Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Look For

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Look For

Crane Pre-Operation Inspection

When it comes to crane inspections, keeping up with them on the required inspection schedule should ALWAYS be the #1 priority.

According to the Canadian Standards Association, crane inspections should follow standards outlined by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization)—Specifically ISO 4309 and ISO 9927-1.

However, in-between those required inspections, it’s always a good idea to be proactive about your workplace safety and perform pre-operation inspections.

If your company provides it, always use and follow maintenance checklists that include critical safety components as specified by the manufacturer, professional engineer and/or your company’s requirements. The following list is based on information provided by the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and can serve as a good starting point in the creation of a company-specific checklist that suits your crane and any specialized hardware being used more effectively.

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Check for During Pre-Operation Inspection

  • All capacity markings are present
  • All rope has no sign of kinks, cuts, breaks, corrosion, reduced diameter, broken strands of wires or other signs of wear or damage.
  • Rope drum cable is positioned correctly in the groove tracking and the means of anchoring is correct with no wear or damage.
  • Sheave ropes and guides are aligned correctly, and there’s no wear on the sheave groove.
  • All hooks are free of cracks, deformation, bent safety latches, broken springs or other signs of wear or damage.
  • You’re using the appropriate type of sling with legible and appropriate capacity ratings, with no holes, cuts, crushed wedding or other signs of damage.
  • All lights are working properly with none burnt out or broken.
  • Mechanical parts and guards aren’t loose, bent broken or missing.
  • Rails aren’t broken chipped or cracked.
  • No signs of wear on wheels (shown by bumpy riding).
  • Bearings aren’t loose or worn.
  • No signs of shoe wear on brakes.
  • Bridge bumpers and trolley end stops aren’t loose, missing or improperly placed.
  • Controller and collector shoes or bars aren’t worn, pitted, loose broken or in faulty operation.
  • All control buttons are labeled to indicate their function, are properly functioning and release immediately without sticking.
  • All boards, railings, and ladders in the foot walk zone are in appropriate condition.
  • All gears are properly lubricated with no presence of foreign materials in the gear teeth (indicated by grinding or squealing).
  • A fire extinguisher is present in the crane cab.
  • Before closing the main or emergency switch, ensure no one is on or around the crane – even when starting on regular duty.
  • Before closing the main switch, make sure that all controllers are in the “off” position.
  • Inspect oil after opening and locking out the main switch.
  • Make sure no overhead power lines are obstructing the crane operation.


Document these findings clearly in your maintenance logbook which should include all tests, repairs, modification, and maintenance. Keep this logbook with the crane and call upon certified professional inspection technicians and engineers as required. Never operate the crane if based on these findings it does not seem to be in safe working condition.

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Inspect While the Crane is Moving

Before lifting any load with a crane, you should always inspect it while it is moving. During this inspection you should be looking out for:

  • Smooth play out of wire rope to and from a drum.
  • Sheaves are turning without binding or jerking as a rope passes over them.
  • Ropes are properly aligned where it enters the sheaves.
  • Ropes aren’t rubbing on the rope sheave guards.
  • No rubbing, scraping, or clattering noises during operation.
  • No jerky movements.
  • Controls and brakes are operating properly.


You should also test that the limit switch is working properly by slowly raising the hook block with no load attached to the hook.

When it doubt, always call upon the experts.

These pre-operation inspections should only be used as a way to stay on top of typical wear and tear that may lead to required maintenance.

Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on business costs, cause unscheduled outages and most importantly, could cause major and possibly deadly safety hazards. Hercules SLR offers crane certifications & LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and crane parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

Hercules SLR has qualified technicians to inspect and service all crane classes, specifically:

  • Overhead/Bridge Cranes
    • Top Running Overhead Crane
    • Under Running Overhead Crane
    • Modular Crane
  • Gantry Cranes
  • Tower Cranes
  • Rail Road Cranes
  • Floating Cranes
  • Aerial Cranes
  • Jib Crane

Have a type of crane you need serviced, but we didn’t cover it here? Give us a call—We service anything

Find it difficult to track when your crane is do for a full inspection? We know, and we listened. Receive crane service from Hercules SLR and gain access to our free asset management service, CertTracker!


Crane Service: Lifting you in Sudbury, Ontario

crane service in sudbury ontario hercules slr, securing, lifting & rigging

What makes our crane service so special in Sudbury, Ontario? We do it all.

Our team of crane technicians in Sudbury, Ontario grew from two to five within months, and business is boomin’—They’re a small team, with big goals.

