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How to Select the Correct Crane for your Construction Project  

posted by Chris Valentine

When you’re talking about cranes, it’s likely that you already have an image in your mind of what they look like, but from looming over cities in highrise construction to compact models sliding through doorframes, cranes have more diversity than we could possibly discuss in one article.

With that said, how are you supposed to find the ideal model for your project with so many variations readily available? Not all of us know what we need when we need it, and with the complexity most construction entails, hiring a crane can be a tricky extra addition to your workload if you don’t know what questions to ask.

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What do you need?

A question that’s easier asked than answered, deciding what role necessitates the use of a crane should be your number one priority in deciding what to go with. Though a larger, bulkier model will have a higher weight capacity for heavier materials in a project in small quarters, it may leave you stuck outside looking in. On the flipped side of things, while a smaller, more agile model can fit into tight areas and perform more delicate work with speed, a lighter weight capacity makes it a difficult sell for heavier duty projects. While you may not be able to find one machine that ticks all your boxes, finding the model that covers the most ground will save you a lot of unnecessary drama in the long term.

Do You Know Your Surroundings?

If after choosing the biggest, strongest machine you can find, a blocked road or skinny side-street is getting between you and quality construction, then it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Though the construction site is where the action is, finding a crane that can get to its post without too much hassle is an annoying but inevitable extra consideration in your project’s process.

The solution is all in making concessions, as there are models out there that will have good maneuverability while still packing a punch, and projects in suburban areas where this would likely be most troublesome won’t require the highest level of lifting power, and compromise is a lot better than catastrophe.

How Big is Your Project?

A 10ft ladder won’t get you over a 40ft wall, so hiring a crane that doesn’t reach the task will get you nowhere. Luckily, while making sure you are finding the right size of crane for the job is imperative to a successful day of construction, having the blueprint or measurements of your project on hand should keep you from making a sizable error in judgement.

While definitely a daunting decision, knowing what information you need will help you make the ideal commitments for your project.

Most crane hire companies should be able to guide your choices in a positive and helpful way, but having the answers to these questions in mind will make sure that you will be getting the correct crane for your construction project.

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8 Comments

judy wilson July 5, 2016 at 7:25 pm

It’s good to know how to choose the right crane that will fit your surroundings. I can see how having a crane that can operate on a specific work site can make a construction project more successful. There are some work sites that seems to have many obstructions, so choosing one that’s really easy to maneuver would be really useful for preventing construction site accidents.

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Caren September 13, 2016 at 8:11 am

Having a check list before hiring/renting/buying a crane is a no-brainer. Unless you’re as rich as Trump is, then you can buy whatever crane you need in a matter of minutes. These are some good thing to ponder. Also, don’t force an equipment if it’s not able to do the work as prescribed by the manual. If it’s not able to lift this amount of load, then don’t force it.

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Cindy Tesler November 12, 2016 at 10:05 pm

Thanks for pointing out that deciding what role necessitates the use of a crane should be your number one priority in deciding what crane to choose. You also mention choosing a crane that can also be maneuverable at your job sites, or it will be useless. I think it’s important to choose a crane company that offers to show you their maintenance records so that you are sure that you’re providing safe equipment for your employees to use.

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Tiffany Locke January 24, 2017 at 3:43 am

Finding a crane that can get to its post without too much hassle seems like it would be very important in finding the right crane for the job. You would want to find something that can move around the area easily so that you can complete the work you have. I would imagine that finding a good rental service who could help provide you with the information you need would be an excellent place to start.

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Raisa Delima April 17, 2017 at 10:59 pm

That’s a great tip; I hadn’t thought about bringing my blueprints to the crane service so they could see what size of crane would be best for my project. It would be rough to rent the wrong size of crane just because I didn’t specify the details to the crane company. We are working on a major project and need to get a crane that can reach at least 40 feet high. I guess I’ll just have to find out the specifics and have a crane service help me get the right crane for the job.

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Alex Dean May 11, 2017 at 6:40 pm

My husband and I are currently building a second garage at the back of our property, and he believes that it might be a good idea to rent a crane to help put the roof on. So, I have been tasked with trying to find the right one for the job. It’s good to know that when we start looking into rental companies, it might be a good idea ti bring in our blueprints so that they can help us decide the right one for the job. That is something that we will remember when we start looking.

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Leviticus Bennett May 16, 2017 at 7:47 pm

I like your tip to know your surroundings and to make sure the crane will fit. My uncle is working on a project in his backyard and needs a crane. There is a small gate leading to the backyard, so he’ll need to consider that.

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Alice Jones June 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

I’ve been looking online to learn more about crane services, when I stumbled upon your article post. The questions you listed are very important in the decision making process on determining which crane is right for the construction project. If I ever need a crane, I’ll look back at this article so that I can pick the right crane for my project.

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