Cranes have become a crucial aspect of building construction, due to the indispensable services they provide when it comes to moving heavy materials. They have been around since ancient times, and their development is interrelated with the emergence of new power sources that significantly reduce our lifting responsibilities. New crane models are even equipped with various features, like all-terrain travel capability and telescopic booms, while hybrid machines are slowly replacing the well-known lattice boom cranes.
Put simply: For some jobs, you have to hire a crane.
Why Are Cranes Important?
Typical building construction sites employ several types of equipment, including cranes, concrete pumps, hoists/lifts, and material handlers. Of these equipment types, cranes are the most noticeable machines onsite, owing not solely to their size, but also to the crucial role they play in transporting elements and materials to and from different locations. When choosing construction equipment for a project, cranes are the focal point, and their selection usually determines the selection of other appliances.
Types of Cranes
Construction cranes consist of two major groups: mobile cranes and tower cranes. In most countries, including the United States, mobile cranes are used to define truck-mounted mobile cranes, while track-mounted mobile cranes are considered a separate group of machines, referred to as crawler cranes. Some hybrid cranes combine the features of both in order to incorporate the best of each type.
Tower cranes were a major presence in the 1940s, and were used in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Over the decades, tower cranes have seen numerous developments in terms of lifting and reach capabilities, as well as enhancements addressing operational and deployment convenience concerns. Tower cranes are suitable for a wide variety of site conditions and work assignments, and can respond to the preferences and needs of construction and crane rental companies.
In high-rise construction projects, tower cranes may be the only solution for lifting heavy building materials. In other parts of the world, tower cranes are used for all kinds of rural and urban building projects. They are also utilized for civil infrastructure projects, and are the equipment of choice for the construction of low-rise commercial and residential structures.
Unlike the stationary tower crane, the mobile crane is a self-propelled mobile piece of machinery, which is capable of moving freely around the construction site. As opposed to the tower crane’s vertical mast with a horizontal jib at the top, the mobile crane’s job is called a boom, and is attached directly to the crane’s carriage. Mobile cranes come in an even wider variety than tower cranes, with their sizes ranging from ultra-compact machines that fit in the back of a small truck to colossal models that dwarf almost any piece of construction equipment.
Mobile and tower cranes work together in that the former can set up the latter in the early stages of construction. Mobile cranes also dismantle tower cranes once the construction project approaches its end. A mobile crane’s greatest asset is its capacity to be deployed quickly, and handle heavy loads.
Buy or Rent?
As companies grow and expand their capabilities, the need for reliable, heavy equipment becomes a priority. However, not all businesses have the capital to buy brand-new cranes, due to the expensive price tag. While purchasing a crane involves a one-time financial investment, which may prove to be the cheaper option when you assess accumulated rental fees, renting a crane can be a great idea when a company doesn’t need the crane on a regular or frequent basis. When determining whether to buy or rent, it’s important to evaluate your company’s specific needs.
If you need to hire a crane, give H Brown Cranes a call today.