Category: Overhead Cranes

The Newest Chapter of ASME B30.11: What You Need to Know

The Newest Chapter of ASME B30.11: What You Need to Know

ASME B30.11 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard, B30.11 has another chapter.  Revised in 2010, the most apparent change is the addition of Chapter 11-4, “Maintenance Training and Maintenance.”

ASME B30.11-4.1 states:

Maintenance training shall be provided to promote proficient adjustments, repairs, and replacements on crane and monorail systems….”

This added chapter includes requirements for not only underhung crane and monorail maintenance training, but for certification as an underhung crane and monorail maintenance person.  Certification is required for all persons who maintain and/or service monorails and underhung cranes. Are you and your underhung crane and monorail maintenance personnel trained and certified?

If your answer is “no” and you are interested in becoming certified, here are some classes that may interest you:

CMCO Chain Hoist Technician Certification
CMCO Wire Rope Hoist Technician Certification
CMCO Overhead Crane & Hoist Inspection Certification
Overhead Crane and Hoist Frequent/Monthly inspection

For additional reference, check our other ASME blog post:  The Latest ASME Updates

Tom Reardon
Tom Reardon is a Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists & Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Q & A: Are there Any Special Load Test Requirements for a 50 Ton Crane?

Q & A: Are there Any Special Load Test Requirements for a 50 Ton Crane?


Kyle asks the following question about load testing:

A  company I work with conducts a special lift twice a year where they lift 100,000 lbs. with a 50 Ton crane.  Are there any special requirements as far as load testing, inspections or OSHA requirements that need to be considered when doing this lift?  If so, could we get them in writing?

Tom answers:

Since 100,000 lbs. is 50 Tons, and the capacity of their crane is 50 tons, nothing special is required. They can legally do this all day long as many times as they want (within the CMAA Class of the crane).

On the other hand, if a crane owner wants to lift a load that exceeds the rated capacity of the crane, that owner may do so twice in a 12 month period.  ASME B30 standards refer to this as a “Planned Engineered Lift.”   The requirements can be found in the appropriate ASME B30 Standard, Section three (3). Please review and follow the standards as published.

To summarize, the following conditions must be met:

1.  Review the service/maintenance history of the crane.

2.  A Periodic Inspection must be conducted just prior to the lift and immediately following the lift.

3.  This type of lift is restricted to powered cranes and hoists rated at 5 tons or greater.

4.  The load shall not exceed 125% of the rated load of the crane or hoist.

5.  This event is limited to twice in a twelve-month period.

6.  A written report, documenting all aspects of the event, must be  placed on file. Documentation is very important and needs to be emphasized.

Tom Reardon
Tom Reardon is a Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists & Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
ICHC Presenter to Answer Audience Questions

ICHC Presenter to Answer Audience Questions

TomReardon_rev1 MCM Events welcomes another speaker at the jointly held Crane & Rigging Conference and Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference at the Hampton Inn Hotel & Suites New Orleans-Convention Center, New Orleans, La. The conferences will take place May 23-24, 2012. Tom Reardon, Training Manager, Hoists and Cranes, for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, will provide an overview of OSHA 1910.179, as well as explore crane configurations, regulations, and standards for the industry.
“Many of us have experienced the concern prompted by crane inspection reports listing discrepancies as OSHA violations. Not all of these reports are accurate,” says Reardon. “Some confusion exists among crane and hoist owners, users, and service providers regarding crane configurations and the application of OSHA 1910.179 regulations.”

Reardon is inviting industry stakeholders to submit questions regarding standards and regulations, to which he will source answers from ASME/ANSI, OSHA, CMAA, etc., and share them with delegates at the end of his presentation.

Do you have a question you would like answered? Take part in this survey.


Highlights from the Spring ACRP Meeting

Highlights from the Spring ACRP Meeting








The Association of Crane and Rigging Professionals (ACRP) recently held its annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The ACRP is a nonprofit association whose mission is dedicated to improving crane operations and rigging activities in all industries. This is accomplished through educational opportunities to its members and the public. Many ACRP members are heavily involved with other organizations such as ASME, NACM, CMMA to name a few. Columbus McKinnon has board representation and also participates in the educational opportunities.

This year’s meeting theme was Crane Operation Safety.  Topics of discussion included:

  • D/d Ratio of Alloy Sling Chain
  • Turning Pre Cast Loads Safely on the Job Site
  • Design and Safety Criteria for Pad Eyes and Eyebolts
  • ASME Update on P30: ASME P30 is the newest “in development” standard under the ASME umbrella. The intent of this document is to provide end-users with an exceptional guideline that focuses on personnel, equipment and procedures as they relate to repetitive lifts, standard lifts and critical lifts.
  • Boom Assembly / Disassembly
  • How to Find and Calculate the Center of Gravity
  • Responsibilities of Crane Operations
  • How an Overhead Hoist Works (presented by Columbus McKinnon)
  • Critical Lift with Overhead Cranes
  • Derrick Barge Lift
  • Industrial Rollers
  • Overhead Crane Standards and Regulation Update

Each of the topics provided case studies and applications. There was also a tour of the Manitowoc Crane Production Facility. All cranes and attachments manufactured at the Manitowoc facility are rigged and tested in the 20 acre test yard. The machines are tested to ensure the safety, quality and functionality of the delivered product. Currently being tested in the yard was a 2300 metric ton crane. It was the largest capacity crawler ever designed and built by Manitowoc.

