Have you considered that a crane might be necessary for your job site but are unsure about how to proceed? This is a common situation for a lot of people, particularly if they are unfamiliar with crane rentals. After all, cranes are highly technical pieces of equipment and it’s hard to know what you need unless you understand how cranes work in particular situations.
The truth is that a good crane can add a lot of value to a job site. If a crane has been correctly chosen for the job, it should be able to significantly speed up progress, reduce costs, and create a safer working environment. Making the right choice is the most important thing, though. That’s why we’ve put together a complete guide to help you work through the different cranes that are available to rent.
There are many different types of crane rentals available to you. Here is what you should be looking for when searching for a crane rental service.
The Different Types of Crane Rentals
The right crane for you is going to depend on what you are lifting and the environment in which it’s being lifted. For example, the crane used to lift roof trusses on new residential construction may not be appropriate to lift a sonar dome on an aircraft carrier. Whatever the scenario, we can help you identify what crane would best serve your project. Here are the different types of cranes that you might use, as well as the best situations to use them in.
Hydraulic Truck Crane
The hydraulic truck crane is probably the most common type of crane you have seen. They are used on all sorts of different job sites and are highly regarded for their versatility.
The most important feature of a hydraulic truck crane is that it offers a lot more reach than a lot of other crane varieties. You can expect hydraulic truck cranes to offer a boom length of between 127 and 142 feet. Hydraulic truck cranes are very versatile because their counterweights are removable. The counterweights are what keep the crane balanced as it is doing its lifting. With removable counterweights, the crane can be set up differently for different job sites and lift types. Also, since the counterweights are detachable, the crane can usually transport itself to the job site and the counterweights just need to be transported on their own.
This cuts down on the costs of moving various pieces of the crane to the job site and improves efficiency and
ease of use. Lastly, a hydraulic truck crane can either be self-erecting, or it may require an assist crane.
Rough Terrain Crane
As the name suggests, the rough terrain crane is the kind of crane you need on a job site where the land has not been leveled out. The main characteristic of a rough terrain crane is that it has large, wide floatation tires, which help it to maintain balance on uneven terrain.
These cranes generally have smaller booms than a standard hydraulic truck crane. However, they are still capable of heavy lifting. Many rough terrain cranes can lift loads between 18 and 150 tons. A rough terrain crane cannot drive itself to the job site. It needs to be taken on a lowboy truck. However, once on the site, it can move to wherever it needs to be.
Carry Deck Crane
A carry deck crane is smaller than the other crane types. This means that it cannot lift as high, and its load sizes need to be smaller. However, it is much more maneuverable. One major advantage of the carry deck crane is that it is able to transport its full load to where it needs to go. That means you can load it up with cargo, then you can drive it to where it needs to be. Once there, the crane can lift the load.
These cranes are often also used indoors on industrial sites. Many variations come with non-marking tires for this reason. While they are usually gas or diesel-powered, some models use propane fuel. This allows the crane to operate indoors without significant fumes.
Boom Truck Crane
A boom truck is similar to the carry deck crane but can be driven on the road. Like the carry deck crane, you can load up a boom truck with the weight it needs to lift.
This makes it extremely versatile. You can load the deck at one site, drive it to another, and lift the load all with one piece of equipment. For example, the boom truck crane could go to a warehouse to pick up a new HVAC unit. It could load the unit onto its deck and then transport it to the installation site. Once there, it can put down its outriggers and lift the HVAC system to where it needs to be.
The boom truck has a much longer boom than the carry deck crane, but it is not typically used for lifting large weights. A load of between 26 and 40 tons is typical for this model of crane. It is also easier to use than other crane types.
Conventional and Barge-Mounted
These are fixed cranes that need to be transported to the site and then assembled. For example, conventional and barge mounted cranes are very common option for large constructions. Most of these cranes can be assembled on land or on a barge.
There are a number of different configurations for these cranes, so it’s best to get in touch with us to talk about what crane is best for your job. We offer everything from construction cranes to cranes for decommissioning large vessels. Crofton’s smallest conventional/barge-mounted crane can lift a load of 23 tons with a boom of 80 feet. Our largest model (only barge-mounted) can lift 600 tons with a boom of 190 feet.
A crane derrick is physically attached to the barge, pontoons, vessel, or other means of flotation. Some methods of physical attachment include crossed-cable systems, bolting or welding, or strapping the crane derrick to the vessel/flotation device with chains. At Crofton, we have two crane derricks, the 85-ton YD “Scott’s Creek” and the 350-ton sheer leg crane “Samson.
“Scott’s Creek is a YD, which is a non-self-propelled floating crane of the revolving, truss-boom type (this is an important differentiator) with a machinery house mounted on a welded steel barge. The hull has an engine room for self-contained diesel-electric power plants and a crew’s quarters.
“Samson” is a barge with a crane built on sheer legs. Unlike “Scott’s Creek”, it is not capable of rotating its crane independently of its hull. Sheerleg cranes are commonly used for salvaging ships, assistance in shipbuilding, loading and unloading large cargo into ships, and bridge building.
