A crane is an essential piece of equipment for many construction work sites. Many companies choose to rent cranes, as rentals give them greater flexibility and allow them to use a crane only for the required time. As companies look to rent a crane for their next project, it's a good idea to know about some of the top practices of experienced renters.
Before you rent, learn more about the primary types of cranes, their uses and some of the job requirements you may want to consider as you search for a crane. Additionally, you may want to find out more about some of the top tips for selecting the best crane possible and information on how to use it properly. Our ultimate guide to renting cranes explains everything you need to know.
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While you search for a crane, you may want to know the primary types of cranes used in construction first. While many different types of cranes are available, you can break them down into two main categories: mobile cranes and static cranes. Learning about the differences between the two can help you know what type of crane to rent.
A static crane is a semi-permanent or permanent structure placed on a building or the ground. This type of crane then moves and lifts loads through fixed paths. Often, static cranes aren't offered as rentals since they're used for a long time.
In contrast, a mobile crane has wheels or treads that make it easy to transport it from one location to another. Once placed, the crane can be used for handling loads and other applications. Unlike fixed cranes with fixed paths, mobile cranes can pick up loads and transport them to varying locations. Some mobile cranes will require counterweights and outriggers for proper use.
Many mobile cranes are pulled behind other vehicles or loaded onto a truck to make it to a work site. Once they arrive, an operator can drive the crane around the work site to complete various jobs. Other mobile cranes are built directly onto a truck that can drive on the highway to job sites without being pulled or loaded onto another vehicle, allowing for quick deployment to multiple job sites.
Cranes are primarily used in the construction sector to conduct several types of lifting tasks. A mobile crane uses a series of advanced pulleys and cables to lift incredibly heavy loads people would never have the strength to lift on their own. They can be used for short-term pick-up tasks or larger-scale, long-term operations.
In the construction industry, operators often use mobile cranes to quickly move equipment and materials around a work site. Additionally, rental cranes regularly lift heavy building materials to crew members working at a high location. Since the crane can easily lift materials from the ground to the top of buildings and other elevated locations, staff don't have to lug equipment up flights of stairs or invest in other types of lifting equipment. You'll often see workers using cranes to assist with roofing jobs to improve efficiency.
While you look for the perfect crane for your needs, you need to ensure the crane fits your project's requirements. You'll want to avoid selecting a crane that can't handle your work site's terrain or doesn't have the height needed to lift materials high enough. By evaluating your work site before you rent, you can ensure you get a crane fitting all of your requirements.
Consider these job requirements before renting a crane:
There are a few tips to be aware of to help you find the right crane for your next project. Renting the right crane often comes down to evaluating your project's requirements, setting a realistic timeline, verifying a transportation method and receiving the right permits.
As you look for a rental, keep all of the project's requirements in mind. Refer to your job site evaluation while you browse a rental company's offerings or speak to a representative. Choosing a crane that fits your job site's requirements ensures you can complete your project efficiently and on time.
To pick the right crane, familiarize yourself with the specs of cranes. These are some of the primary specs you'll want to check before renting:
Cranes need an experienced rigger to ensure the crane is set up properly and ready to be used. A rigger will fasten the cables, chains and straps to ensure the crane functions safely and performs up to your standards. The rigger will also execute the crane's lift and handle other duties depending on the job's requirements. An experienced rigger can also help you determine how many crew members you need for your projects.
You may already have a rigger on your staff, but if you don't, it's crucial you find one early on to discuss the project's requirements. They can give you more information on the type of crane you'll need and how different cranes will perform on the work site.
When you rent a crane, it's important you book it in advance to ensure the crane you want is available. Companies that wait to rent a crane until a day or two before they need it can slow down their project, as the crane they need may not be available on short notice. Since the top rental companies usually have a high demand for their cranes, they may have them booked for weeks, sometimes even months, in advance.
Well before your project begins, reach out to the rental company to discuss their availabilities and options. By reaching out well before a project, you should have more options.
Some companies will transport the crane to your work site, while others will require you to pick it up yourself. As a result, it's essential to verify with the rental company how the crane will be transported. By verifying the crane's transportation method, a company can get the crane to their project on the day they need it or plan for proper transportation if they have to handle it themselves.
A rental company offering transportation can be a big plus, as you won't have to worry about getting a vehicle to haul the crane to the work site or risk mishandling it during transportation. If the rental company handles transportation, you'll simply need to tell them when and where you need the crane, and they should get it to you on time, helping you meet your project's deadlines.
Tightly coordinating transportation also helps you coordinate other important tasks. Since your crew will know exactly when the crane will arrive, they can be ready to start work immediately once it arrives. It also helps your crew members have the additional rigging, materials and equipment that the crane needs ready by the right time, so you can start using the crane without a hitch.
Before you rent a crane, look into your local laws about using cranes to see if you need any special permits. By receiving the proper permits before the crane arrives, you can use the crane immediately. If you're unsure of your local permits and laws, calling your local permitting office can be very helpful, allowing you to avoid fines and shutdowns.
When you speak to the rental company, have a clear idea of your project timeline. By honestly evaluating how long your project will take, you're more likely not to rent a crane for too little or too much time. If you rent it for more time than you need, you can pay too much in rental costs. If you rent it for too little time, you may have to return the crane before you're doing using it.
While renting a crane for too long can add to your costs, it's even more important to make sure you're not renting it for too little time. Properly estimate your project's timelines to avoid major delays and keep your crane on the site as long as you need it. Renting it for an appropriate amount of time also keeps your crews safer, as crews won't try to speed through projects to get their work done before the crane has to be returned.
As you go about renting, overestimating how long you'll need the crane is usually the safer choice. Overestimating gives your crew breathing room while they work. Sometimes, minor mistakes and unforeseen conditions can arise that slow down your project. Overestimating the time you need to rent the crane will give your crew plenty of time to deal with any challenging conditions appropriately without worrying about having to return the crane before they're done using it.
Before the crane arrives, it's a good idea to prepare your site for it. Start by ensuring the truck bringing the crane has enough space to enter the work site safely and reach the area where the crane needs to be dropped off. You may also want to have any extra equipment or tools used with the crane ready to use and near the crane.
By creating a clear path for your crane's drop off and having materials ready, you can avoid inefficiencies and delays on the day the crane arrives. You'll be ready to start working immediately and keep your project on track to hit deadlines.
Once you've rented a crane, using it properly can help you keep your work site safe and your project running at an efficient pace. Here are some of the best practices for using a crane correctly:
Companies all around the world trust The Cat® Rental Store for their equipment rental needs. If you want high-quality rentals for your projects with a crane, we can help. We carry a wide selection of cranes, making it easy for you to find one meeting your unique project requirements. With more than 1,300 locations globally and an extensive inventory of equipment, we can help you with almost any project you might have.
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