Wire rope sheaves and ropes

Sheave maintenance standards for smoother crane operation

Sheaves facilitate the smooth and safe operation of overhead crane hoists. Damaged sheaves can wear ropes prematurely and cause other dangerous hazards, such as binding wire rope. Konecranes technicians are trained to identify and correct problems with sheaves and other parts of hoisting equipment.


OSHA 1910.179 Overhead & Gantry Cranes Regulations
The following excerpt taken directly from OSHA 1910.179.*


  • Sheave grooves shall be smooth and free from surface defects which could cause rope damage.
  • Sheaves carrying ropes which can be momentarily unloaded shall be provided with close-fitting guards or other suitable devices to guide the rope back into the groove when the load is applied again.
  • The sheaves in the bottom block shall be equipped with close-fitting guards that will prevent ropes from becoming fouled when the block is lying on the ground with ropes loose.
  • Pockets and flanges of sheaves used with hoist chains shall be of such dimensions that the chain does not catch or bind during operation.
  •  All running sheaves shall be equipped with means for lubrication. Permanently lubricated, sealed and/or shielded bearings meet this requirement.


  • In using hoisting ropes, the crane manufacturer's recommendation shall be followed. The rated load divided by the number of parts of rope shall not exceed 20 percent of the nominal breaking strength of the rope. 
  • Socketing shall be done in the manner specified by the manufacturer of the assembly. 
  • Rope shall be secured to the drum as follows: 
  • No less than two wraps of rope shall remain on the drum when the hook is in its extreme low position. 
  • Rope end shall be anchored by a clamp securely attached to the drum, or by a socket arrangement approved by the crane or rope manufacturer. 
  • Rope clips attached with U-bolts shall have the U-bolts on the dead or short end of the rope. Spacing and number of all types of clips shall be in accordance with the clip manufacturer's recommendation. Clips shall be drop-forged steel in all sizes manufactured commercially. When a newly installed rope has been in operation for an hour, all nuts on the clip bolts shall be retightened. 
  • Swaged or compressed fittings shall be applied as recommended by the rope or crane manufacturer. 
  • Wherever exposed to temperatures, at which fiber cores would be damaged, rope having an independent wirerope or wire-strand core, or other temperature-damage resistant core shall be used. 
  • Replacement rope shall be the same size, grade, and construction as the original rope furnished by the crane manufacturer, unless otherwise recommended by a wire rope manufacturer due to actual working condition requirements.


  • If a load is supported by more than one part of rope, the tension in the parts shall be equalized.

Konecranes wire rope inspections can help crane users extend the life of hoist ropes. Ropes, sheaves and other reeving system components are inspected for compliance with crane standards, and to determine if they have flaws that could hinder safe operation. Contact us today to schedule an assessment.




*The foregoing OSHA regulations are not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all applicable regulations pertaining to the designated topic. State laws may mandate different safety and maintenance standards. Accordingly, please consult applicable state laws as well as original equipment manufacturer specifications for further guidance. The statements and descriptions contained herein constitute the opinion/recommendation of the seller and are not intended to create any express warranties. 

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