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Thread: Welding on a crane

  1. #1
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    Welding on a crane

    Have got a Palfinger knuckle boom crane here with a badly rusted base (the bit the outriggers slide in and out of but the rest of the machine is in quite good order.

    Is there anything special about welding on cranes? The section I want to cut off and replace is just a piece of 6mm plate bent up into a U shape and the other side welded on to make a box... Nothing very complicated...

  2. #2
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Is it part of the original factory crane frame? Most crane manufacturers are very picky about weld repairs. If you take on a repair and the crane fails in the future, the liability could be yours. I have done a repair on a P&H crane boom, but it was to a factory specified procedure (it wasn't any different than what I would have done anyway, but we still had the paperwork). A call to the manufacturer is probably the first place to start.

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Agreed. I've got a buddy that does nothing but do welding repairs on cranes for a living. The procedures for many are quite involved because most use special high tensile steels used in the construction. The lowest wire/rod he keeps on hand is E80 and he has wire/rod well up into the 140K range for some IIRC. Many of his jobs are fixing and replacing sections that are damaged by welders who have no idea what they are doing and ruin the parts with "standard" welding procedures. Also I believe most of his repairs have to be signed off by an engineer after load testing and many repairs need UT, Xray or other tests to qualify.

    Unless you have specific detailed instructions from the manufacturer to work from, I'd strongly suggest you leave this to someone who has them. Liability for these sorts of repairs aint cheap, and most general policies probably won't cover a failure.
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    I will email Palfinger, will see what they say.... It is not going to be used in a commercial environment...

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    they are going to tell you to take it to a qualified repair facility. I can tell you if you do strike an arc on it you are taking a huge liability and the owner of the crane is also.
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    They told me how I can repair it.... Buy a new replacement part off them...

    I now know why crane hire is so bloody expensive.. it is the liability and cranes only have an expected life of ten years, then it is a full disassemble and crack test regardless of hours worked...

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    I now know why crane hire is so bloody expensive.. it is the liability and cranes only have an expected life of ten years
    You got it! It's all about CYA...

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Why so expensive and relatedly why is everything so 'picky' about cranes?

    Because, similarly to aircraft, they are typically running 'close to the edge'. And if things go 'wrong' when you are that close to the edge, things can get very-very-very wrong in an instant.

    Wrong as in loss of property (whatever was being lifted as well as whatever it or the crane itself or both falls on and cruches) and loss of life.

    So yeah, all those 'fussy' specs on the design and materials and workmanship and inspections really DO matter.

    And as to the liability? That covers everything about the crane itself AND the cargo AND the collateral damage AND anyone injured or killed. Financial liabilty all the way up to criminal liability (including possible manslaughter charges if there are fatalities, see the WSJ link below).

    Just some recent crane news from a quick google search:

    http://www.news4jax.com/news/26582687/detail.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25740449/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/31/ny...nd-crane.html#

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...844771874.html
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    The good thing about how expensive crane repair can be is you can get cheap cranes that need nothing... buddy got a 20k little run about crane for scrap price because it was out of spec... uses it to load lumber on and off is sawmill...

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    The base ( The part the out riggers slide in and out of) are rusted, then they can be replaced.
    Sounds like a square tube that slides in and out of a larger square tube.

    This does not sound too complicated but it would be nice to see a photo of the part in question.

    Can we see a photo of this part or can you give us a model number and manufacturer name so we can look this up?

    If you are a certified and trained welder I do not see why this job could not be done if proper procedures are followed.
    The manufacturer will not help you because if they give you info and you do the repair then the liability could fall on them. See what I mean?

    The cost of the new part may exceed the value of the entire crane. But it does not mean it cannot be repaired.
    It just has to be done properly.

    If the regulations say no part can be used after a limited number of years, then there is nothing you can do.
    Just like some airplanes cannot be used after the structure has exceeded a certain number of hours of flight.

    It IS obvious that if ONE outrigger fails, the crane could tip over and there could be fatalities.

    You just have to collect all of the information, do all of the research then make the decision about the repair.
    Also you could facilitate this job by finding out if there is a company that specializes in these kinds of repairs and
    get info from them.
    I live is a large city and there ARE companies that just specialize in repairs of cranes and fork lifts.
    Last edited by Donald Branscom; 05-06-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    I used to work in the crane business, keep this in mind OSHA has the authority to come in and inspect you if they so much as see a crane boom up in the air, and they will. It does not matter if you say it is not for industrial use, they will still want to inspect it, and with the rash of crane related fatalities in the last 3 years, OSHA has figured out it is really easy to write fines to people operating cranes.

    If you are running a crane, you had best have the crane certified and all of the information on the crane card must be up to date, and who ever is operating the crane had best have their certification as well.

