Before you take your crane out on a job, you want to make sure that all the parts are working together correctly. In order to ensure that your crane is operating correctly, you need to inspect the control. There are a few different areas of your controls that you need to focus on during the crane inspection.
#1 Check and See If the Joystick Is Centered
The first thing you need to do is check and see if the joystick is centered properly. The joystick should sit vertically. It should not sit off-centered when it is not in use. If it is sitting off-centered when it is not in use, that means that either the drive or the yoke is misaligned. Long-term misalignment of the drive or the yoke will damage your crane. As soon as you notice the joystick is misaligned, get the drive and yoke's alignment checked out.
#2 Check the Boots
Second, check the boots on the joystick. Look out for boots that look like they are torn or in other ways worn down. When the boots get worn down, dirt, liquids, and dust are able to make their way into the internal components on the joystick on your crane. The introduction of these outside contaminants can cause your joystick to not move properly, which can lead to issues with handling and controlling your load on the crane.
#3 Watch Out for Noise and Movements
When you move your joystick, you should not hear any clicks or experience any weird movements. You should be able to move the joystick around without encountering any jumps or resistance. If the joystick doesn't more smoothly or makes strange sounds, that is a sign that something is damaged. It could be that the contact block is damaged, the yoke is damaged, or another component entirely is damaged.
#4 Check the Tightness
Finally, you need to check the tightness of the overall unit. Make sure that all the bolts on the joystick are tightened up properly. If there are any bolts loose that are connected to the joystick, this could change the way that the joystick moves. When the way the joystick moves is changed, it puts the crane operator at risk. Moving loads with cranes is a precise business, and any deviation from how the joystick is supposed to be set up could spell disaster for a crane operator.
Always perform the four checks above before any major job so you are able to spot and fix issues with the joystick before you have a heavy load up in the air.