CRANE WHEELS 101: UNDERSTANDING THEIR FUNCTION AND MAINTENANCE

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The most crucial components of a crane’s transportation system are its wheels, which are also its most delicate components because of friction with the rail. Therefore, the crane wheels should be changed in case of flange wear, flange breaking, or fatigue pitting.

Crane wheels can be divided into various groups according to different specifications. For example, single-edged and double-edged crane wheels, casting and forging crane wheels, overhead crane wheels, gantry crane wheels, or crane trolley wheels. Crane wheels are frequently split into three types based on their designs: double-flange, single-flange, and non-flange crane wheels.

The function of crane wheels

Most of us would forget the total weight loaded and pressed on the small crane wheel at the bottom of each crane component when we look at the large overhead crane operating above. The crane’s wheels’ quality will have a significant impact. The crane body and trolley are loaded with weight and capacity using the wheels as they move and travel.

Although many crane wheel manufacturers and suppliers like Kor Pak can heat treat and harden crane wheels and other steel crane parts, the outcomes differ from one vendor to another. To ensure continuous deep hardening of the crane wheel tread, you should only purchase crane wheels from a business with the necessary experience.

Crane wheels maintenance

Periodic inspections

More factors affect a wheel’s lifespan than only its hardness. The crane’s weakest link may be its wheels, the only components directly touching the runway. First, they frequently exhibit the impacts of crane issues, such as misaligned rails.

Regular crane inspections, which include checking the wheels, can spot signs of premature wheel wear and instruct on fixing problems before they do serious harm are essential. It is advisable to measure and record the wheel flanges’ thickness to monitor the wear rate between inspections. You may not need to worry if wheels only wear down a quarter of an inch after ten years. However, such wear after only two weeks may be a significant issue.

Regular inspections of the wheel group’s shaft hole and stringent specifications of its depth and faults are required. The new parts must be replaced if the predetermined amount is exceeded. A replacement pulley groove is necessary if the radial wear on the wheel group exceeds 32% of the thickness. It can be preserved if the thickness is less than 32% and the distance is less than 0.5 mm

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It should be replaced if the crane wheel tread wear is greater than 15% of the original thickness. The system can be carried again, and the heat treatment corrected if the new pieces do not exceed this value.

Replacement wheels

Replacing a crane’s driving wheels in pairs is imperative, never as a single wheel. This could seem like a waste, mainly if the other drive wheel is still functionally sound. However, failure to do so will eventually cause problems with crane alignment.

The takeaway

The best approach to protect your crane wheels is to ensure a trustworthy third party inspects your crane alignment regularly.