My Job Is Awesome

crane

This week my shop gave in and bought some well-needed tools. We have had issues with not having the proper tools to work on the cranes that we service and it’s really been a pain. Well, last year was a fiscally amazing year for our company; we got more contracts and bought more equipment than any other year in our fifty year history. We had a bit of profit left over so the higher-ups decided to give our maintenance shop a pretty hefty budget so that we could finally get the new tools we need to work on all of this new equipment. It’s about time we got the tools we need.

I think the most useful tools we got by far were a new series of hydraulic torque wrench. These things are incredible. It’s something I’ve been pushing to get for years now. Why are these things so stinkin’ awesome? Well, imagine this. Before we had these, we had manual torque wrenches that clocked in at around three feet long and thirty pounds. What’s so bad about that? Imagine lugging a thirty pound, three foot long wrench up the side of a monster crane, then trying to both balance and put everything you have into torqueing that bolt, if you slip you could seriously hurt yourself.

These new wrenches are much smaller and you hook them up to a hydraulic pump. That means that you have the wrench set at a specific torque, you slip it over the nut, you activate it, and it does the work for you. Talk about making my life easier. I’ve had way too many close calls over the years with manual torque wrenches, and these pieces of equipment aren’t something you can just impact a bolt on and call it a day.

Cranes are precision machines, every bolt is designed the way it is for a reason, every cable is designed the way it is for a reason, and every individual piece of steel has been precision machined for safety and capacity. There are some heavy loads lifted with these cranes and heavy loads mean the machine takes on a lot of stress. If a bolt isn’t torqued properly it may not take that stress the way it was designed and can either loosen or even shear off. It doesn’t take many improperly torqued bolts to put a crane operator and everyone else around him at risk.