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Cranes have replaced derricks on many modern ships. Generally they are considered as an
alternative to the union purchase rig. Deck cranes have a number of advantages, the rigging time
being negligible, and the crane is able to pick up and land permitted loads anywhere within its
working radius. The safe working loads of cranes is generally of the order of 10 to 15 tonnes and
larger cranes are available capable of lifts from 30 to 40 tonnes. As with the union purchase rig
the crane is intended for rapid cargo loading and discharging duties with loads which only
occasionally exceed, say, 3 tonnes.

Cranes may often be positioned on the ship’s centre line, but this may require an extremely long
jib when the ship’s beam is large and a reasonable outreach is desired. Transverse positional
cranes may then be fitted which, when not under load, can be moved port or starboard and
secured to work the hatch and give the desired outreach. Alternatively fixed cranes, one at each
end of the hatch, may be placed at opposite corners. This is an arrangement which is useful in
discharging to port and starboard simultaneously.

Deck cranes are available from specialist manufacturers and the shipbuilder would be
responsible for installation, any local strengthening, and seatings. They are normally positioned
between the holds, often on a platform which can be rotated through 360°, provides an
immediately operational unit requiring only one man to operate it.

Three separate drives provide the principal movements: a hoisting motor for lifting the load, a
luffing motor for raising or lowering the jib, and a slewing motor for rotating the crane. The
operator's cab is designed to provide clear views of all the cargo working area so that the crane
operator can function alone. The crane is usually mounted on a pedestal to offer adequate
visibility to the operator. For occasional heavy loads arrangements for two cranes to work
together, i.e. twinning, can be made with a single operator using a master and slave control
system in the two cranes. A common revolving platform will be necessary for this arrangement.
The operating medium for deck crane motors may be hydraulic or electric, utilising circuits
referred to earlier.
Deck crane maintenance

All deck machinery is exposed to the most severe aspects of the elements. Total enclosure of all
working parts is usual with splash lubrication for gearing. The various bearings on the shafts will
be greased by pressure grease points. Open gears and clutches are lubricated with open gear
compound. Particular maintenance tasks will be associated with the type of motor drive

On some vessels, it was reported that the ship's staff had carried out unauthorised repairs to crane
jibs by cropping and welding inserts over damaged or wasted sections. Crane jibs are subject to
heavy, fluctuating loads and must be periodically inspected, surveyed, load-tested and certified.
They are often made of high-tensile, for which special procedures have to be observed during
repairs. Therefore, repairs must be carried out only in consultation with the manufacturer and
classification society concerned. Any damage noticed to crane jibs must be reported to the ship
owner/manager and advice sought before carrying out any kind of repair.

1.crane pedestal (or crane cohimn, or crane post),
2.bolted connection,
3.fixed lower structure,
4.superstructure (or crane body, or revolving super- structure),
5.slewing ring,
6.driving cab,
7.jib (or crane boom),
8.jib heel pin or boom heel pin,
9.luffing (or topping) cylinder,
10.cargo runner (or hoisting rope, or lifting rope),
11.jib head built-in cargo sheaves,
12.crane top built-in cargo sheaves,
13.cargo winch,
14.rope terminal (thimble),
18.cargo hook (C-hook, or Liverpool hook),

Possible problems:
a. Failure of a hoist or luffing wire:
The result of poor maintenance of the wire leading to weakening of the wire over time or
inappropriate operation of the crane and incorrect use of the wire leading to damage
being sustained by the wire.
b. Failure of the structures:
The result of poor maintenance of the various elements leading to weakening of the
structures or incorrect use of the crane leading to damage being sustained by the
structures. Failure of the structures .
c. Failure of the machinery:
The result of poor maintenance leading to the failure or incorrect use of the crane leading
to overloading of the piece of machinery.

Checking before port operation:

In addition to maintaining the cargo gear to the highest standards, the following items must be
specifically checked on each occasion on which the vessel arrives from sea and when cargo is to
be discharged or loaded.
 Limits
The hoisting and luffing limits are to be tested and, if necessary, must be set in strict
accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
 Crane Oil Levels
Check the oil levels in all the relevant header tanks, servo tanks, etc.

 Crane Floodlights
These must be tested, as are the interior lights in the driver's cabin and in the machinery
 Crane Windows
These are to be washed clean and cracked or broken windows must be replaced, and the
seals checked. Hinges and locking clamps are also to be checked that they are free.

 Machinery Spaces
Must be kept clean, tidy and free from oil and water on the deck plates, and the drains
must be proven clean and clear.
 Cooling Fans
These must be tested and proven in good working order. All ventilator flaps/cowlings
which require to be open during crane operation, together with associated locking devices
are to be free.
 Ladder ways and Platforms
These must be inspected and kept clear of any oil, grease or water on the foot treads, and
the handrails must be intact and safe.

 Crane and Machinery Space Watertight Doors

Sealing rubbers to be intact and all hinges and closing handles must be oiled and kept
 Oil Cooling Ducts and Grills
Make sure watertight access doors are open, and all trunking/cooling fins/grills are clear
of residual cargo dust and obstructions.
 Slip Rings
Electrician to megger test prior to operation.
 Electric Cable Lead Pulleys
Must be checked and maintained free. Failure to maintain these in a free condition will
result in the electric cable abrading/chaffing with consequent damage. Before
commencement of cargo operations, the electric cable is to be manually pulled to check
the free operation of the cable guide pulleys. If the guide pulleys do not move then they
may be adjusted too tightly or may be seized, and steps must be taken to ensure free
 Electric Power Cable/Plug and Socket
Electrician carry out a megger test prior to them being connected. On taking off the
watertight covers, any residual water/moisture must be completely dried out.