Cranes are simple-enough machines, yet require specific, detailed and reliable service. There are approximately seven different kinds of cranes commonly-found on worksites—These include tower cranes, overhead cranes, boom cranes, rough-terrain cranes and telescopic cranes.

At Hercules SLR in Sudbury, Ontario we service and provide equipment and service for all these, and more. Read on to learn details about our crane service in Sudbury, Ontario.


In Sudbury, Ontario, crane services include:

  • Inspections
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance, including preventative maintenance for cranes and their equipment
  • With any of the above services, have access to our asset management service, CertTracker.

CertTracker lets you:

  • Easily store and track upcoming inspections and important maintenance dates
  • Store your equipment documentation in one, easy spot (which makes inspection a breeze)
  • View assets, documents and their status quickly and easily
  • Quickly & easily mark gear as failed and order new equipment


Learn more about our current picks for durable, long-lasting and reliable crane equipment from some of our favourite bands.

Need crane service, and something to sweeten the deal? You’ll receive 1 extra Air Miles® Bonus Miles for every $10.00 spent on the following crane equipment:


Columbus McKinnon’s Hurricane 360° Chain Hoist is unlike any other chain hoist on the market. It features a one-of-a-kind hand chain cover, and is flexible and versatile enough to use for tough, awkward applications.

What else do we love about CM’s Hurricane 360° Chain Hoist? 

  • Hook-mounted hand chain hoist has Weston-style braking system that provides positive load control and reliable performance
  • Hook-mounted hand chain hoist has standard load-limiter provides simple, automatic overload protection that helps prevent injuries
  • Available as army-type, integrated trolley hoist with standard lifts up to 30′
  • Allows you to position and lift from nearly any angle

Receive bonus Air Miles® Rewards Miles when you purchase any of these CM chain hoists from our Sudbury, Ontario branch: crane service in sudbury ontario from hercules slr

  • 1/2 ton capacity, 10′ lift
  • 1/2 ton capacity, 12′ lift
  • 1/2 ton capacity, 15′ lift
  • 1/2 ton capacity, 20′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 10′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 12′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 15′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 20′ lift
  • 2 ton capacity, 20′ lift

Air Miles® Bonus Miles are also available with any purchase of the following LoadLoc chain lifts:


  • 1/2 ton chain hoist, 10′ lift with load limiter
  • 1/2 ton chain hoist, 20′ lift with load limiter
  • 1 ton chain hoist, 10′ lift
  • 1 ton chain hoist, 10′ lift with load limiter

Need a lift? What are you waiting for—Come see us in Sudbury! 




Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries. 

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Crane Equipment: cranes, chains & automobiles

crane equipment, hercules slr, rigging services

Cranes have been used since the first century – in that time, they were powered by humans or animals to lift heavy loads. Cranes have adapted and come a long way since – they now use an assortment of crane equipment and hardware to lift, lower and even sometimes move horizontally.

Read on to learn more about the modern variety of crane equipment available and Hercules SLR’s tips for using it.

CRANE EQUIPMENT: an overview

For rigging with cranes, different types of lifting equipment (also known as tackle) are used. These include:

  • Wire Rope Slings
  • Synthetic Slings
  • Shackles
  • Snatch Blocks
  • Hooks
  • Chain Hoists
  • Chain Pullers
  • Eye Bolts
  • Tirfors
  • Jacks
  • Lifting Beam
  • Spreader Beams
  • Beam Clamps
  • Plate Clamps

CRANE EQUIPMENT: wire rope slings

Pay special attention to wire rope slings as they are susceptible to servere wear, abrasion, impact loading, crushing, kinking and overloading – small changes in the slings’ angle affect the safe working load of the sling. Care should be taken around rough edges and wire rope slings – even an edge you might not consider ‘sharp’ can make considerable damage to your wire rope sling, making it unsafe and ineffective. Use sleeves, wear pads or corner protectors to protect your wire rope sling from damage.

Be sure to not drop a load or run a load over the sling – this will crush the sling. Also, don’t stop and start suddenly while you lift and lower with a wire rope sling, as this increases the slings’ stresses and increases possible failures.















There are three ways to identify wire rope slings: the SWL, I.D. number and certificate number.

  1. Hard-stamped on ferrule
  2. A tag which has a wire running through the tag and eye of the sling
  3. Large metal washer where the wire of the sling is passed through when you make the eye of a sling


There are three main wire rope sling configurations:

  1. Double-Choker Hitch
  2. Pair of Double Wrap Chokers
  3. Single Choker Hitch

Round slings’ are versatile – they’re strong, yet delicate to the load to lift. They’re light, flexible in many directions and malleable which is especially helpful when lifting an awkward or delicate load.

