How to Hire the Right Crane Service for Your Construction Job

crane service

Hiring heavy machinery is no small endeavor, and when it comes to the hiring of cranes, there’s plenty of risk involved. Large construction projects often call for the use of heavy machinery such as cranes in order to lift, move and carry heavy loads.

While hiring a crane service can do much to speed up and aid the progress of a big job, a little research must be done beforehand.

If you’re looking to enlist a crane service for your next project, here’s what you need to consider…

What to Consider Before Hiring a Crane Service Company

Before settling on any specific crane service company, it’s important to do your homework before signing on the proverbial dotted line.

There’s plenty of pitfalls to face when hiring equipment that isn’t well-maintained, does not include insurance or qualified operators.

The last thing you need is an amateur crane service company slowing down and hindering the progress of your job.

With this in mind, here’s what you need to consider:

1. Determine the Best Type of Crane for the Job

There are five primary variations of cranes:

  • All-terrain
  • Floating cranes
  • Loading cranes
  • Tower cranes
  • Truck cranes

Each variation of crane offers a specialized service and load capacity.

If you’re unsure on what type of crane is needed for your specific job, this is where an experienced crane service company should offer the advice you need.

2. Understand Specific Job Details

A crane service company won’t be able to help you with providing the best type of crane for your job without specific details.

This is why you need to have a full understanding of the job that needs to be performed before searching for the ideal crane service.

These specific job details include the weight load of the crane, load value, possible obstructions on the work site, elevation, distance and job site restrictions.

3. Determine Crane Service Experience

This is an extremely important factor to consider- how much experience does the crane service company have? This is one factor which must be made a priority.

The more experience a crane service company can offer in a variety of different industries, the better.

This just means they should be well-versed in traversing and handling any kind of job site you present to them.

4. Do They Offer a Range of Equipment?

Ideally, you want to go for a crane service company that offers a variety of crane options, each with varying weight capacity.

Most crane service companies should offer cranes and weight capacities ranging from 10 to 450 tons. This enables them to tackle almost any size project, no matter the scope or size.

5. Do They Offer Well-Trained Operators?

Make sure the crane service company you’re considering offers well-trained, experienced operators with an NCCCO certification.

Most crane operators with this form of certification have a qualification to operate cranes in a variety of different industries. These range from oilfield, petrochemical, utilities, construction, demolition and more.

6. Always Check for Crane Service Insurance

This is another extremely important factor to consider. Most reputable crane service providers will offer extensive insurance coverage in the event of damage or accident.

But in order to provide this insurance coverage and a full scope of services, the company will require specific information from you:

  • Exact physical dimensions and weight of materials being lifted- this helps to determine rigging specifications and the size of the crane
  • Any possible site obstructions or obstacles such as buildings, trees, power lines
  • The radius or distance from the crane to the item being lifted
  • Lift and set down elevations i.e. how high the materials are lifted and the surface upon which they will be placed
  • Site restrictions and whether adequate surfaces will be provided so that crane rigs can travel safely across the job site
  • Location of the project as permits are generally required depending on how far a crane needs to travel
  • Load value – the value of the materials being lifted cannot exceed insurance coverage amounts

You will find that most crane service providers will ask you these exact questions before determining insurance coverage. So make sure you have this information on-hand.

7. Ensure Cranes are Readily Available

There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect crane for the job, only for it to not be available for the required time period you need.

Before selecting a crane service provider, always make sure they have cranes readily available for the duration of your project.

It’s also important to ensure the company can deliver the crane in time according to your site location.

8. Always Check for Licenses and Permits

Crane service providers are required to carry a number of licenses and permits in order to own, operate and move such large machinery.

It’s your prerogative to ensure these licenses and permits are 100% up-to-date and completely applicable before hiring a crane operator.

9. Ask About the Current Condition of Cranes

Before settling on a particular crane of choice, do not be afraid to ask the company for inspection records.

This is to ensure the crane you’re choosing for your project is top working order and has been adequately maintained to the best standards.

Anything less is basically a disaster waiting to happen!

10. Ensure a Crane Supervisor is Provided

Even though you will be offered a well-trained and qualified crane operator for the job, a crane supervisor must also be part of the deal. This is to ensure that successful operation of the crane is carried out at all times.

If the crane operator cannot work for some reason, there will also be a replacement so that your project is not put on hold.

Have Your Crane Inspected By Atlantic Crane Inspections

With over 20 years’ experience in the business, you can rely on Atlantic Crane Inspections for top quality crane service inspections.

We also host an extensive training department, offering crane operators the opportunity to earn their NCCCO certification.

Get in touch with us today for all your crane inspection queries!

