IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, BUT...
I’ve had everything from hundred page specs (you guessed it, US Gov’t specs) for a $5K jib crane to single page page specs for a million dollar system. One thing I’ve learned is that there is no relationship between the number of words and the quality of the specification.
Having been around long enough to have seen both the “pre-word processing” era and “post-word processing” era, buying documents have not got any better, just considerably fatter.
WHO NEEDS THIS MUCH DETAIL?
There are a lot of crane buyers that don’t need this hours and hours of information included in this article. Fact of the mater is, if they’re buying an average system, that is average duty cycle, average project size, average environment, average lift height, average production through-put, this article is probably overkill.
If your planning a purchase that includes one or more of the following characteristics, skip this article at your own peril.
- Multiple cranes, big dollar deal
- High duty cycle crane applications
- High speed crane applications
- Long lift crane applications
- High production through-put applications
- Mission critical applications
- Explosive atmosphere
- Abrasive atmosphere
- Hot metal handling
- Nuclear anything
- Extremely hot or cold environment
- Critical timeline delivery requirements
- Precise spotting control
- Automated controls
- New cranes on existing runways or runways not supplied by the crane builder
- High (crane/hoist) motor starts per hour
- Low (crane/hoist) motor idle time per hour
- High average percentage of capacity load per lift
- Magnet applications
- Coil handling applications
- New building construction project
- Applications requiring true vertical lift
- Applications that require full capacity lift 100% of the time
- Precision spotting lifts that require Inverter controls
- Applications with dirty power sources and/or voltage swings
- Plus any other out of the ordinary application
I don’t mean to imply that Cranes are rocket science. They’re not, but conversely many buyers think all they need to tell a crane vendor is that they need five ton capacity and to “fit it in there,” and they’re done. That attitude may work on the very simplest applications, but for most it’s a formula for disaster.
For the next four articles, we will divide the crane buying process into four parts.
1. Buyers RFQ
2. Sellers Proposal
4. Misc Items