The Top Signs Your Crane or Hoist Needs Repairs

From construction to shipping, cranes and hosts are integral tools in many industries. Because they get a ton of use day in and day out, they can start to wear down and fail over time.

You should hire a professional to perform an inspection once a year for signs that your hoist needs repair. In the meantime, these are signs you and your employees can look out for to determine if your machinery is failing.

Excessive wear

Signs of excessive wear or cracks can mean big trouble ahead. Some areas where you may notice this damage include the sheaves and drums, pins, bearings, shafts, rollers and welds. Be sure to check the chains and chain drive sprockets for excessive wear, chain stretch or crushed chain links.

Shiny surfaces

It’s often a good thing if something is described as “shiny,” because that typically means the item is new or in working order. However, that’s not the case with cranes and hosts. Shiny surfaces are a sign of abrasion—slow erosion due to friction. Check all moving components for signs of abrasion. Failing to replace these parts could lead to a complete breakdown.


If abrasion isn’t the cause of failure, corrosion could be. Corroded areas have compromised integrity and could lead to a collapse. Check bolts, rivets and other fasteners for signs of corrosion and ensure they’re as tight as possible. Be sure to hire a professional for crane repairs right away if anything seems off.

Leaking engines

Whether it’s a gas, diesel or electric engine, your crane should be inspected for leaking exhaust or other safety-related problems. While you’re performing this task, it’s also a good idea to ensure the emergency shutdown features are all fully functional. The last thing you want is to find out they don’t work in an actual emergency situation.

Damaged hoses

Hydraulic, pneumatic or other pressurized hoses are common in cranes and hoists. Check these hoses and fittings periodically for any signs of leaks. Then, check the outer hose covering for blistering, as this could be a sign of impending failure.

The pumps and motors connected to the hoses should also be inspected for signs of operating failure, like loud noises, low operating speed and excess heat. If anything seems off, power down your system and call a pro for crane repairs.

Leaking cylinders

The hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders should be inspected for fluid leaks across the piston. You’ll also want to check all rod seals and welded joints for leaks. While you’re looking for leaks, check the cylinder rods for dents, nicks or other damage.

Inspect related equipment

All of the components mentioned above are a part of the crane, but don’t stop your inspection there—check all equipment that works in tandem with your crane. Among other things, this includes looking for any signs of wear in hooks, ropes and slings.

Let us handle your repairs

Just call our pros at Zo-Air Co. Inc. the next time your crane or hoist needs repair. We’ll send someone out to your business or worksite ASAP to perform an inspection and make all necessary adjustments and repairs.

Zo Air Logo