Ship Crane Troubleshooter

Nowadays I revising my old article and I remember my experiences on board commercial or offshore vessels as hydraulic troubleshooter.

One late evening I attended a troubleshooting job on a vessel where I found an interesting issue.

But, like usual the vessel crew has a nice story to share. Of course, the person in charge with the cranes was gone. It’s a common scenario who is there as crew has just arrived. This is an old trick, they blame each other and you’ll end up alone with no useful information.

They pretended to be angry and pissed off just to bring me in the same state of mind like them.

In my case, I was confused because I didn’t know how to react in the first place. The functions of the deck crane (hoisting, luffing and slewing) were not working. The crane started normal but it couldn’t be operated. I mean no movement occurs with the hook, the jib and the slew function of the crane.

First take a look of this picture:Electronic card disconnected

Just some loose wires with no marks only wires with different colors but instead are isolated.

This electronic card it shows the inputs from the joystick and limit switches and also the outputs from the electronic box.

The problem wasn’t there in the display card. After hours of troubleshooting I found out a bridge (jumper) that was removed from the main electric cabinet.

After reconnected the bridge the crane returned to normal operating condition.

About the indication display card I had to reconnected .With the help of the electronic diagram I managed to connect the card the way it was.

Also I noticed on some electronic cards some relay was re-soldered. I am not recommending this way to solve problems. Each electronic card form each maker has their tricks and if you are not sure about it it’s better to stay away.

Electronic card modified

Anyway I know from my previous experience if you have problem with the electronic card just change it. Maybe you don’t have new one then order one or ask for help.

The help came right away and troubleshoot the problem and solved it.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Pablito Bucag

    The problem of our ship crane is with the slewing function. During starting the operation of the slewing function of the crane is normal but after 30 minuets of operation I noticed the movement of slewing start hunting only in the counter clockwise direction(clockwise movement is normal). Anyone can help me with this issue or have any idea why this happened.

    Thank you.

  2. Avatar

    Hello, About defect occurred for slewing function of ship crane.

    Can you tell me the type of the crane and slewing circuit technical data ( pump and hydraulic motor type and slewing speed, single crane)?
    When this hunting occurred the crane was loaded?
    Have you tried to operate the slewing motion to a complete turn (clockwise and counter clockwise)? Try to move the control lever further to the end in both direction and let me know when hunting occurred.

    Keep in touch.

  3. Avatar
    Edilberto dela cruz

    Ship Crane Troubleshooter

    Problem hoisting wire , joystick to lower, but hoisting up.

    1. Troubleshooter

      About defect occurred for hoisting wire of ship crane.

      Can you tell me the type of the crane and hoisting circuit technical data ( pump and hydraulic motor type)?
      When this defect occurred the crane was loaded? When this problem with hoisting wire come up?

      Keep in touch.

    2. Avatar
      Girma D.

      About defect occurred for hoisting wire of ship crane.

      Probably the connection for joystick potentiometer terminals reversed.

  4. Avatar


    Ship Crane circuit Breaker problem,

    When starting crane also circuit breaker is on position. One second after no have electric supply to crane. Taken voltage value on the crane cabin panel circuit breaker and one of the v-r-s phases no voltage. Circuit breaker of crane was changed but oil temperature high alarm occurred.

    1. Troubleshooter

      About defect of Ship Crane, circuit Breaker.

      Can you tell me the type and maker of the crane? If possible, attach a print screen with an electrical drawing regarding breaker arrangement?
      What happened before the malfunction occurred? What did you do or change before malfunction occurred?
      Keep in touch.

Leave a Reply

The maximum upload file size: 1 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.