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Three cranes beside four crane operators.

Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Project

Renting a crane isn’t a small investment. These machines are expensive, difficult to transport, and challenging to operate if you haven’t planned properly. The last thing anyone wants after spending their hard-earned money and valuable time planning for their project, is the wrong piece of equipment. Unfortunately, for cranes there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Every project is different. So, you have to do a bit of research yourself first. In this post, we explain various types of cranes and the kinds of projects they’re best for. Then we walk you through how to choose the right crane for your project, step by step.

Different Types of Cranes

Let’s take a look at the different options you have when deciding which crane to choose for your project:

1. Truck Cranes

Truck crane mount on a vehicle. This allows personnel to easily transport the crane to and from the worksite. On site, the rigging stabilizers usually extend horizontally from the out-board chassis. You can vertically adjust these in order to keep the crane (and its load) stable and suitable for the terrain.

Rough-terrain Cranes

Rough-terrain cranes are mounted on a flatbed undercarriage. They run by an engine that moves the vehicle as well. Typically, contractors use these for off-road pick and carry. Just like truck cranes, rough terrain cranes carry a crane rigging system that stabilizes the machine on uneven ground and hillsides.

All-terrain Cranes

These cranes combine the onsite, rough-terrain mobility with the ability to use highways and tarmac roads. Most have four or five axles with all-wheel drive, allowing operators to use them for pick-and-carry operations of heavy loads.

Choosing the Right Crane

Ensuring you have the correct equipment, the first time, is vital in making sure your job stays on schedule, and is cost-effective and efficient. This helps you in the long run, too, by keeping your own customers happy and minimizing your stress.

Here are our top ___ tips for choosing the right crane:

Tip 1: Think through what the project requires

Perhaps the most important tip (and most obvious) tip is to think about what you need done. You can figure this out in two parts. First, find out exactly what you will need on the site. Then, find out what you need for a successful crane rental. Since you’re already here, good work on that second part!

Keep in mind: when you rent a crane, you should also rent a rigger along with it. Riggers fasten the chains, straps, and cables, and ideally execute the “lift” part of the job. Depending on the project, riggers may also fill other duties. When hiring a rigger, you should know what’s needed on your part, and communicate that as clearly as possible to the rigger. This allows him or her to determine whether you will need more crew members on site. Having the right people is important, both in terms of numbers and skill level. In most cases, it’s best to get a rigger before getting the crane. This will help steer the project in the right direction from the start, and give you a better sense of what kind of crane is perfect for your project.

Tip 2: Assess your job site

Our next tip is to take a good look at the site and ask yourself a couple questions. First, think about obstructions. We see many obstacles at job sites that interfere with a crane’s ability to safely operate or perform the appropriate work as needed for the project.

Also think about the terrain and accessibility of the site. Examine the route for maneuverability of difficult hills. Evaluate if the  roads are suitable for transport, or if weather or any other environmental factors make the delivery and operation of certain cranes an issue. Be sure to discuss all of this with your crane rental partner. They have likely managed many projects and can lend valuable insight.

Tip 3: Get competitive bids

Being ahead of the game and knowing what you need will give you more time to look for competitive bids. Remember: expenses add up fast when renting a crane. Speaking to as many companies as possible before making a purchase may end up saving you quite a bit of money. When talking to crane rental companies, provide them with as much information as you can. Invite them to visit your site. Their expert knowledge can be an asset.

Tip 4: Choose and book the crane far in advance

Book as far in advance as you can. Make yourself and your needs a priority. This helps you avoid situations when you call and find out a crane is not available that day, or when you run into a scheduling mishap when you need the crane most.


To summarize, research and communication are imperative throughout the rental process. Do as much recon as you can on the front end. Decide which crane you’ll need for your project and search for the most competitive bid you can find. Then, book as far in advance as you can.

If you have questions as you go, ask. It’s much better to be that annoying client who’s always asking questions instead of the client that failed to communicate with anyone and has no clue what’s going on!

Read More: Choosing the Right Crane Service Provider

30 Responses

  1. As you mentioned, when you rent a crane, you should make sure that the one operating it is trained, and know how to safely operate the crane. My brother needs a crane for a construction job that he is working on. Are there ways that he can get a brief training before he uses the crane?

  2. Thank you so much for explaining that you need to rent a rigger along with the crane so you can fasten the straps and chains on it. One of my roommates told me that her brother has been looking for a mobile crane hire that he could use for a project he has going on. I believe that he is thinking about cutting some tree branches in his property, so I hope he knows exactly what to look for.

  3. I can imagine that it could be really useful for a business to make sure that they can get the right kind of crane for their project. It could be really useful for them to get some help choosing the right crane from a professional. It was interesting to learn about how the lift part of the job is done by the rigger and is fasten the chains, straps, and cables.

  4. It’s cool that rough-terrain cranes are mounted to a flatbed undercarriage. My uncle does some construction work, and these tips could really help him. I’ve heard to make sure cranes are maintenanced regularly when looking to rent one. What other great tips do you have for choosing a crane service?

  5. As you mentioned, there are cranes that are able to be stable on rough terrain. We are working on building a home off the beaten path a bit, and have been trying to figure out how to get a crane there. Now that I know this is an option, we should be able to get things rolling again.