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Branscom View Post
    If you are a certified and trained welder I do not see why this job could not be done if proper procedures are followed.
    The manufacturer will not help you because if they give you info and you do the repair then the liability could fall on them. See what I mean?
    With all due respect, I AM a trained and certified welder working for a rather large Corporation. As I stated earlier, I have made repairs on a crane. Our Comany's engineering depatment talked with the crane manufacturer's engineering department and the manufacturer provided a repair procedure. If the manufacturer does not give the proper procedure, then it would not be possible to follow it. You can't tell what material the crane components are made from by looking at them. Metallurgical testing would be required at a minimum, and still, if the procedures are not issued by the manufacturer, the liability issue remains.

  13. #13
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Welds4d is correct.... For me to attempt repairs would mean

    no support from the manufacturer

    No support from any insurance

    I am aware of the risks etc, have been read the riot act by the manufacturer and on OHS rules.... They also did supply me with a welding guide for what mods you are allowed to make..

    Generally the rules in this country (I am not in the US) are log books and operators manual, 10 year x-ray certs, annual inspection, certified operators etc This is for any work where OHS rules apply...

    The only place where OHS does not apply is on private property where only the owner is using it to lift his own equipment and no one else is involved, as in this country even an unpaid helper is considered a worker and thus OHS rules apply then...

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    While Welds is correct, In practice it depends largely on your intended use,if you intend to take this unit out to various jobsites you may well run into a safety guy that wants to see your annual certificate of inspection as well as your NCCCO card and certificate of insurance if you dont have these they tell you to leave! if you intend to use it around your shop or farm Id just fix it or I should say have a Real welder fix it. Add some beef if your worried (gusset/fishplate) while it is just a knuckleboom it still get stuff high enough for a person under it to get hurt. While I cant say with absolute certainty I doubt seriously youll find any exotic metals in an knuckleboom outrigger box. good luck ...OCG

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Quote Originally Posted by welds4d View Post
    With all due respect, I AM a trained and certified welder working for a rather large Corporation. As I stated earlier, I have made repairs on a crane. Our Comany's engineering depatment talked with the crane manufacturer's engineering department and the manufacturer provided a repair procedure. If the manufacturer does not give the proper procedure, then it would not be possible to follow it. You can't tell what material the crane components are made from by looking at them. Metallurgical testing would be required at a minimum, and still, if the procedures are not issued by the manufacturer, the liability issue remains.
    Yes...I agree. You must get all the facts and valid information.
    Last edited by Donald Branscom; 05-08-2011 at 04:33 PM.
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Branscom View Post
    Yes...I agree. You must get all the facts and valid information.
    I do have a guide from the manufacturer, telling me where you can weld on this crane and what materials to use (they have no procedure for welding where I was asking about)... Essentially steel equivalent to T1 and 11018 rods..

    The safest long term option is just to part it out and lose some money on it...The rams and hydraulics are in great condition, after all they are only 10 years old and seen very minimal use.... The sliding parts of the boom have only seen minimal use by the amount of wear there..

    Perhaps I should not have watched all those crane failure videos on youtube...



    Last edited by .RC.; 05-10-2011 at 07:48 AM.

  17. #17
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    It is a GOOD THNG you watched all the crane failure videos.

    Here is a good video.......
    Last edited by Donald Branscom; 05-10-2011 at 08:12 PM.
    AWS certified welding inspector
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Wow...great video!

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    Re: Welding on a crane




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    Re: Welding on a crane

    to be honest that WAIKATO crane collapse was pure operator fail. It was set way to close to the bank in poor ground condition. That crane had no business in the spot it was in.


    Alot of these crane accidents are swept under the rug, by lawyers being paid millions to do so.
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Hate to play necromancy, but realised I never ever finished this thread off.

    Well the final outcome years ago was I went ahead and fabricated up a new base and welded it on. I also got given an old old truck which it was mounted on. It was all tested at the rated capacity and in the years since has done a bit of work, but not a lot. It is self powered by a chonda motor with hydraulic pump attached. The support leg jacks are off semi trailers, there is one for both sides, but one has to be fitted manually and is seldom used.

    Mostly been used for repairing windmills. Here is the first one I did, so the crane work is a bit amateur, it goes much smoother these days.

    Was tested with a tonne at full height at the end of the home made extension. Name:  crane 003.JPG
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    Gets other use as well Name:  hanging beast 002.JPG
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    Name:  crane 007.jpg
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  22. #22
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Looks like a handy beast
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    Re: Welding on a crane

    All at metal and welding and you mounted the engine on 2"X6" wood boards?

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    Re: Welding on a crane

    Quote Originally Posted by rexcormack View Post
    All at metal and welding and you mounted the engine on 2"X6" wood boards?
    "Chonda" specs!

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