When looking for a crane service provider, there are many things you must consider. How do you decide which service best suits your project? Do you know what kind of equipment you need and where to find it? Are you getting the best quality machine? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at 9 key tips when searching for a crane service provider.
Evaluating Crane Service Providers
Renting or buying industrial machinery is not cheap. Nothing worth the investment ever is! Your money has tremendous value, and the last thing you want is to spend it in the wrong place. Doing your research ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble later on. Here are some tips we gave our own clients before they decided on a crane service provider.
1. Check their reputation
In some markets, newer contractor services seem favored over seasoned competitors. Any number of things could account for this, including the drive to support local business or unsatisfactory customer service. However, if you feel more comfortable working with a professional crane service with a solid reputation, companies with years of experience (regardless of their size) are the most reliable option. An established crane service provider usually has a number of important strengths, such as technical expertise and inventory support. In other words, you can rely on them to get the job done well.
2. Evaluate their availability
Depending on your timeline, you may want to prioritize certain contractors over others. Whether you have a longer-term project with a flexible time frame, or your project requires immediate service, checking the availability of the crane provider is crucial. Keep in mind that not all companies provide both forms of services. Therefore, knowing which companies can accommodate your timeline helps you keep your list of potentials short and relevant.
3. Check Proof of Insurance
This is perhaps one of the most important tips we can provide. Every company worthy of their reputation can (and should) show you proof of insurance upon your request. No one wants to risk working with someone without full insurance coverage from a reputable insurance company. Accidents do happen, and they can cause a significant amount of damage. Without insurance, the company wouldn’t provide any compensation for the damages and that burden would fall to you.
Bottom line: Always ask (or search) for proof of insurance when you begin engaging with a crane service provider.
4. Make sure the company knows of all the required permits
Every state has its own laws regarding crane operation, especially when it comes to the open/public spaces. Since most cranes are highly visible, it’s likely that local officials will ask to see the permits and proper qualifications to conduct the project. As such, the crane service provider should know the local laws for your area. They should also be able to offer guidance through the necessary steps. This helps ensure the project is executed in the most professional and safest manner possible, and helps you avoid the possible fines and hazards.
5. Know what service(s) and crane you need
If you’re not sure what sort of crane you need, contact a specialist. Tell them what kind of project you have, and they should tell you what type of crane would best fit your project. Then, once you have one opinion, get another. And another. Do this several times, and see what these different experts tell you. They will most likely tell you that you need one of the following:
- Hydraulic Crane: Use for heavy lifting projects; typically named based on how much weight they can handle
- Forklift: Perfect for smaller jobs, like moving something heavy indoors
- Crawler Crane: Carry loads up to a few thousand tons; more mobility and require minimal set-up
If you know a qualified crane operator, renting the crane will often do just fine. And it will end up saving quite a few bucks! Some companies (like ours) provide an operator along with the crane. While this may cost a bit extra, you can rest easy knowing the company will do their job well.
6. Ask to see their credentials
Different companies have different training requirements for their crane operators. The contractor should be able to show you their staff’s credentials on request. Once you have seen their credentials, compare these to other crane service providers. This allows you to make the most informed decision about who to trust with your project.
7. Inspect the equipment
Make sure the company regularly inspects and maintains their equipment. Any reputable and reliable crane service should have records for their routine maintenance inspections. Take a look at these. They will tell you for certain whether your money is paying for an efficient, well-cared-for machine that can safely perform the tasks you need for your project.
8. Evaluate their customer service
Nine out of ten Americans use customer service as the primary gauge for deciding to do business with a company. So many companies ignore this, enough to collectively lose over $1.6 trillion in potential revenue every year. When shopping for a crane provider, pay close attention to the way they treat their customers. This goes for over the phone, on their website, and on-site at their office building/headquarters.
Do they treat you with the care, attention, and respect you deserve? If not, how could you trust them with your important project? If the company values its clients, it will show. Choose the ones that make you their top priority, not profits.
9. Find a good price
Lastly, compare price figures between crane companies to get the best deal. Most crane service providers (like us) provide you with a free quote for your project. This helps make sure you are not being “ripped off.” Don’t forget that a better service usually comes at a price. But there are times that a higher price is well worth it!
To sum all this up, we will leave you with three words: do your research. Know the company inside and out before deciding to do business with them. You will thank yourself later when the project runs smoothly and you get the best value for your money.