Renting a crane can be a relatively simple process if you know what you’re doing and take the proper steps to prepare. If you don’t, it can be an ordeal of the highest magnitude. There are a lot of parties involved, a lot of organizing to do and a lot that can go wrong.
But take these nine crane rental tips and you’re on your way to a headache-free rental.
- Have a clear idea of what your project entails
There are two parts of this. Know what is going to be needed on-site and know what’s needed for a successful crane rental. As far as the latter step, you’re here, so good work on that.
When you rent a crane, you don’t just need the crane, you need a rigger. They fasten the straps, chains and cable. They execute the “lift.” Depending on the job, they may execute other duties as well. When you hire a rigger, knowing what is needed on your end and communicating that clearly will help a rigger know if you need more crew. (And it’s important to have the right people on each job.) Get them involved early.
It’s often best to get a rigger before the crane. A rigger can help get the project headed in the right direction from the word “go.” He or she will have a good sense of what the right crane is for your project.
- Get lots of bids
Knowing what you need and being ahead of the game means you have time to get competitive bids. Expenses can add up quickly when renting a crane. Save money by talking to as many companies as possible.
When you talk with crane companies give them lots of information and invite them to perform a site visit. Again, their expert knowledge can be an asset.
- Book in advance
Do everything you can to make yourself a priority for the crane company, including having your booking done far in advance. You don’t want to call and discover that the crane isn’t available on the day you wanted or, worse yet, to have a scheduling mishap they day your equipment needing a “lift” is arriving.
- Get the facility team Involved
Your facilities crew can be one of your biggest allies in making the operation smooth. They’ll block off the parking lot or other area of the facility, and will know about any potential union issues that might affect your project. They may also have a sense of obstacles you’ll encounter that you haven’t thought of.
- Schedule lift for working hours
Schedule the whole “pick” for normal working hours. This can help save you money both on the facility side and in hiring a rigger. Working during off hours can increase your budget by a tremendous amount.
- Tightly coordinate transportation of equipment
You’ll want to play dictator on the transportation of equipment and know where everyone is at all times. It can be a lot, but make yourself the point of contact. The equipment being hoisted, the crane, the facilities crew, and any additional rigging or other equipment needs to arrive in a symphony of coordinated bliss. You don’t want everyone standing around waiting for someone you can’t contact.
Look into what your city requires for permitting. If you need to block a sidewalk or road, this is especially important. And even if you’re pretty sure that you know what is needed, it’s worth making the phone call. Taking 10 minutes now is better than getting fined or shut down.
- Prep the facility
You’ve had the facilities crew involved and you’re coordinating the deliveries. Also make sure that the facility is ready for the lift. If you need windows, doors or walls removed, have it done in advance. In most instances, the rigger isn’t going to do this. It will be the responsibility of your operations team.
It’s been brought up multiple times, but this is a biggie, so it’s being brought up again. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
You’re working with experts for a reason. You got references, looked into the companies or individuals and know you need to rely on them. You can’t hold them responsible unless they have all the information. You’re better off being the annoying client who is always providing updates than the annoying client who didn’t relay key information and now needs a favor.
That means knowing the aspects of your project that aren’t listed here. If you’re having a grand piano lifted into your apartment, let anyone who is assembling it know when the lift is scheduled for. If you want to play it right away, let your piano tuner know. If you’re installing an air conditioning unit, get your HVAC guys involved. You get the idea.
And if you can remember all this, you’re on your way to a successful and stress-free crane rental. Congrats. If you’ve got more crane service questions, give us a shout.