Regardless if this is your first time shopping around for cranes or you’ve been in the business of lifting and lowering for a long time, you’ll know that there are thousands of different types of cranes on the market and many different crane factors to consider.
Whether it’s because of a different type or style, different capabilities or qualities, or simply because of the hundreds of manufacturers and brands offering cranes, you’re certainly not spoilt for choice.
While it’s great to have choice, and in this day and age we have more choice than ever, sometimes this huge degree of choice can be a little overwhelming. You only have to type in “cranes for sale” on Google to be inundated with millions of search results.
Are you looking for a new crane but not totally convinced if you’re looking in the right place? Or do you just want to double check that the piece you’re after is the one for you? Look no further than our comprehensive guide below; it’ll tell you everything that you need to know when it comes to the purchasing of cranes.
What will you be using the crane for?
What exactly do you plan to be using your crane for? How many loads will it be lifting, and how heavy will these loads be? Is it going to be a crucial, staple part of your day-to-day business operations, or is it only going to be a piece of equipment that you use every once in a while?
What items will you be lifting with your crane?
As we’ve said, there are a huge amount of cranes on the market, and it’s important that you get the most cost-effective one for your business. Think carefully about what you will be using your crane for, both now and also how that need may change overtime in the future and how the different crane factors will affect that.
Ease of use
How important is the ease of use with your crane? Some cranes, such as our wall mounted jib cranes, will be fixed into place. Others, such as our mobile floor cranes, are designed with portability and flexibility in mind.
How much space do you have for your crane to operate within and how often do you need to move your crane around?
Some cranes are manufactured to be set into one place, and to remain there until you no longer have need for that crane. Others are designed to be moved around a worksite with ease, while others go further and can be completely disassembled, allowing you to transport them between multiple worksites.
This point ties nicely into the point above; what exactly will you be using your crane for? This is an important crane factors to consider.
The weight of loads
All cranes and all lifting equipment will have what is called a safe working load (SWL) and a maximum breaking load (MBL). These are two figures that have been arrived at after multiple tests and iterations of a product, and are industry-wide, accepted figures.
The MBL of a crane is the maximum number that your crane can handle at any given time, even a pound over this and it’ll break. The SWL is a number that is drastically lower than the MBL, typically five to seven times lower.
How heavy are the loads that you need to lift with your cranes?
This number has been set so that you can continually use your crane safely for many years to come, and should never be exceeded in any circumstances. Again, tying into the first point, have you considered exactly what you’ll be using your crane for?
Have a careful think about the loads that you’ll be lifting, and if this may change at any point.
What industry are you in?
The industry that you operate in will be a big determining crane factors when it comes to choosing the very best crane for your needs. For example, if you are in an industry where you will be lifting extremely heavy loads, larger pieces such as overhead cranes could be the perfect piece for you.
Alternatively, perhaps you only run a small workshop, and are only in need of a small, easy-to-use piece of gear. This is where items such as mobile floor cranes, that we referred to earlier, come in handy.
Some industries need smaller cranes than others
Some industries, such as those that involve chemical plants, are full of hazardous and dangerous chemicals. When in these situations, it’s important that you use a crane that is much more resistant to corrosive elements, such as aluminium gantry cranes. Aluminium is known for having a higher resistance to corrosion than steel, but the drawback is that it has a lower lifting weight.
You’ll need to weight up all of these crane factors against each other to decide which is the most important.
Some crane factors to consider are;
- The conditions that you are working in
- How portable you need your crane to be
- How heavy are the weights of the loads that you need to lift?
- How often will you be using your crane?
- Where will you be storing your crane?
- Are you looking to maximise productivity and efficiency?
- Do you need multiple crane setups and arrangements?
Have you read all of the relevant crane’s rules and regulations?
There are many rules and regulations that surround the lifting equipment and lifting gear industry, and it’s important to familiarise yourself with these. While the crane manufacturer that you shop with will supply you with their own guidelines and recommendations, the rules and regulations in the industry form part of the law, so it’s best to read them!
The one most commonly referred to is the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). The main points of this piece are:
- All lifting operations need to be planned properly
- The planning and use of all cranes must be conducted by a competent person – do you have one in your own organisation?
- This same competent person must supervise all lifting operations
- You must regularly inspect and test all crane equipment – inspection times vary depending on what the equipment is.
LOLER is part of the Safe use of lifting equipment: Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) guidelines, and while neither of these are laws, they are both part of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which is obviously law.
We recommend that you fully read all of these pieces of guidance and legislation before making any purchases for cranes; you may find that your needs change slightly depending on what is listed here.
New or used crane?
If you’ve followed the steps listed above, then you should have thought about how often you’ll be using your crane. If it’s just for a one-off job, then perhaps a used crane is best for you? However, if you plan to be using your crane for many years, then you’ll find buying a crane outright is a much more cost-effective solution.
Do your research
There are thousands and thousands of types of crane, crane product, and crane suppliers on the market. With this comes a huge range of figures, facts, science, recommendations, pricing and other information.
The most important one of the crane factors to consider before thinking about buying the best crane for your needs is, have you done sufficient research? Have you familiarised yourself with what you need a crane for, how you’ll be using it, how you need to look after it, what a competitive price is, and what to do if something goes wrong?
If you’re looking to do some more research on the crane industry but you aren’t sure where to start, then our blog is a good place to take your first steps.
Speak to the experts about different crane factors to consider
A final crane factors that you must consider; have you taken your time to speak to the experts? While our blog above is full of great insight from our very own minds, there’s a huge amount of content there, and it may be hard for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.
We at Cranes Direct have been in the Cranes industry for almost two decades, so there isn’t much that we don’t know about cranes! The best way to know if you’re buying the right crane for your needs is to either give us a call on 01384 76961 or find our contact details on our contact page here.