What to do next when you find a crack in your crane?

So you were doing your daily inspection on your equipment and you notice what looks like a crack in a weld. What should you do next?


A lot of people would think you should call the welder right away and get it repaired. But that would be the wrong sequence in this situation. Welding the wrong way could cause even worse problems. There are lots of things you need to consider with welding. What material is it? Should there be a pre-heat? Post heat? All of these questions need to be answered prior to welding. The reason for that, is an improper weld can change the strength and ductility of the steel, which could lead to more problems. For example, a welder had found a weld crack on a crane prior to us showing up for the inspection. So he thought he would fix it a couple hours before we showed up with the intention of helping us out. Since we had done similar repairs in this particular area in the past, we knew that a preheat was needed, and that we should wait 48 hours after the repair, to do our re-inspection. Since the welder didn’t do any preheat, when we came back 2 days later that new weld had actually cracked again.


So what is the right sequence of events?


When you find a suspected weld crack the first thing you should do is take the piece of equipment out of service. At this point we don’t know if that weld crack is a critical piece to the safety of the unit and we don’t want to take any chances. Next you should get in contact with your 3rd party inspector, such as Grizzly Inspections. From there, they will inspect the area and make sure there is no other cracking that is occurring. After everything has been checked for cracks the inspector will have their engineer provide a repair procedure for the crack, including preheats and any other parameters for the welder to follow.  A re-inspection will follow, which should be delayed as long as possible to ensure no cracking occurs after the repair has cooled.


The next time you find a weld crack in your crane, scissorlift, boomlift, forklift, or any other mobile equipment. Make sure you take the right steps and call your inspector or engineer first. Lets keep the people that work around your equipment safe!