There are some simple practices operators can exercise to keep their cranes in peak working condition, such as not overloading and misusing it. However, even under some of the best operating conditions cranes will eventually require routine maintenance. That's why it's important that operators follow the planned maintenance schedule in their manufacturer's manual, Worman says. While most operators follow a maintenance schedule set by calendar year, cranes working in high-usage environments receive maintenance based on their number of service hours.
Service trucks are often equipped with an air compressor that delivers dry, cool air to power tools that operators may need to do their jobs in the field. IMT service trucks come equipped with either a reciprocating air compressor or rotary screw air compressor.
No matter which model of air compressor you are using, Worman says the airend oil level should be checked daily. Operators should also make sure the air tanks have been drained of all condensation before using the compressor. After starting the unit, observe that it is building pressure and inspect the fitting and air lines for any leaks.
"Our No. 1 recommendation is to always, always drain the air tank after each use," Worman says. "If you're using a rotary screw compressor, always let it run for a minimum of 15 minutes to get it up to operating temperature and remove moisture from the circuit."
Just as changing the oil in your car regularly is important, this simple maintenance procedure can extend the life of your air compressor. Worman says oil should be changed every 250 service hours or every three months, whichever comes first.
When using an air compressor to operate tools, operators should always match the psi output with the tool requirements. Oftentimes, operators ignore these requirements and run more psi through the tools believing they get more power-which can be detrimental to the tools.
While it's important to keep the body, crane, and compressor in good working order, operators must also ensure they are operating these components as safely as possible. Field service vehicles come with several safety features that prevent possible hazards when on the job.
Deploying outriggers on field service vehicles is one of the most important safety procedures when using the crane. The outriggers provide stability and prevent the truck from tipping when lifting heavy loads.
If all the components of a field service vehicle are not properly maintained and serviced, the risk operators run is big. Many times poor maintenance leads to catastrophic failure. And when your field service vehicle is down, it impacts the contractor's downtime.
"If your service truck is down, your customer may go to someone else who can service them faster," Worman says. "The risk is losing that customer in the future. So you really want to prevent any downtime on the service vehicle."
Information provided by Iowa Mold Tooling Co. of Garner, IA