Do You Need to Load Test When You Replace the Wire Rope in an Underhung Hoist?


by  on March 13, 2015


Richard, a recent safety webinar attendee, asks:

“Do you need to load test when you replace the wire rope in an underhung hoist?”

Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers:

The replacement of wire rope or chain for underhung hoists is specifically excluded from load test requirements. The wire rope should have already been tested by the manufacturer during the production process. The technician should perform a test without a load to check lifting and lowering function, brake operation and to check limiting devices. Reference ASME B30.16 for further details.

Some wire rope manufacturers recommend breaking in the rope. After installing the rope and starting with a light load (based on manufacturer’s recommendations), run through 20-25 lifting and lowering cycles at a reduced speed, gradually increasing the weight up to full capacity, if possible. This will allow the rope to adjust and properly seat itself. After this break-in procedure, secure the hook block and disconnect the rope end to relax or correct any possible torque or twists developed during the new installation and break in.

Want to learn more about Wire Rope Inspection and Maintenance of Underhung Hoists? Check out our recent safety webinar for yourself:

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

suni February 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm

After wire rope replacement load test/limit setting is mandatory or not.

J Hook August 2, 2016 at 5:12 am

this site is really good
thank you for this great work

Gisela Clark Gisela Clark February 26, 2016 at 10:40 am

Hi Eric,
Are you asking about a wire rope for a crane on a “sea going vessel?”
Just checking. Thanks!

Eric February 25, 2016 at 3:08 pm

If you are re-Socket a 15t crane wire for a vessel do you need to do a load test?

Peter Cooke Peter Cooke January 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Hi Matt,
Please check with the hoist manufacturer for proper reeving. You also may have a twist in your rope from installation. This could happen when you attached the rope to the drum. You will have to remove the rope from the drum (hook block can remained reeved), lower the hook block to ground and properly secure it so that it does not topple over and cause injury. Once you remove the rope from the drum, any twist will undo itself, similar to a phone cord.

Matt Riese January 28, 2016 at 8:55 pm

I just replaced the wire rope on a 5 ton overhead crane. The rope looks fine with no load and rope has slack. As soon as the hook starts to lift (only the hook for a load), the hook and rope twist about four times. What could cause this and what can I do about this?

Peter Cooke Peter Cooke January 26, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Hello Doug,
Thank you for reaching out to us. We agree with you. However, we interpret safety standards as they are written. In our training, we do teach load testing and highly recommend that it be done. In addition to the load testing, we also teach breaking in the wire rope, as discussed in this blog article. I hope this helps.


Doug Garman January 20, 2016 at 8:27 am

I have reservations about not performing a load test to hoist which has had the wire rope replaced. I have further information on this and some pictures regarding the issue should you desire to review them.
I’ve been formally trained on 4 separate occasions and I have been trained tested and certified as an overhead bridge crane inspector with 15 years of service and inspection. I am a class-I rigging inspector as well. (not tooting my own horn here) just indicating this “ain’t my first rodeo”. Furthermore I do not disagree with what the articles (OSHA/ANSI/ASME) of code state. You are absolutely correct. However if the wire rope is run in, and then a load test performed, is this not an additional safety step? I’ve always been taught and believe wholeheartedly to not just be a service mechanic or inspector but to be a SAFETY ADVOCATE as well. Often times the article of code is the *minimum* of what we are to do and not the end result of our actions in regards to service and inspection.
I thought I would see if I am out in left field here, and possibly I am? But I can assure you one thing, I feel more comfortable having performed the “voluntary” load test after a wire rope replacement and then one last visual inspection at the hoist for verifications, then to have only conducted the run in and functional testing with little or no load.
thanks for your time here…
Doug Garman

Gisela Clark Gisela Clark August 3, 2015 at 9:50 am

Hello Afzaal,

From our training team…..our ASME B30.16 standard states: “Replacement of wire rope or hoist chain is specifically excluded from the requirement to load test. However, an operational test SHOULD be conducted prior to putting the hoist back in service.”

Hope this helps,

Afzaal August 2, 2015 at 8:15 am

Isn’t replacement of any Crane Parts come under Replacement/Repair? And the purpose isn’t just to check the integrity of wire rope but perhaps the whole crane is going to be load tested.
Looking forward for your comments.

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