The article discusses an approach based on the analysis of the drive motor currents to create an additional means of protection against emergency situations during the operation of bridge cranes associated with lifting a load with a mass exceeding the permissible one . A mathematical model of an overhead crane drive is described, as well as the results of computer simulation. It is shown that in the process of lifting up, before the stage of lifting the load, the stator current of the drive electric motor does not depend of the load mass, but when the load is detached, already for several periods of the mains voltage after the rope is pulled, when the mass of the load is exceeded, a measurable excess of the amplitude value of the current is recorded. This pattern has been confirmed for a number of cranes of various lifting capacities used at metallurgical enterprises. The possibility of diagnosing excess weight of the lifted load with a higher speed than existing mechanical methods of overload control is demonstrated, at the same time it is not required to make changes to the structural elements of overhead cranes.