Choosing the right portable crane for your work truck or fleet can be a difficult task. There are so many questions you must ask yourself in order to find out which one is best for the applications you need it to handle.
Luckily, your commercial truck parts and accessory experts here at Camco Wheel & Axle have the information you need to make a solid decision.
Consider the following when choosing that perfect portable crane.
1. The Many Types of Cranes
The first thing to consider is the types of cranes that are currently used in the industry, each one with specific functions meant to do specific jobs. There are five kinds of cranes that you can choose from and they are:
- Boom Trucks
- Hydraulic Boom Cranes
- Crawler Cranes
- Rough Terrain Cranes
- All-Terrain Cranes
Some cranes are better than others at particular tasks or lifting capacity requirements.
2. The Lifting Capacity
It comes as no surprise that when you are dealing with a crane, you are dealing with the lifting of heavy materials or equipment. When dealing with tasks of this nature, you need a crane that is built to handle heavy loads.
That’s where knowing the lifting capacity comes into play. Lifting capacity of a crane is a combination of both the weight of the load and the required reach of the crane. This is important when you have a larger and stronger crane that needs to extend further in order to pick up a load versus shorter, weaker cranes that need the work truck parked near the load in order to lift.
3. The Type of the Terrain It Will Be Used On
It is important to understand what type of environment and terrain the commercial vehicle and crane will be on when performing a lift.
If a crane is going to be driven out to an area that has loose terrain, gravel, or other types of compromised roads, the support legs of the crane may shift under the load. Ensuring that the ground at the lift site is stable is important to keep the equipment – and your workers – safe.
You’re going to need to establish a maximum axle load that the terrain can support as well and choose the appropriate crane for that job. For instances like this, a rough terrain crane or a crawler crane would be your best bet.
4. The Lift Height
It can be dangerous to lift a load high off the ground but sometimes a job requires it. Not only is a sturdy all-terrain crane necessary, but you’ll also need:
- Careful Planning
- Long Durations of Time
- Local Authority Special Permissions/Assistance
During lifts like these, you may need special permission from local authorities. It would do your company well to review the rules and regulations for cranes as well.
5. Municipal and State Regulations
Every municipality has rules and regulations regarding the legal height, weight, length, and width of commercial trucks and vehicles. It would be in your best interest to review these rules and regulations to ensure that your vehicle, when fitted with a crane of your choice, still adheres to the legal height or weight restrictions when traveling on city roads.
Most manufacturers supply estimated metrics regarding dimension and weight distribution to help you piece it together with your work truck’s specifications.
A boom truck or rough terrain cranes are essential when it comes to getting into tight spaces. Say, for instance, your lift job is at a plant that was poorly designed, having a somewhat lower roof but wider access route.
A tall crane won’t be able to traverse the route when a roof is too low.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that boom trucks and rough terrain cranes generally have limited crane reach and lifting capacity. If it is an option, some of the roof may be removed to make way for a hydraulic boom crane or all-terrain crane from outside of the building.
7. The Strength of the Truck Frame
As you may be aware, every truck has a resisting bending moment (RBM). An RBM is the point at where the truck’s frame may fail because too much force was applied. Cranes are very heavy pieces of equipment, and you wouldn’t want to fit it to your work truck without knowing what your truck’s RBM is.
The best spot to get the RBM would be to reach out to the truck’s manufacturer or dealer. With this information, you’ll have a better idea of whether your truck is going to need a support structure welded to your truck frame.