  6. Thanks for mentioning you need to figure out the need for the crane, for example, the weight and size of the load needing to be lifted in case you need to add accessories like hooks, shackle, ropes, and slings. One of my friends needs to rent a crane because he’s contemplating doing a project for the company he works for next month. I think it’s a good investment to hire a reputable professional company that has the best machinery possible if he decides to do the project.

  7. It’s cool that you can get a crane that mounts onto a vehicle because that means they’ll be able to move much easier. I need a crane for a project I’m doing, so I’ll definitely think about getting one of those. Luckily, the land is pretty flat, so I won’t need one that can handle all kinds of terrain.

  8. I like how you point out that truck cranes can be easily transported to and from the job site. I am thinking of getting some work done on my house and may need a crane that can be easily transported. I’m going to start looking for a truck crane rental business in my area.

    1. Jacob,

      Glad you found our content helpful! Please feel free to reach out to Patrick from our support team at (412) 596-4524. He would be more than happy to speak with you about your upcoming project!

  9. It makes sense that one should book the crane service ahead of time, that way one will be prepared for the service. My friend’s father wants to build a garage, and he needs to get a crane to lift the trusses. This info is will surely help them find a good crane company for their project.

  10. I’m glad that you brought up the importance of the necessary permissions when using a crane. My uncle is thinking about having a new office built on land he just purchased, and he asked me for help with finding construction rentals; Checking what the provisions are in the area is something that was totally slipping my mind. I’ll make sure to book the crane rental in advance just as you suggested. Thank you for the information!

    1. Wade,

      You’re welcome! Taking the time to think through the needs of the project and speaking with a specialist will be well worth it in the end! Please feel free to reach out to Patrick from our support team at (412) 596-4524. He would be more than happy to discuss some options with you!

  11. I loved your tip to get competitive price quotes for a crane rental service, so you could get a good price. We will need to rent a crane for our next project on our building, and it will be important for us to not go over our budget. I will be sure to consider getting price quotes, so we could get the best price.

    1. Hi Jack,

      We’re so glad you found that helpful! Budgeting is incredibly important, and having those conversations is critical. Please feel free to reach out to Patrick from our support team at (412) 596-4524. He would be more than happy to talk through some options with you!

  12. It was really helpful when you said that you should book your rental far in advance. My husband is needing to get a crane for a construction project. Thank you for the tips on renting a crane!

  13. Thank you for your tip to speak to many different rental companies to get competitive bids. My brother works in construction and they need a boom truck. I will make sure to pass this tip along to him.

  14. A friend of mine is thinking about doing some projects on his house, and we were thinking about hiring someone to do the crane. It’s interesting that you say to book it far in advance. It would be nice to know that you would be able to have the crane before you even need the project.

  15. I liked that you mentioned that when looking to hire a crane service you have to book it as far in advance as possible since you don’t want to find out that the day you need it it’s not available. My husband will require a crane for his construction work in about three months. I will advise him to start booking it right now, so he doesn’t have this issue.

  16. It was really interesting to learn about the different types of cranes. My brother needs to move something big into his backyard. Getting a professional crane service to help him would be a great idea.

  17. It’s interesting to know that there are different crane types that I can rent for my construction project. I think I’ll get competitive bids from different crane rental companies and settle for the one that provides the best value. I’ll be sure to rent in advance so that we can get started on making the building as soon as possible.

  18. That’s a good idea to make sure you rent a crane well in advance. That way you can be sure that you have it when you are going to need to use it. I wouldn’t want to plan out a whole project and then be stuck with no crane available.

  19. crane rental needs will often depend on the job you need done. Whether it’s loading and unloading, whether it’s freight or construction, or even assembling heavy equipment.its very pleasure to visit your website.it was very informative for the business. Thanks for sharing

  20. Hello,

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  21. You made a great point when you said that one should get competitive bids from several crane services before choosing one. My uncle is currently working on getting a home for his family built, so these tips could really help him find a great crane service. Is there anything else he should keep in mind?

  22. We recently rebranded at work and have been talking about changing the sign on our building to match the new logo. To do so, we’d need to hire a crane service to change the sign. Whenever we do change the sign, we’ll have to take your advice and make sure that we have the proper permits from the city.

  23. I like your suggestion to book crane rentals far in advance to make sure the crane is available and there aren’t any scheduling mishaps. My husband needs to rent a crane to do some hoisting for his construction project. I’ll suggest he book a service now to make sure the timing of the rental goes smoothly.

  24. My favorite part of this article is when you say to get bids from different crane companies because this way I will have the chance to compare their prices and services before choosing one. I am thinking about renting a crane so that I can repair some of the issues on the roof of my office and think it is important to find a company that will come to my job site and help me decide which type of crane I can rent. This is why I want to find an experienced crane rental company who has successfully hanlded similar projects like mine in the past.

  25. Since I’m going to be doing some deck building in the spring, I’ll probably have to get the help of a crane. Now as you said here, I think it would be a good idea to book the crane in advance so that way when the day comes, it’ll be ready for me and I won’t be delayed. That and I would get the area around my home prepper for the crane as they are very large vehicles.

  26. I love what you said about making yourself a priority for the crane rental company. Renting a crane is a great way to speed up the construction process. If I were to build a home or something, I would look for the best crane service in my area in order to get the best results.

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