Essential Tips When Working with Cranes (Infographic)

Cranes are complicated pieces of machinery, not helped by the fact that there are hundreds of combinations of cranes and cranes accessories that you can have; all suited to a slightly different function. However, there are some essential tips that generally remain the same for every type of crane on the market, regardless of its size. While some cranes will require a slightly different set of practices, if you follow the essential tips for working with cranes laid out in this guide, you should have no problems operating your essential piece of machinery.

Servicing and maintenance tips when working with cranes

To ensure that your crane remains in a good working order, it is important to carry out routine servicing and maintenance on it.  Cranes, like any piece of equipment that you will buy, will gradually wear down with continued usage. The tips below will greatly increase the service life experienced for your crane:

essential tips

It’s crucial that you carry out regular servicing and maintenance on your cranes

In order to maintain a your crane in a good condition, it’s crucial to operate it correctly, always sticking to any guidelines and lifting limits that you’ve been given. Prior to using your crane, carry out some routine safety inspections to ensure that the crane is fit for use on this occasion.  Also make sure that you plan any operations thoroughly, this dramatically reduces risks and issues as they will have been prepared and prevented in advance. Also, store your crane correctly after each use, the manufacturer will normally advise on correct storage methods.

For servicing your crane, be sure to carry out regular inspections, using qualified crane inspectors and servicers, who can also repair cranes for you. Ensure that only skilled service staff are used to complete the work, ask to see their credentials and possibly even speak to some of their previous customers for a reference. These simple steps will greatly increase the service life of your crane.

Essential Tips When Working with Cranes infographic

We have learned lots over the years about working with cranes and share many tips we have gathered along the way in our latest infographic “Essential tips for working with cranes”. These visually illustrate the tips we have provided throughout this comprehensive guide.

Essential Tips for Working with Cranes Infographic

Essential Tips for Working with Cranes Infographic

Safety tips for working with cranes

Cranes are heavy pieces of machinery, also lifting other heavy items and objects, so your safety and of those around you should be of paramount importance. First and foremost, always follow any guidelines that have been given to you, both by us, and those that have been set by the government.

You can read more about this legislation and guidelines by visiting these two websites:

In addition, also be aware (and practice!) the guidelines provided by the manufacturer, these are there for a number of reasons, but a primary reason is crane usage safety.

Ask for help from the professionals on which crane will be best suited to your application. Always follow the safe working load limits that you have been set for your particular crane, note these will vary from crane to crane, so be aware of them! The loading limits only apply to correctly loaded cranes, so ensure that crane loads are centered correctly as lop-sided balances can often cause instability.

Before operation always ensure the area of use is free of debris, both on the ground and also in the air (anything which could contact the crane mid-air). Debris free areas, will improve both the crane and operators safety conditions.

Finally, we would recommend only using qualified or competent persons when conducting a lifting operation, don’t be tempted to take shortcuts and use non-skilled staff due to lack of availability of trained staff on the day, this is how accidents arise.

Tips on how to select the best type of crane for your business

We alone at Cranes Direct stock 15 different types of cranes that fall within 5 different categories (aluminium lifting gantries, jib cranes, mobile floor cranes, mobile lifting gantries and overhead cranes). Despite a crane’s larger nature, selecting one is no different to choosing any other piece of equipment. Considering the relevant benefits and disadvantages of different model types is a really good process to go through.

First, think carefully about exactly what you need the crane for, where you will be using it, and how heavy the loads are that it will be lifting (including the weight of accessories). Consider as many of these factors as possible, particularly possible future changes in use. Might you need to lift other loads further down the line? Is there a chance you’ll need to move the crane, if so a fixed position crane will be much less practical?

Some cranes come with wheels, others have much higher lifting strengths, some will grant you more space inside your workspace, while others are more resistant to the elements (in some cases weather proofing can be important) . There are many factors to consider, but once you have as much information as possible, speaking to one of our experts will allow you to quickly select the type of crane that is right for your business.

Tips on buying accessories for your crane

Steps for choosing the right accessories for your crane follows much the same pattern as choosing the best type of crane for your business above. Consider:

  • How heavy is the load that you want to lift?
  • Would you like a manual or electrically operated accessory?
  • Do you want a branded crane accessory?
  • How important is portability to you?
  • What kind of lifting operation are you looking to complete?
  • Will the accessory be used on one crane or across multiple? If multiple the requirements may change and it may also be worth investing a little more for the increased use

essential tips

Think carefully about what kind of lifting medium and lifting accessory you want to use with your crane

Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, speak to one of our sales team who can pick out the right crane accessory for you.

Tips on how to install your crane

You’ve just bought your shiny new crane (or perhaps you are renting one), and now you need help installing it. Here are some important tips to follow to make sure that you install your crane properly. Perhaps most importantly, ensure you use the services of a qualified installation engineer for the crane you have purchased; this will mean your crane works correctly from day one.

Always make sure you place your crane correctly. It needs plenty of space around it to operate safely, and it must be on a flat, even surface. Also consider whether your crane will be subject to any of the elements where it’s being placed, if possible reducing exposure will be beneficial!

You’ll also need to install a crane accessory with your crane too, and it’s important that you both choose the right one (see section above), and use it properly, to ensure any lifting operation is completed smoothly. See the steps above for choosing the right crane accessory for your crane.

Tips on how to move your crane

Not all cranes will move, and some will have been permanently fixed into place. But, let’s assume that you want to safely move your crane. Firstly, take a look at the surface it’s on. An uneven surface can cause you problems, if you are unsure about how even the surface is use a spirit level. Avoiding an uneven surface saves later problems.

Never move your crane with a load attached; this can cause unpredictable swinging and, ultimately, damage to you or your load. Also, loads increase the weight which makes the moving harder too.

If possible, detach and disassemble a portable crane; this is a much easier route to take if moving a crane.

Tips on uses and applications for cranes

Cranes can be utilised in multiple different ways to make sure that you get the most out of them. Some uses for cranes:

  • In warehouses for storing products at various heights
  • On shipping yards for loading containers onto ships
  • In workshops for smaller applications, such as lifting engines out of cars
  • Using overhead cranes for keeping floor space clear
  • Keeping the strain off of your workers!

essential tips

Cranes find a great deal of use in warehouses around the world

Cranes are used in dozens of industries around the world, so it’s not surprise that they have so many different applications. Checkout our guide “Industries making extensive use of cranes” at

10 essential tips for operating a crane

Here are ten essential tips to follow when operating a crane, which overlaps some of the points covered above:

  1. Staying within the safe working load limit
  2. Check the ground you are operating on is safe
  3. Follow all guidelines given to you
  4. Keep the area around your crane free
  5. Have a qualified person on-site during operations
  6. Use the right crane accessory for your application
  7. Carry out all necessary pre-operation inspections
  8. Have patience with your crane operation
  9. Centre your load properly
  10. When finished, store your crane correctly

7 essential tips for crane productivity

Here are seven essential tips to follow for increasing the productivity of your crane, which, again, may overlap with some of the points that we’ve already covered in this article:

  1. Store your crane properly and in the right environment
  2. Inspect your crane thoroughly
  3. Always use the right accessory for the job at hand
  4. Also use the right crane for the job!
  5. Make sure your crane is being operated in the right environment
  6. