A mobile crane on the road

One of the most common questions we get here at Sparta Engineering, is whether companies need to disassemble their mobile crane booms every 10 years for a crane inspection.

It’s a question that a lot of clients fear the answer to as it can be costly to do so. The short answer is yes, but in this blog we are going to dive deeper to explain exactly what you need to do and why you need to do it.

What do the regulations say?

The first place we will start is with each province’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) code. All provinces reference the CSA Z150 code for their inspection criteria. Some provinces are still referencing an older version of the code such as the 1998 version (except Quebec, they reference the 1974 code).

In the 1998 version, the code talks about requiring an inspection of the boom everytime it is disassembled, or at a minimum every 10 years or as specified by the manufacturer. So based on this info, the 1998 code requires you to get your boom disassembled at a minimum every 10 years.

Some of you may have heard that the new CSA Z150 code took out the requirement for a 10 year disassembly. Well, you would be sort of correct. They did remove that wording but they left in the requirement for an inspection whenever the boom gets disassembled or as specified by the manufacturer.

So, if you are replacing boom cables and you disassemble the boom, you are required to get an inspection done at that time.

What does the manufacturer say?

Well, each manufacture is different and you should ask them about the specifications that apply for your specific boom.

For example, Tadano requires the boom cables to be changed every 10 years, which requires a disassembly. Altec just recently changed their boom disassembly policy. They used to require their mobile crane booms to be disassembled every five years, but they now changed it to 10 years.

We advise you to contact your crane supplier and confirm the specifications for your crane.

How is a disassembled boom inspection different from a regular annual inspection?

The biggest difference is that the inspector can now access welds that they can’t get to when the boom is assembled. That’s because the welds at the butt of each boom section and the internal welds of the boom are now visible.

Also, it becomes easier to measure any boom camber, sweep, twist, or squareness. It’s not super common to find an issue in these areas, but when a defect is found it makes it all worth it.

What if you don’t do an inspection at the 10 year mark?

It’s tough to say what could happen, but let’s look at the worst case. If your crane is involved in an accident where the government gets involved (OHS or WCB), they may ask to see your annual inspection reports.

If they find that you haven’t completed a disassembly inspection on the boom and it has a bearing on the accident, you could be in for a large fine. So it may not be worth testing the waters on something like this. Peace of mind now could save you later.

If you have any questions about boom inspections, please contact us at Sparta Engineering today where we will be more than happy to ask any of your questions.