A manlift is specifically designed to lift people rather than heavy loads. A manlift is usually very versatile, able to be maneuvered into tight spots where it can lift workers to a particular area of the site.
Additional Equipment or Services Needed for Your Lift
Depending on the type of lift, as well as the environment in which you are making the lift, the crane may require some additional equipment or services. Let’s go through the most common options that may be required for your crane rental.
The assist crane is a second crane that comes along to help set up the primary crane. It’s most commonly applied in project environments where a conventional crane is used.
The boom is the long arm of the crane that is going to give you the height you need to lift and lower materials. Generally, there are two types of booms: lattice and telescopic. Depending on the size of the crane, the boom may come on its own truck, with the other pieces of equipment coming separately.
The counterweights are necessary to keep the crane stabilized as the boom lifts the load and moves it around. As the weight of the load is redistributed, the counterweights make sure that the whole structure is balanced out.
The spreader bar is used distribute the load of a lift across more than one point to increase stability and safety.
Crane mats allow cranes to access job sites where there is loose soil, wetlands, or areas that are environmentally sensitive by minimizing the pressure exerted on the ground by the crane’s large tread and tires.
Occasionally, a crane may require an escort or pilot vehicle as it travels to its project. Legally moving your crane and heavy equipment can be a dangerous and challenging task, so it’s important your crane service understands the local on the route chosen. Crofton can provide escort vehicles for any of our lifts that require this extra safety measure.
A crane supported man basket, also referred to as a suspended personnel platform, crane cage and construction basket, is designed to suspend personnel overhead.
You are most likely going to need some personnel to put the crane together so that it is right and proper to use. A rigger is someone who will get the boom constructed together with the sheaves and the other rigging elements. It’s important that an expert rigs the crane so as to avoid harm coming to your workers and your building materials. Crofton can supply certified riggers for every lift.
All Crofton’s riggers have Rigger 1 and Rigger 2 credentials, so you can feel safe and secure when doing your lift. They will be able to carry out a full inspection including working out types of slings, verifying load weights, sling lengths, useful safety practices, and everything else you will need for your lift.
The Types of Jobs for Which You Might Need a Crane
Cranes are incredibly versatile pieces of equipment and the list of jobs they can be useful for is endless. Here are some common project environments in which our cranes can be useful:
- Daily Rental
- Long Term Rental
- Load Tests
- Routine Overhaul of Naval Vessels
- Residential Construction
- Commercial construction
- Structural Demolition
- Steel Erection
- Vessel Decommissioning
- Lifting Personnel for Repairs and Servicing
- Facility Maintenance
- Tree Removal
- Non-Containerized Cargo
- Tandem Lifts
To get a better idea of the jobs you can use our cranes for, check out our recent lift projects.
How the Rental Process Works
The first step is to identify what crane is best suited for the job. This will usually require a consultation to get the details of the lift environment required. Depending on the nature of the lift, a site visit may be recommended. There are two main ways that you can rent a crane. The first is a per-hour basis, while the second is a per-project basis. The per-hour basis is usually more suitable for small crane rentals.
We’ll let you know if any additional equipment or services (like crane mats or an escort vehicle) are required for your lift. And depending on the terms or length of your project, we can also create a custom rental package incorporating any of the following services:
Crofton is very familiar with local jurisdictions and can assist with any necessary permitting requirements such as right of way when the crane will impede traffic on public roadways, sidewalks, and other public places and easements.
Prior to the lift, we can also assist with producing a detailed lifting plan. This means working out all the parameters of the site and the lifting loads. This preparation will make the lift itself more efficient.
Transport and Setup
Once you have chosen a crane and the plan is ready, we are able to transport the crane to the site. Some of our cranes are mobile truck cranes and can be driven to the site. Others require additional mobilization support. Some of our cranes will be transported by tug and barge.
We also provide full service for setting up the rigging of your chosen crane. Our fully certified riggers can get the crane set up quickly and safely. We can provide full load testing so that you can be sure the crane will stand up to the task at hand.
Lastly, Crofton can also assist with critical lifts. A critical lift is the lifting of a load greater than 75% of the full load capacity of the crane. Tandem lifts and blind lifts are also considered critical lifts.
Industries We Service
Crofton offers several different crane solutions that are usable across different industries. The primary industries we serve are:
- Military and Government Installations
Request a Quote and Get Lifting!
All the cranes and services described above can be provided by Crofton Crane Rental & Rigging. Now you are much more familiar with the different types of crane rentals and additional services that are available, as well as the specific situations in which they’re most appropriate. We hope this was helpful in making you feel confident as you pursue the right crane for your job.
If you are unsure about what crane is best for you or want to know the pricing of a specific crane rental, please call us at 757-397-1131 or complete an online RFQ here. The more information you provide about your project the better! Thank you for considering Crofton Crane Rental & Rigging for your next lift.