or you rent one on occasion to tackle a certain job or construction process, it is a good idea to know how to inspect the equipment before it is used for safety and secure operation. Take a look at the important points of inspection you should perform before using the overhead crane during any job. 

Inspect the hoist for signs of wear. 

The hoist on the overhead crane is where the action of the lift takes place, so the hoist really is under a lot of stress. The steel cabling that feeds through the housing of the hoist can wear down the rims and edges with time. Therefore, the hoist itself does have to be replaced on occasion. If the hoist is worn, it changes the weight distribution of the item being hoisted, which can be dangerous because you cannot rely on how an item will react when it is pulled up off of the ground. 

Inspect the steel cables for twists or uneven threading. 

If the overhead crane you are using has a steel-cable hoist system, the steel cable is a highly important point of inspection. The cable should be completely straight, meaning it should be threaded onto the rolling spool perfectly aligned. Likewise, the cable itself must be in good condition. Pay careful attention to any frayed cable pieces or areas that are obviously worn. If you spot any signs of wear, the steel cabling may have to be replaced before the crane can be used. 

Inspect the hook of the crane for structural flaws.  

If utilizing a hook on your overhead crane, the hook is an important point of inspection because it supports much of the weight of the item being lifted. The hook can take a beating with everyday use, and over time, it can develop notches, ridges, and dings. While minimal wear is normal, any marking or flaw that changes the overall shape of the hook should signal you to have the hook replaced. With the hook being used to attach the crane lift to the item being lifted, a small discrepancy can cause weak points in the hook that can be dangerous.