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  • Bret Lussow

Going Outdoors?

Cranes are often used in harsh or outdoor environments creating challenges for both the manufacturer and the end user. The manufacturer is responsible for communicating the proper use and limitations of outdoor cranes and the end user is responsible for maintaining the equipment over time. No matter how hard you may try to manufacture maintenance free outdoor equipment, there really is no such thing as “maintenance free” or iron that will “never rust”. Like a fine car, equipment needs to be maintained for optimal results and to keep a product that will look and work nice years after installation.



Handling Systems International (H.S.I) outdoor cranes include all necessary bearing enclosures for outdoor use, zinc plated hardware and outdoor safety yellow enamel. Additional options can include an outdoor tight wire kit, hoist doghouse, no-load parking device and stainless-steel anchor bolts.


If an outdoor crane or product manufactured by H.S.I. arrives prior to the time that installation can take place, provisions must be made for storage. A visual inspection of all crane component pieces should be made prior to storage and any shipping damages should be immediately reported to the carrier. Any damage made to the product during unloading, should be noted and fixed/remediated if necessary.


Possibility of corrosion on components of cranes increases for installations where salt air, excessive water and high humidity are present. For installations where temperature variations introduce condensation/corrosion to the crane, more frequent lubrication is required. Occasionally used cranes should be inspected more frequently and include all functional operating mechanisms for proper operation, proper adjustment and unusual sounds. Evaluation and resolution of the results of this inspection shall be made by a designated person such that the crane is maintained in safe working condition.

Paint, no matter how good, will be susceptible to rust over time. In the event a crane shows signs of rust, proper measures can be taken to keep the product looking and functioning at its best:

PAINT - REPAIR SURFACE PROCEDURE

1. Treat all scratches and blemishes using the following procedure:

a. Sand effected area

b. Thoroughly clean area with specified paint prep

c. Apply one coat of specified primer

d. Once primer has dried, apply 2 coats of top-coat with specified topcoat paint finish.

i. Final mil thickness should be between 3-5

Also, whenever a crane is left unattended to, or unused for an extended period (greater than one month), all rotating and lifting (hoist) parts must be operated via full rotation each month in order to prevent deterioration.

Keep that crane beautiful, just like the day you bought it! After all, you wouldn’t buy a new sports car and leave it outdoors year after year without any maintenance.

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