Does the Age of a Crane Prevent Installation of a Radio Remote Control?

Crane Systems | By Jon Walters | Oct 06, 2016

Al, a CMCO distributor salesman, trainer and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following question about applying a radio remote control:


Does the age of a crane prevent it from having a radio remote control installed?

Jon Walters, Magnetek trainer and safety webinar presenter, answers:

No, the age of a crane has no impact on whether

 a radio remote control can be incorporated.  There is some basic information that should be considered to determine the proper style of radio remote control and ensure it is applied correctly:

Control voltage:

Confirming the radio receiver voltage can be matched to the existing control voltage ensures no significant alterations are required to the crane.

In addition to standard AC control voltages, all Magnetek radio remote controls are adaptable to the most common DC voltage control voltages – 12/24/48/250.

Type of existing crane control:

Is it a contactor control, static stepless control, or a variable frequency drive? Determining the existing control scheme allows for the selection of the optimal radio control product. Older cranes may be operating with contactor controls, but still permit the installation of radio remote control.

The number of motions on the crane:

Is it a basic three-motion (bridge/trolley/hoist) crane or does it perform more or fewer motions? This will dictate how many crane motion outputs are needed on the receiver.

Transmission distance:

Is there a range limitation or is an extended range needed? The transmission distance is based on the crane application.  For example, in situations where the transported material is very delicate, precise positioning is critical. This requires the crane operator or spotters to be in close proximity to the load and range limitation would be advisable. If the crane is operating in a long runway with no obstructions and no areas are deemed unsafe, then an extended range may be considered.

The above factors will help determine the style of radio remote control you can add to your crane, which may be implemented regardless of crane age.

Want to learn more? View our recent safety webinar!

Safety Webinar: Improving Workplace Safety - Collision Avoidance, Radios & Brake Products

Options for safe crane operation extend beyond the crane and hoist system. The selection and application of crane control equipment can significantly impact the safe performance of an overhead crane.

Jon Walters

Jon Walters is a Magnetek Senior Engineer, Sales Application and Technical Trainer at Columbus McKinnon Corporation. Next year Jon will have 30 years experience in the industry. He is currently a member of the AIST.

Jon Walters