Synthetic Round Sling Label

CRANE EQUIPMENT: synthetic round slings 

Round slings’ are not easily damaged by sunlight, humidity, grease, dirt or seawater. Round slings’ are identified by the colour of the label, and also have the SWL on it.

CRANE EQUIPMENT: web slings 

Web slings are suited for particularly those that can be easily damaged. They’re easy to damage if you use them improperly – your web sling shouldn’t touch a sharp edge, heat or chemicals that will cause damage.



For crane lifting, two different shackles are typically used – bow and d-shackles. When using synthetic slings with a crane, two types of shackles are available, wide sling shackle and a round sling shackle. Web sling shackles are wider and bow out in the middle, and round sling shackles are narrow and sometimes have small valleys in the shackle bow, which supports the synthetic strands better.

These prevent the sling from bunching and pinching, which can be an issue with bow or d-shackles – it also reduces the SWL capacity of the sling.

To use shackles for crane lifting safely, follow these tips:

  • Don’t replace the shackle pin with a bolt – only the proper fitted pin should be used. Bolts aren’t meant to take the bend that a pin can handle.
  • Pins must be straight and all-screw pins must be completely seated
  • Cotter pins should be used with all round pin shackles
  • Shackles worn at the crown or pin by over 10% of original diameter should be removed from service and destroyed.
  • Don’t pull your shackle at an angle with a sling or hoist rope – this reduces the shackle’s capacity by 50%. Spacers can be used to centralize the load on the pins with spacers.
  • Don’t use screw pin shackles if the load can roll under load and unscrew


A sheave block is a single, or multi-sheave block which opens on one side – this opening allows a rope to be pulled over the sheave and eliminates the need to be threaded through the block. When crane lifting with wire rope, sheave blocks can be purchased with configurations for hook, shackle, eye and swivel fittings.

  • Sheave blocks are normally used when it’s necessary to change the direction of pull on the line. When this happens, the stress on the sheave block is significantly greater than the angle between the lead and load lines. 
    crane equipment, rigging services, hercules slr, Crane Equipment: cranes, chains & automobiles
    Pulley with a sheave on a mobile lifting crane, with 25-ton lifting capability
  • When the lines are parallel, 1000lbs on the lead line results in double the weight on the block—2000lbs on block, hook and whatever the connection points are attached to. As the angle between lines increases, the stress on the block and hook is reduced.


Many different hooks are available for lifting and rigging operations – check with manufacturer instructions and warnings before using in a crane application.

When using hooks to lift with a crane, follow these tips:

  • Ensure hoisting hooks are fitted with safety latches (except grab and sorting hooks)
  • Inspect hooks often, looking for wear in the hook’s saddle – check for cracks, corrosion and if the hook’s body is twisted.
  • Inspect the shackle’s throat opening – if the hook’s been overloaded or is weak, the throat will open. If this is the case, remove from service and destroy so no one else attempts to use it.
  • Inspect for cracks in the hook’s saddle and neck
  • Be sure the hook is stamped with its SWL
  • Note that the SWL applies when the load is in the saddle of the hook, as this reduces the SWL.


Turnbuckles are sometimes called rigging screws and can be supplied with eye end, jaw end, stub end fittings and/or a combination of these.

  • Use turnbuckles fabricated from alloy steel with weldless construction.
  • If turnbuckles have end fittings, ensure hooks are fit with safety latches.


Chain hoists are often used with cranes to move larger equipment and machinery. Chain hoists vary in size and length, and require little effort to execute a lift.

Chain hoists are durable, but can be damaged easily. To prevent damage, check:

  • The SWL is right for the application/load
  • The chain hoist has been inspected or certified by a third party
  • The hoist’s body is free of cracks or broken castings
  • The hook isn’t deformed and is fit with a safety latch
  • Anchor pins are in place correctly, and are the right type
  • Chain is in good working condition
  • SWL is clearly marked on the chain hoist block

A lever hoist is similar to a chain hoist, but operates slightly different with a lever to lift and lower the load – it can also be used to pull loads.


When lifting with a crane and eye bolts, ensure eye and ring bolts are made of alloy steel and have shoulders or collars.

Do not load eye bolts at an angle – angular loading reduces the weight of the load they can safely support.


A tirfor is a mechanical device, equipped with a level handle to operate. They’re used to pull and add tension, and can also be used to lift if they have blocks.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.