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What are the Different Types of Cranes Used for Construction?

What You'll Learn

As you read about the cranes used for construction, you'll learn:

  • There are many different types of cranes, and each of them has been designed to serve a specific purpose as efficiently as possible.
  • Choosing the right type or types of crane rental for your project can make your team much more effective and help you complete the project as quickly as possible.
  • Before you decide on the best crane rental or crane rentals for your project, it will be helpful to learn about each of the cranes used for construction.

Types of Cranes

Before securing a crane rental, it's critical to understand that each type of crane has its own strengths and weaknesses. The perfect crane for one job site may not be able to get anything done at another. As you select the appropriate crane for your project, consider the following features and capabilities:

  • Height – Constructing a high-rise building or wind turbine will likely require a taller crane than you might need to set up sound stages for a music festival.
  • Load Capacity – Projects that rely on concrete, steel, or heavy pieces of machinery may demand a crane that has an especially high load capacity to match. Confirm that your rental crane will be able to lift everything you need it to.
  • Mobility – A tower crane may be your best bet at a job site where you need to lift heavy loads to great heights above the same general footprint. It would be inefficient if you have to move it from one place to another often. For projects like setting up multiple stages on a music festival grounds, it makes more sense to have a crawler crane or mobile crane that can get around quickly.

While there are other key considerations when renting a crane, these three are among the most crucial. You can work with a crane rental expert to define your requirements and find the appropriate option. Before you do, though, it will be helpful to learn more about the different types of cranes.

Mobile Cranes Vs. Static Cranes

Before diving into the unique types of cranes, there are two main categories: mobile and static. Mobile cranes offer greater mobility because they're mounted on wheels or treads. Some are not road legal when it comes to moving between job sites, while others are. More importantly, they're excellent for getting around on a larger job site. Static cranes are permanent or semi-permanent cranes that operate within a specific area of reach.

Tower Cranes

When you're dealing with a large project that requires especially heavy loads and great heights, there is nothing better than a tower crane. They offer the greatest height as well as the greatest lifting capabilities. Here at Reliable Crane Services, we pride ourselves on offering some of the safest, most reliable, and most capable tower cranes with the highest capacities in the Western United States.

Crawler Cranes

Crawler Cranes still offer excellent lift capacity, and their biggest benefit is that they're mobile. This reduces the time between lifts and allows a single crane to cover more ground. Thanks to the line speed and lifting capabilities, these cranes are strong options for new steel construction.

Rough Terrain Cranes

Also called RT cranes, these are built to navigate challenging environments. The load capacity normally isn't as high as what you may expect from a crawler, but they can cover rougher terrain. If a typical crawler can't reach parts of the site, a rough terrain crane is what you need.

Truck Mounted Cranes

Also known as truck cranes and boom trucks, truck-mounted cranes (TMCs) are road legal. The boom is mounted on a truck frame or carrier, which makes them highly mobile with capacities for smaller loads.

Overhead Cranes

Also known as a suspended crane, this is a static crane for factories and warehouses. They are typically permanent structures because they operate along tracks.

Floating Cranes

Also called crane ships and crane vessels, these are useful for oil rigs, ports, and other projects on the water. They are fixed, which prevents them from rotating.

Telescopic Cranes

Telescopic cranes have extendable booms. The segments of the boom fit inside of each other, going out and in to change the overall length of the boom. Hydraulic mechanisms help extend or retract the boom as needed to get it to the appropriate length.

Gantry Cranes

Gantry cranes stand on legs that move on wheels, tracks, or rails. Freestanding legs extend up to support the overhead crane.

Carry Deck Crane

This crane extends from a small platform on wheels. A rotating telescopic boom extends up from the base to lift and move loads.

Harbor Crane

Also known as mobile harbor cranes, dock cranes or port harbor cranes, these are most commonly used to load and unload ships. Their power, versatility, and mobility make them incredibly useful for several different applications.

Crane Rentals for the Western United States

Here at Reliable Crane Service, we are a crane rental company for all types of projects throughout the Western United States. We offer leading support to maintain a safe, zero-incident atmosphere. From large building construction to wind turbines and power plants, we have the right cranes. Contact us today to learn more about your options, and our experienced team will help you find the best crane for your current or upcoming project.