The European manufacturers’ association FEM (Fédération Européenne De La Manutention) has published a position paper warning that overloading cranes will reduce their lifespan. Mobile cranes should not be overloaded even if the rated capacity limiter (overload prevention device) is left switched on.
FEM says that overload testing “should only be performed in case of modification or repair of load-bearing parts or in case of a general overhaul. National regulations in some countries may require periodic testing with overload and/or overload testing prior to the execution of lifting jobs every time the crane configuration is changed.”
It adds: “Structural failures may be the result of cracks from overloading and/or fatigue and such defects will not be identified by an overload test. Thus overload testing may give a false sense of security to owners and users.
“To ensure the integrity of the structure, thorough examinations after each overload situation and prior to the execution of lift jobs are recommended. Such examination is a visual inspection combined with functional tests (including the safety devices) and may require non-destructive testing such as magnetic particle or ultrasonic testing. Any malfunction or observation during the inspection needs to be assessed by a competent person to decide whether the lift can be safely executed or whether an immediate repair/modification is needed.”
The full position paper can be seen on the FEM website.