ACRP is where Trainers get Trained. Information is openly shared and is provided to members of ACRP for use in their own training programs.

Peter Cooke
Peter Cooke is a Training Manager specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
A Sneak Peek into One of our Most Treasured National Labs

A Sneak Peek into One of our Most Treasured National Labs

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge Tennessee.  This is one of our many treasured national labs run by the US Department of Energy.  Some may recall that this lab, in conjunction with The University of Tennessee, was where much of the Manhattan Project nuclear weapons development was conducted.

I was visiting a new facility at ORNL named the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS).  This is an accelerator based neutron source for conducting basic scientific research on all matters of materials from metals for industry to soft tissue for medical advancement.  It is the most powerful instrument of its kind in the world!

While visiting this facility to see some material experiments related to our products, I saw many of our products used in the main neutron beam building.  There were two main 30 ton Cranes that each had ShawBox and Cable King hoists on them.  There were also Cyclone, Lodestar, and Chester  chain hoists in use.  These hoists and cranes were used to do everything from construct new lab areas inside the main beam line building to relocate environmental chambers to moving samples of material prepared for testing.  What an amazing feeling to see equipment we engineer and build being used to support basic research in an atomic particle accelerator. How cool is that!  Frankly, it just doesn’t get any more high tech than this facility.  This is where real science is done and we’re a part of it!

Enjoy the pictures of the cranes and our CMCO family of products!

This post was written by Dave Huber, former Director of Engineering Systems & Standards, Hoist & Rigging Americas, for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
When are double shoe collectors required on a crane?

When are double shoe collectors required on a crane?


A customer calls in and asks,

“Why must I have double shoe collectors on my crane? The National Electric Code (NEC) does not call for it.”

Larry answers:

CMAA Specifications 70 and 74 require double shoe collectors when variable frequency control (vfc) is used in any motion of a crane. Article 610 of the NEC addresses the installation electrical equipment and wiring on cranes. It does not directly address specific control types, such as contactors or variable frequency.

The Crane Manufacturers’ Association of America (CMAA) publishes two specifications for overhead cranes: CMAA 70 for Top Running and Gantry Multiple Girder Cranes and CMAA 74 for Top and Under Running Single Girder Cranes. In both specifications, Section 5.14.7 reads, “A minimum of two collectors for each runway conductor shall be furnished with inverter use.” Inverter is another name for variable frequency drives or controls.

Inverters have fault protection built into their programming. Monitoring the incoming power is part of this programming. When a collector shoe loses contact with a conductor bar, for any reason, the inverter will go into fault mode and shut down if there is no second shoe to maintain contact. This is to protect the electronics in the inverter and motor(s). In addition, it will most likely register a phase-loss fault code. If this happens, a crane technician will have to troubleshoot and reset the inverter to get the crane back into operation.

There is a variety of reasons why collectors lose contact: normal wear, slight misalignment or adjustment, expansion joints, dirt, etc. Double shoe collectors are necessary to reduce the risk of these types of “nuisance” trips. Crane and trolley traverse motions, plus main and auxiliary hoist motions, can be controlled by an inverter. In addition, inverters can either be open or closed loop. Once any one motion is inverter controlled, double shoe collectors are required.

One final point, the use of double shoes does not replace necessary and required interval inspections and preventative maintenance of the crane and electrification system.

This blog post was written by Larry Lynn, former Product Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

How do you calculate the stopping distance of a bridge crane?

How do you calculate the stopping distance of a bridge crane?

CRANE Power Mast Abraham writes:

“How do you calculate the stopping distance of a bridge crane to see if you meet the OSHA standards? I need help determining if our bridge cranes are traveling too far after we release the travel button on the remote control.“

Tom answers:

Both OSHA 1910.179 and ASME B30 publish standards which address bridge and trolley brakes with regard to stopping distance.  Below are some OSHA and ASME guidelines:

  • OSHA 1910.179 (f)(4)(vii)  Brakes for stopping the motion of the trolley or bridge shall be sufficient size to stop the trolley or bridge within a distance in feet equal to 10 % of full load speed in feet per minute when traveling at full speed with full load.
  • ASME B30.2-1.12.3 (a)(1) brakes should have torque capability to stop trolley/bridge travel within a distance in feet equal to 10% of rated load speed when traveling with a rated load.

