How to Choose the Right Mobile Crane Features for a Construction Rigging Project

Posted on: 1 October 2021

Mobile cranes play a critical role in the development of a construction project. They are used to lift, lower, haul and transport heavy materials from one point to another. If you are looking to rent a mobile crane for your project, you may have encountered truck-mounted, rough-terrain, all-terrain, crawler and carry deck cranes. Which one of these options has the right features for your construction project? Below are four factors to consider when looking for the best crane features for your project.

Maximum load capacity

The primary role of cranes is to lift and lower heavy loads on a construction site. Therefore, your chosen equipment should be able to handle the heaviest loads you intend to haul. Rent a crane whose lifting capacity matches the weight of your heaviest load. However, if you want to stack materials to save time, take care not to exceed the capacity of the equipment. 

Note that factors such as the angle of the boom and how far the boom is extended can affect a mobile crane's load capacity. For example, as the arm reaches out farther, its load capacity is reduced. Thus, you may require a larger crane to accomplish jobs that require a fully extended boom.

Maximum lifting height

A crane's maximum lifting height and reach are determined by the length of the boom. When choosing the ideal boom length for your applications, you must consider the following:

  • Site access 
  • Boom configuration
  • Preferred lifting height

Not all sites are easily accessible by mobile cranes. Therefore, if you are unable to set up the crane near the rigging area due to ground conditions or above-ground restrictions, you can use a crane with a long boom to accomplish lifting jobs. The arm will reach above the ground to move loads to the desired destinations. 

Mobile cranes can either have lattice or retractable booms. Lattice booms have a fixed lifting height and reach, while retractable ones can retract and extend as desired. A retractable boom crane is easier to transport than a lattice crane. Retractable booms also allow you to adjust the boom length to suit the specifications of each rigging job. 

Projected moving distance

Unlike fixed cranes, mobile cranes can move from one point to another on the site. However, not all mobile cranes can be transported easily from one location to the other. If you want to transport a mobile crane across various job sites, get an all-terrain crane. All-terrain cranes have wheels, which means you can drive them on most public roads. 

Conversely, if you wish to move the crane from one point to another on the site, go for a crawler crane. Crawler cranes have crawlers or tracks in the place of wheels. They manoeuvre through rough terrain easily, and they rarely get stuck in the mud during the rainy seasons.

Potential safety issues

Using mobile cranes presents various safety hazards on a construction site. On average, at least 240 people are severely injured every year due to crane accidents. Therefore, when choosing crane features, you should assess any safety issues that may arise from using the equipment. You can then look for the best features to counter these hazards. Below are some examples to consider:

  • Overhead hazards: If there are overhead hazards such as power lines, you can use a retractable boom to prevent contact with the power lines during rigging jobs.
  • Poor on-site terrain: Rough-terrain and crawler cranes are ideal for use on uneven or wet ground, and they can eliminate the risk of overturning.
  • Load and crane instability: Cranes with engineering controls and operator aid devices can help to minimise hazards, such as falling loads and overturning cranes.

Assess the safety issues on the site and choose a crane whose features can help mitigate the risks.

Consider the above factors when choosing the best crane features for your construction project. For professional assistance, consult your crane rental provider.