Extend Boom Truck Life With Maintenance Program in 2021

Boom Truck Maintenance
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Construction sites use boom trucks to lift heavy loads, cut down big trees, deliver ample supplies to workers on job sites, or support lifts requiring heavy weights. Due to their design (very strong and durable) and ability to lift large objects, they are necessary for most job sites. The boom lift rental is helpful for work in higher heights at construction sites; therefore, its importance to the construction site cannot be discounted. The boom lift helped workers reach a naturally unattainable height, and this was the basis of the invention of the boom truck by WALTER E. THORNTON TRUMP in 1951. The boom truck’s size, weight, and capability are mainly dependent on the maker of the boom truck.

Boom Truck Vs Crane

While useful, a boom truck structure differs from a crane in several ways. A boom truck is simply a hydraulic crane mounted to the back of a commercial truck chassis. The type of hydraulic crane, and vehicle it’s affixed, are designed by boom truck manufacturer specification based on the necessity to optimize maneuverability and specific capabilities. Most manufacturers opt for a straight, inline placement. A more complex crane truck might also have an operator cab. In all cases, the design is heavily based on ensuring proper center of gravity. We don’t want the crane to tip or fail, right! The crane capabilities (maximum height, for example) are limited by the truck size in order to maintain proper stability and balance. A common restriction for trucks are wind limits generally restricted to operation at no more than 20mph. It’s hazardous to operate the boom truck when there is a possibility of wind for even an expert operator.

The configuration with which the boom truck must be designed must allow freedom of movement while carrying heavy loads. Trucks usually have a telescopic crane mounted on the truck chassis for lifting heavy loads. This structural configuration allows the boom truck to do the job of lifting heavy loads and moving freely and ensures maximum utilization of the boom.

Common Boom Truck Characteristics

Commonly, the boom truck has a telescopic mechanism with five double-acting single-stage cylinders, with each cylinder having its support. Many trucks have five polygonal arm sections, and there is a primary arm into which the other five polygonal arms slide.

The boom truck, or crane rental, has lattice shape designs increasing the boom strength and minimizing the weight of the rig. 

Boom truck’s have different components that work together to complete its task with ease. These components include the boom, hydraulic pump, Rotex gear, outriggers, truck cabin, operator control, and some other components. These components have different functions. The boom is the long arm from the crane that lifts the road; the hydraulic pump makes it easy for the truck to carry loads up and down with ease. Rotex gear is the pivot that allows the boom truck to move its loads, located under the crane. Outrigger is what keeps the crane lift in balance. The truck cabin is where the driver sits when driving the truck. Each component of the crane needs regular maintenance to ensure safety on the job site. 

Maintenance Of The Boom Truck And Its Importance

Instituting a preventative maintenance program is an excellent investment in your job site safety and reliability and pays dividends well into the future. Boom truck work commonly requires loads to be maneuvered at elevated locations, thus increasing the importance of a properly maintained crane on the job site. The combination of heavy loads and their momentum at elevated positions increases the risk of damage or injury for those in the vicinity of the lift conducted by a poorly maintained boom truck. There are maintenance tips and routines that must be followed to keep the rigin perfect condition and avoid unnecessary risk during lifts or to project resources. The maintenance tips and routine might seem repetitive or time-consuming, but they must be followed to keep the crane rental in a safe condition and keep the construction workers safe.

It is also essential that the driver is appropriately lubricating the components of the boom truck regularly for the maintenance of the truck. There is always a recommended schedule for greasing by the boom truck manufacturers. The routine for proper lubrication and recommended amounts are clearly established by each manufacturer. By making sure the numerous parts are adequately oiled, operators can keep their rigs on the road safely with professional job site reliability.

Common Boom Truck Maintenance Intervals

Speaking of manufacturer recommendations, make sure to include them in your maintenance program. While each manufacturer may have different recommended intervals for maintenance, common fluid changes intervals are listed below:

  • Engine Oil: 250 hours
  • Automatic Transmission: 500 hours
  • Standard Transmission: 1,000 hours
  • Rear Differentials: 600 hours
  • Power Steering: 1,000 hours
  • Antifreeze: 1,000 hours
  • Hydraulic Oil: 1,000 hours

Extend Boom Truck Life

There are several add-on parts that can have an impact on extending the life of your boom truck. The addition of oil coolers to components such as the automatic transmission system, hydraulic system, and steering system helps extend the truck’s operational life. 

Truck Driver Maintenance Training

Investing a few hours of training with your drivers and/or operators can yield significant savings from repairs shops. Teaching drivers to carry essential seals, fluids, and parts – as well as how to change them – can save the time required to return to a shop or maintenance facility. By having staff capable of carrying out these simple repairs on the spot, time savings translate into operational savings, reliability for your customers, and a safe operation. Plus, who wants to pay big bucks to automotive professionals to swap out a $25 seal?

Conclusion 

Having a robust maintenance program for your truck fleet is essential to a safe and efficient operation. These are just a few tips for conducting truck maintenance but go a long way towards saving headaches during operations. Efficiency translates into operational savings and maximizes revenue for the operators and their clients. Moreover, proper boom truck maintenance and adherence to the manufacturer’s schedule can extend the life of that expensive and vital equipment.

Jared Maxwell

Jared Maxwell

Jared has been a NCCCO certified operator for over 15 years and is a certified lift plan professional. He enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs along with training BJJ.

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