Choosing the Right Crane for Your Projet | RefinerLink

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Choosing the Right Crane for Your Projet

By Maxim Crane Works

Feb 12, 2018

Selecting the right crane for the job requires proper planning


Virtually all construction projects require the lifting, hauling or transportation of heavy materials – which is why cranes play a gigantic role in the development of your project. Deciding which crane is right for your objectives can be an overwhelming task, as the range of options available is limitless!


Selecting the right crane for the job definitely requires preliminary preparation and planning but is an absolutely essential process, as it not only ensures your construction site is safe for workers and the public, but can also help you reduce costs and inefficiency, keeping your project on track, budget and schedule.



3 factors you should consider when choosing a crane


1. Job duration and the size & weight of the material you will be lifting


Cranes have different specifications, capacities and functionalities. Understanding what your project requires from a crane will help you select equipment that can best meet your projects demands and will quickly narrow down your options.


Load Charts will detail vital features of the crane such as boom length and the Rated Capacity – this is the Gross weight that any crane can lift at a given radius (distance). When determining the right crane the crane hook block and or ball as well as all rigging /cable must be deducted from this gross capacity to arrive at the safest crane for your particular project.


The Manufactures charts will give you the exact specifications and dimensions of the machine. Getting this right will help you avoid selecting a crane with too little capacity, and will insure it will fit into your job site with no obstructions.


2. How will equipment be transported


The question of how the equipment will be transported could be initially overlooked, however, it is a critical consideration.


Broadly speaking, cranes can be classified as either Mobile, Rough Terrain/Crawler or Tower – all with different transportation methods. Permitting for City and State laws are all factors in the transportation of cranes and heavy equipment. The permit routing may take the crane in what would seem like a indirect route. This is done in order to avoid a low capacity or low clearance bridge or a roadway that is not sufficient for large loads or trailers to avoid accidents or other traffic issues such as road construction.


3. The conditions of the construction site


The condition and terrain of the construction site also have a bearing on the type of crane you should be going after. Understanding weather conditions, spatial constraints and the ground conditions of your site, will give you great insight into which equipment will help you meet your objectives with efficiency.


For example, rough terrain cranes are best suited to off-road construction sites as they are best equipped to deal with complicated ground conditions compared to all terrain cranes. The degree of mobility you require will also dictate the type of equipment needed. For instance, if your project requires flexibility and precise delivery in tight spaces, a mini-crane may be right for you.



Types of Cranes


Tower Cranes


Tower cranes are typically used in the construction of tall buildings. As a fixed structure, its stability comes from being bolted to concrete slabs and provides a combination of both awe-provoking height and great lifting capacity.




Potain – MDT 368 – 17 (tonnage)

Terex – CTT182-8 – 9 (tonnage)

Terex Comedil – CTT-561A – 22 (tonnage)

Wolffkran – 700B – 55 (tonnage)




Crawler Cranes


Crawler cranes are mounted on moveable tracks. These tracks are specially designed to be used on multiple ground types including soft terrains. Due to the tracks and excellent counterweight control, crawler cranes are able to lift extremely heavy loads, typically from 80 to 825 tons. Additionally, they have the ability to safely transport materials around the construction site with ease.



Manitowoc 2250 – 300 (tonnage)

Manitowoc 18000 – 660 (tonnage)

Link-Belt – LS-138HII – 80 (tonnage)

Manitowoc – 31000 – 2535 (tonnage)




HTC Truck type /All terrain Cranes


All terrain cranes are used for short term jobs where the lift requirements are too large for a boom truck yet are not long enough in duration or heavy enough to justify a crawler crane.


You will see these cranes on a daily basis as they travel the roads and highways just as the daily commuter does on their daily activities. These machines average in size from 30 ton capacity to over 1000 tons.



Grove TMS 540 – 40 (tonnage)

Link Belt HTC 8690 – 90 (tonnage)

Grove GMK 7550 – 550 (tonnage)



Boom Trucks


As well as being versatile and reliable, boom trucks are designed to provide important functions that, when combined, are extremely useful for most daily construction sites. Boom trucks are fitted with a hydraulic crane and a flat deck hauling area which allows you to lift light to medium size equipment & material. They also have the ability to transport light misc. equipment around a job site and to other locations as many trucks are able to travel at highway speeds.



JLG – 2250-JBT– 23 (tonnage)

Manitex – 2284 – 22 (tonnage)

Terex – TC-4485 – 22 (tonnage)



Carefully considering your options when renting or buying a crane can help you avoid choosing equipment that is ill-suited for the job at hand. Incorrect selection can increase costs, affect your schedule and even jeopardize the safety of your staff and the public.


Would you like to learn more about crane rental, heavy hauling and specialized rigging services? Visit

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  • Taylor Bishop :   Thanks for explaining some things to keep in mind when choosing a crane. It's nice to know you should think how it can be transported. Perhaps it could be good to search for a crane locally if you don't want it to be transported too far.

    Sep 21, 2018

  • Taylor Hansen :   It's good to know that a manufacturer chart can help determine what crane to get. My uncle needs to rent a few cranes while he works at the mall this summer. I'll have to send him this so he can find the right cranes to rent.

    Jun 10, 2020

  • Thomas Clarence :   You made an interesting point when you mentioned that picking the right kind of crane can make sure that a construction site is safe for the public and the workers. I would imagine that it would be important to make sure that you don't pick a crane that is larger than what you need it for. If you are only going to be lifting smaller items, you should probably just go with a mini-crane to reduce liabilities.

    Dec 15, 2020

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