What Are The Factors To Consider When Choosing A Crane?

Choosing a crane for construction tasks can be difficult. Considering the types, sizes, and features, there is a wide variety out there designed for lifting and shifting heavy loads around. From the outside, every crane looks more or less the same but there is a significant difference in functionality, safety, and other features. Let’s have some important factors that will help you pick the right crane for rent.

The Size Of The Material And Duration Of The Job

Considering the size of the material and duration of the job is one of the most important factors. You need to keep in mind that cranes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, features, etc. that are designed to meet the requirements of different types of tasks. But first, you will need to understand and define the requirements of your job.

This will help you narrow down the list of options. If you are struggling to pick the right option or do not possess any knowledge or information about cranes, it would be better to consult an expert. An expert will discuss different types of cranes in detail and help pick the best option based on your needs and preferences.

At the same time, it is equally important to go through the load charts of the cranes to become aware of the different loading capacities. Each crane comes with a loading chart from the manufacturer that helps determine the maximum lifting capacity along with some other important numbers.

This ensures the crane operates safely without putting anyone or anything at risk while doing its job.

Equipment Transportation

Equipment transportation is another important factor to consider. As mentioned earlier, cranes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, meaning assessing the job site is equally important as well. The reason is that some cranes are disassembled and then re-assembled at the job site. So, the construction space should allow for the required room for the operation of the crane.

That said, if the job site tends to contain obstructions and blocks, it will become difficult to transport the machine. Furthermore, if you are renting a crane, you might have to acquire special permits if the crane is supposed to pass through highways or streets.

The Conditions Of The Construction Site

Having a crane safely reach a job site can be a difficult task. Some job sites are high above the ground or too low, making traction difficult. On top of that, if the job site happens to be muddy, special efforts will need to be made to help the crane reach its final destination.

According to industrial standards, the contractors are required to clear the way a day or two before the crane is supposed to arrive and not on the day of the arrival. This could lead to a waste of time, money, and resources.

If the conditions of the job site are difficult, you can opt for rough terrain cranes. However, if the construction site is relatively level and has enough space for movement, you could opt for overhead or gantry cranes.

Know The Lift Height

The lift height is as important as the loading capacity of the crane. Then again, depending on the task, you might need to lift heavy materials a few feet up in the air. This might look like a simple task but the more the height, the more difficult is weight management.

If the materials need to go high up in the air, you will need a crane with a longer boom length. However, you will also need to consider the weather conditions. If there is a strong crosswind or the weather is about to turn for the worst, you should probably drop the idea of lifting weights.

If you are in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, the weights could imbalance and cause the crane to topple. So, a tower crane might be perfect for your needs but you need to think about the external factors.

As a general rule of thumb, you should check the weather forecast for any predictions and schedule your tasks accordingly. Better to delay the task for a day or two instead of risking everything within the vicinity.

Find A Good Rigger

Choosing the right crane for your requirements is one thing but finding a good rigger is another. When it comes to operating cranes, it is not only about the crane operator but also the team that ensures everything goes smoothly.

A rigger is someone who ensures the crane is setup properly and is ready to be used. In addition to that, the rigger fastens the chains, and cables and keeps a strict eye till the crane finishes the task. These individuals carry years of experience and skills that make them worthy of working around cranes.

Plus, an experienced rigger will also help you determine how many crew members you are going to need for your project. That said, it is crucial that you have experienced rigging services DC on your side that helps the operator move safely and acts swiftly if something unusual activity is observed.

Have A Realistic Timeline

Renting cranes is not cheap. While communicating with a rental company, be sure of the project timeline. It is often the case that contractors rent cranes for a few days only to find out that the project will go on for a few months.

This not only adds to your expenses but also makes it difficult for the rental company if they have booked the crane for another client. The only way to avoid such a situation is by having a detailed discussion with those directly responsible or linked to the project.

In addition, to be on the safe side, always overestimate the total cost of renting the crane. It will give your crew a bit of breathing room instead of hurrying everything and risking accidents. Moreover, ensure that every one on the construction is following the OSHA safety guidelines for safe operation.

Do Cranes Require Maintenance?

Apart from an experienced rigger and operator ensuring smooth and safe operations, maintenance is the only thing preventing the crane from breaking down in the middle of the process. Since cranes work round the clock lifting and shifting heavy weights, the components such as the boom, hydraulics, etc. experience extreme stress.

As a result, wear and tear is normal. Moreover, depending on the region, you might be required to record, inspect and report any signs or symptoms to the relevant authorities. The crane should be inspected by a professional both at the beginning and at the end of the day.

You will need to record the data and maintain a maintenance schedule. The maintenance schedule will be shared with an individual assignment by the state to inspect the machines/cranes. If any discrepancy is found, it might lead to hefty fines or even a jail sentence.


Know that renting a crane is not only about features, specifications, size, and type. It also includes inspections, maintenance, and analyzing the terrain conditions. Considering such factors will surely help you pick a crane from crane rentals VA that ensures safe and efficient operations.

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