5 Different Types of Cranes and Their Uses

mobile crane

When most of us think of cranes, we think of one particular type of machine. However, the fact of the matter is that there are a variety of cranes out there, from the mobile crane to the stationary crane and everything in between.

Interested in learning a little more about cranes? Curious as to what exactly these different cranes can do? If so, you should read on!

These are 5 different types of cranes and their uses.

1. Truck Crane

The first type of crane we’ll discuss is the truck crane. Capable of being driven on public roads, truck cranes are commonly used, endlessly versatile, and exceedingly easy to transport.

Truck cranes consist of a long, extended component as well as a mobile platform component. The long, extended component works in the same way as a hydraulic crane, moving in and out, and turning in different directions to accommodate different items. The mobile platform component is most typically mounted to a truck bed, allowing the crane to be easily taken from place to place.

Due to their extreme versatility, truck cranes are very popular. Not only can they allow for quick transport, they can be transported to spots that other cranes can not.

Though they don’t have the greatest of strength capacities, truck cranes are still a great option for many purposes. They can lift up everything from small fittings to large steel components.

2. Tower Crane

Typically used in the construction of exceedingly tall buildings (i.e. skyscrapers), tower cranes are both extremely tall and remarkably strong.

With very few exceptions, the bases of these cranes attach firmly to the ground. If they didn’t, they would likely flip over, causing unbelievable amounts of destruction.

In some cases, they are even attached to the buildings on which they’re operating. If they’re not attached, they will sway back and forth, potentially resulting in disaster.

Some tower cranes stand well over a half a mile tall. This allows them to pick items up and drop them off in an entirely vertical manner. The arms of these cranes are positioned exactly parallel to the ground.

The operational areas of these cranes are located at the same height as their arms. Therefore, if you’re going to operate one, you have to be completely unfazed by heights.

Tower crane operators typically have to work in tandem with a partner known as a rigger. The rigger communicates with the operator by radio, telling him or her when to pick up and drop off loads.

3. Floating Crane

If you’re going to be performing construction on water, you could very well make use of a floating crane. Floating cranes are exactly what they sound like they are: cranes which float on water.

In some cases, floating cranes will essentially be boats with cranes attached to them. Other times, floating cranes are simply mounted to a floating platform.

These cranes are used heavily in off-shore construction projects. They assist in the building of everything from oil pipelines, to oil platforms, to electricity transmission systems, more.

On occasion, they will be used to load and unload items on cargo ships. On very rare occasions, emergency crews use them to haul up the remnants of sunken ships.

Generally capable of lifting around 9,000 tons of weight at a time, floating cranes are some of the stronger cranes used today.

One of the problems associated with floating cranes, however, is that they lack versatility. They are, in most cases, incapable of rotating from side to side.

4. Air Crane

Though they’re not the most commonly used cranes out there, air cranes still serve a very valuable purpose. Often used for construction projects which are occurring in remote areas, air cranes can access spaces that other types of cranes can not.

You might be asking: what exactly is an air crane? Well, it’s a helicopter; a helicopter that can pick up large, bulky items without ever having to touch the ground.

Helicopters have been used as cranes since the 1950s, at which point, they could only carry a few hundred pounds at a time. These days, however, some helicopters are capable of lifting up to 100 tons of weight at one time.

Places where you’ll often see air cranes include remote wooded areas, the ocean, and the mountains, to name just a few. These are areas which, in most cases, aren’t accessible by other types of cranes.

Obviously, if you’re going to operate an air crane, you’re going to have to earn a helicopter pilot’s license. A simple crane certification will not suffice.

5. Rough Terrain Crane

When construction is being carried out on rocky, hilly, or uneven terrain, a rough terrain crane will often be brought in to assist with the project. These are mobile cranes sporting 4 huge, textured tires. These tires possess high levels of shock absorbency, allowing the crane to maneuver with great balance and stability.

The arms on rough terrain cranes are capable of moving in just about any direction you could ever desire. Not only can they extend inward and outward, but they can rotate from side to side as well.

Rough terrain cranes are a lot like truck cranes. For example, both types of cranes are driven and operated from the same console area. The big difference between the two is that, while truck cranes can only drive on flat, even surfaces, rough terrain cranes are able to traverse extraordinarily bumpy surfaces.

Towing capacities for rough terrain cranes range from the fairly light to the extraordinarily heavy. Whereas some of these cranes can only haul 10 tons of weight at once, others of these cranes can haul up to 100 tons of weight at once.

In Need of Mobile Crane Training?

Are you looking to become certified in the use of one of the cranes reviewed above? In need of mobile crane training in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, or Delaware? If so, we here at Atlantic Crane Inspection Services can help.

We offer training courses of all kinds. Take a look at the training courses we offer by clicking here!

Have any questions? Contact us!