Boom trucks are essential equipment at construction sites, warehouses, and the oil and gas industry. Unlike crawler cranes that must be moved to their job site manually, you can customize a boom truck according to your needs. Whether you want to haul lightweight aluminum or a sturdy steel body, it doesn’t matter; you can modify the truck’s chassis to meet your requirements. Buying a boom truck is an ideal and cost-effective solution to renting cumbersome cranes to lift hefty objects if you’re working in the industries mentioned above.
Maintaining the boom truck is equally important if you want it to keep working and avoid mishaps. New York has witnessed several crane accidents in the past few years, resulting in serious property damage and fatalities. These accidents can be avoided by keeping a check on the truck and taking it for repair when required.
Importance of Keeping Your Boom Truck In Working Order
Like any other machinery, boom trucks require regular service and maintenance to hoist people and heavy loads for an extended period; especially when you have time and budget restrictions, replacing the equipment is not feasible. Postponing needed repairs or maintenance in an in-use boom truck can pose many threats like injuries, fatalities, and damage to the buildings and materials.
Repairing a boom truck cannot be done in the driveway. To repair such big equipment, you need professional help. Whether the truck needs repair or not, you should get it checked at a service center regularly to avoid any mishaps on the job site. If you reside in Long Island, look up boom truck repair service, and multiple service providers will pop up. Choose the one with credible reviews, and they will get the job done.
That being said, you don’t need to be a heavy vehicle expert to own a boom truck, but you need to know the basics of maintaining it. Here are a few tips to look out for possible damages and maintain a boom truck.
1. Check for incorrect crane alignment
Due to normal wear and tear, cranes can get misaligned over time. They can lean to one side, causing the equipment to bear an unnecessary amount of stress. If left unattended, the crane could topple during use causing serious damage.
Moreover, the crane’s functionality is affected when it is out of alignment. The boom truck should be repaired immediately after a misalignment is identified.
2. Check the air and hydraulic pipes for leaks
Cranes use an air and hydraulic system to lift loads. A crane hydraulic system consists of the following:
- An oil reservoir to store oil
- A pump that generates pressure to move objects
- Valves that regulate both the inlet pressure and the outflow rate
- Actuators that use pressurized fluid to create mechanical energy
It’s important to check for wear and rust on these parts before use every day.
3. Keep your truck battery in tip-top condition
Lead-acid truck batteries wear down over time and can no longer store enough energy to start your vehicle. The typical lifespan of a lead-acid battery is 42 months. However, this might vary depending on how often the machinery is used, how well you maintain your truck’s charging system and several other factors.
Keeping the terminals clean will prevent corrosion and extend the life of your truck’s battery. Dirt and grime on a battery can act as a conductor for the discharge current, which can cause a slight short circuit and eventually drain the battery. To scrub the terminals, use a toothbrush dipped in a baking soda and water solution. Then, spray cold water on the baking soda solution and pat dry with a clean cloth.
A lead-acid battery’s life span decreases when discharged below a certain threshold. To keep track of your battery’s condition over time, check its voltage with a voltmeter once every month. Keep in mind that lead-acid batteries must reach 12.7 volts or more when fully charged to be considered healthy.
Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, exposure to cold weather doesn’t always render truck batteries useless. While it’s true that they have to exert more effort to kickstart the engine in winter, most batteries do so due to damage sustained in the summer.
So, what can you do to minimize the battery’s exposure to summer heat? For starters, park your vehicle in the shade or the garage if possible. It’s the easiest form of protection. Also, you may ask a professional boom truck mechanic for tips on keeping your truck’s battery in good condition.
4. Check the air pressure in the tires
It’s essential to monitor the air pressure gauge readings for all the tires and inflate them before long trips or carrying excessive weight. This is also an excellent time to check your tires for any signs of damage and evaluate how they fared as seasons change.
The tire pressure lowers by one pound for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in winter. However, you can find the correct inflation pressure for your tires in the provided user guide. You can also use the simple penny method to examine the treads and sidewalls of your tires.
Remember, well-maintained tires are essential for a safe, fuel-efficient ride to the job site. If you want your truck to run smoothly, replace the tires before their treads wear off.
5. Ensure all hooks and chains are in good condition
Although crane chains are highly durable and can last for many years, it’s always advisable to inspect them for rust or damage once a month and clean and oil all the joints and connections frequently to reduce friction.
Before lifting heavy weights, the crane operator hooks the load to a chain. Therefore, the hook must be in perfect shape at all times. If the hook’s point has been bent more than 100 degrees, it should be replaced. You should get a new hook if the old one has been exposed to chemicals and developed any deformities.
It is also essential to check the hook latch to see whether it is broken or missing since this would indicate that it needs to be replaced.
6. Check the oil
The oil in your truck performs several important duties, including lubricating the engine’s moving parts, sealing out dirt, keeping the engine cool, decreasing wear rate, and protecting against corrosion. Proper engine maintenance requires regular cleaning.
Typically, it is said that oil and oil filters should be changed at least every three months or three thousand miles. However, many modern vehicle manuals recommend oil changes between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. If you’re still unsure, ask an expert for help.
Because of their portability and heavy lifting capacity, more and more companies are investing in telescopic, crane-mounted trucks or boom trucks. However, any business owner worth their salt knows the importance of checking up on the condition of their machinery to identify any problems and avoid accidents.
In a nutshell, boom trucks that are regularly maintained are, in fact, cheaper to run, less hazardous, and more helpful in keeping your business reputation intact. Use this guide to do preventive maintenance and save money on potentially pricey repairs that might otherwise be necessary in case an emergency occurs.