OSHA and ASME specify “rated load speed.”  This speed is set by the crane manufacturer and can be found in the specifications section of the manuals supplied with the crane.  If not specified, you may use one of the following procedures:

  • One option is to determine 10% of the distance in feet. Put a full load on your crane and traverse the bridge or trolley at full speed for one minute. Mark the distance.  Most trolleys will run out of room long before one minute passes.  Take 10 percent (10%) of that distance. This would be the maximum “drift” distance allowed after putting the controls in the off or neutral position with the crane traveling at full speed with a full load. This approach is what many people try to do. It can be tedious. 
  • A better option might be to determine 10% of a minute. The standard states “10% of full load speed in feet per minute.“  6 seconds is 10% of a minute.  When traveling at full speed with a full load the bridge or trolley should stop within 6 seconds after going to the neutral or off position.  With less than a rated load, the bridge or trolley will drift shorter distances/less than 6 seconds.
Tom Reardon
Tom Reardon is a Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists & Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Crane inspection documentation: What is required?

Crane inspection documentation: What is required?

Doug from Ontario, New York asks:

Under what circumstances must inspections be documented for Overhead Top Running Double Girder Bridge Cranes in regular service?

Peter answers:

The complete inspection requirements for Overhead Top Running Double Girder Bridge Cranes in regular service in the United States are governed by the following two regulations:

OSHA 1910.179 (j)(1)(ii)(b) and ASME B30.2-2.1.1(2)  which state that Periodic Inspections are required on 1-12 month intervals.

OSHA requires Certification Records at one month intervals which include the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number (hoist), or other identifier (location of the hoist) of the hook, chain or running rope that was inspected. 

The three hoist/crane components that require “Certificate of Record” are:

Peter Cooke
Peter Cooke is a Training Manager specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Grounding of Overhead Crane Systems

Grounding of Overhead Crane Systems

Grounding of Overhead Crane Systems
Grounding is a critical part of a safe installation.

In 1995, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that electrocutions accounted for 6% of all worker deaths. The most common OSHA electrical violation is the improper grounding of equipment and circuitry. It routinely hits the top 25 in terms of OSHA citations.

Our customer service group periodically receives calls with questions concerning grounding requirements for overhead cranes. Over the years it has been customary to ground through the crane and trolley wheels, through the crane girders and runways to the building steel.

In the 2005 edition of ANSI/NFPA 70 National Electric Code grounding requirements changed.  Article 610, Cranes and Hoists, Section 610.61 Grounding clearly states, “The trolley frame and bridge frame shall not be considered electrically grounded through the bridge and trolley wheels and its respective tracks.  A separate bonding conductor shall be provided.” The terms “shall and shall not” make the fourth conductor for ground mandatory. It does not matter if the electrification is festoon cable or insulated conductor bar.

Question: “My hoist will be running on a jib or a monorail. Do I still have to run a ground?”

The simple answer is, “Yes!”  The scope of Section 610.1  is quite clear; it covers cranes, monorail hoists, hoists and all runways.  ANSI/ASME B30 Safety Standards define cranes for overhead hoists. In essence, if a hoist is supported by an overhead structure such as a monorail, jib, bridge, or gantry, it is a crane. Whether the crane is portable, like a roll around gantry, or a permanent installation, it is a crane and needs a separate conductor for ground.

Grounding is a critical part of a safe installation.  More and more cranes are equipped with electronics; remote controls, variable frequency, electronic monitoring devices, etc. These need grounding for their protection. Current follows the path of least resistance.  If a short to ground exists, do you want the crane operator to be the ground?  All it takes is one hand on the lower block and the circuit is complete.  Be safe, run the ground.

This blog post was written by Larry Lynn, former Product Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Answering the Difficult Questions Asked by Hoist & Crane Technicians

Answering the Difficult Questions Asked by Hoist & Crane Technicians

ICHCThe opening session for the Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference (ICHC), to be held May 26-27, 2010, in Houston, Texas is sure to set the tone for the rest of event.

Peter Cooke, Corporate Trainer for Columbus McKinnon, will start off the education sessions by sharing insight on OSHA and ANSI safety topics as they pertain to hoist and crane operations. Columbus McKinnon, based in Amherst, N.Y., recently gathered more than 100 common questions asked by crane and hoist operators, inspectors, technicians, maintenance personnel, and plant supervisors. With the assistance of OSHA and ASME members, these questions were translated based on current industry regulations and standards. Highlights from that research will be shared during the session. At the conclusion of the seminar, attendees will be able to obtain a copy of the full report, assisting them with implementing these safety practices.

The Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference is owned by Maximum Capacity Media, publisher of Industrial Lift and Hoist magazine.

This article was originally written and published by Industrial Lift & Hoist on March 16, 2010.

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.