Cranes

Reach new heights with industrial cranes

There are many different cranes used in industrial settings, shipyards and on construction sites. While most people's typical image of a crane is of a tall machine used to build skyscrapers, industrial cranes are technically defined as machines that use pulleys and levers (sometimes both) to lift large amounts of weight.

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Cranes and hoists can be used indoors and outdoors, and are available both as standalone and vehicle-mounted units. Most industrial cranes for use in outdoor settings are truck-mounted, while container cranes are used in manufacturing to lift and move large, heavy packages.

Major Types of Cranes

Some of the different cranes designed for industrial use include:

  • Hydraulic cranes. Packing the lifting power of hydraulic pumps into a relatively compact package, hydraulic cranes are capable of moving incredibly large amounts of weight with seemingly little effort.
  • Pedestal cranes. Combining hydraulic technologies with mounted, reinforced booms and housings, pedestal cranes offer extra stability and are usually reserved for the biggest heavy-duty jobs.
  • Tower cranes. These cranes are fixed to a grounded, immobile base, offering an optimal combination of height, reach and lifting capacity.
  • Telescopic cranes. Using hydraulic pump technology, telescopic cranes have extendable or retractable arms that offer excellent versatility.
  • Mobile cranes. Typically, mobile cranes feature telescopic booms (albeit with a limited reach) which are mounted atop heavy trucks, allowing you to move the crane around from job site to job site as needed.
  • Overhead cranes. Also known as suspended cranes, overhead cranes are often used in assembly and manufacturing. They use hoists which are mounted on trolleys that move along ceiling-mounted tracks, and are capable of moving very heavy loads.

Buying a Crane

Cranes are extremely expensive and sophisticated pieces of machinery, so you need to take your time when shopping to really dig deep in your research. Get to know the various manufacturers, consult consumer reviews and stick with well-known brand names that have proven track records of reliability.

It is common for companies to save money on heavy equipment by buying it used, but if you don't have ongoing needs for cranes, it usually makes more financial sense just to rent one instead. If you do rent, keep in mind that many cranes require specially licensed operators by law.