Crane wheel handling can be a difficult and sometimes dangerous task, made more difficult when the right tools aren’t available. In this post, we’ll discuss some of Bradley Lifting’s offerings for handling crane wheels, from storage to installation & removal on the crane.

Wheel Tongs

Similar to Bradley’s offerings for railroad wheel handling, tongs are a simple, efficient option to handle a single crane wheel. Wheel tongs are designed for either horizontal or vertical handling, by gripping over the wheel’s flange, and can be provided with a couple of options for attaching to the crane wheel.

The simplest method of actuating the tong is manual – handles are provided on the legs to maneuver the unit onto the load and open the legs to grip it. Grip force is applied when the hoist is lifted.

Manual Wheel Tong

Another option to secure the load is a manual pull pin style, where the unit is manually attached to the load, and a pull pin is inserted to prevent the legs from opening during the lift.

Manual Pull-pin Type Wheel Lifter

The most popular and convenient option for actuating a tong is our automatic latch. This device is designed to alternately hold the legs open and allow them to close with vertical hoist motion.

Automatic Horizontal Wheel Tong

As mentioned above, wheel tongs can be designed for either horizontal or vertical handling.

Automatic Vertical Wheel Tong


Crane Wheel Changing Device

When installing or removing a wheel from a crane truck, a specialized lifter can be extremely beneficial for the safety and efficiency of the operation. Bradley Lifting offers a couple of options for this application, based on the attachment type.

The attachment type is dictated by the space constraints around your crane trucks. If plenty of space is available to the sides of the crane trucks, a clamp-type unit would be the perfect fit. If space to the sides is limited, a strap type is the best solution. We’ll delve into the specifics of each below.

Crane Wheel Changer – Strap Type, Fixed Bail

Wheel Changing Device – Strap Type

This unit style consists of a single suspended beam with a removable nylon strap with a ratchet to attach to the crane wheel, by gripping over the tread of the wheel.

The wheel connection point can be designed to be fixed or to allow it to pivot in each direction, to position the wheel while installing it onto the crane truck.

A rolling counterweight is provided to balance the beam. The weight is set near the center of the beam when empty, to ensure it hangs level. When the beam is attached to the load, the weight is driven back to balance the unit for safe lifting. The counterweight is driven by a lead screw with a hex on the end of the shaft to be driven by an impact wrench.

A single lifting bail is provided to suspend the unit from a maintenance crane hook. The lifting bail can be designed to be fixed or pivot, to allow the wheel to hang level during installation.

Crane Wheel Changer – Clamp Type

Wheel Changing Device – Clamp Type

Unlike the strap-type unit described above, this unit is designed to handle a crane wheel by gripping its rim with (3) clamp arms. The unit is perpendicular to the wheel face when attaching the arms, so more space is required on the side of the crane truck.

Crane Wheel Changer – Clamp Type

Like the strap-type unit, a moveable counterweight is provided to rebalance the lifter, and a fixed or pivoting lifting bail is included to suspend the unit from the crane hook.

Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas on the options available for handling crane wheels. Bradley Applications Engineers are always available to assist you if you have any questions.

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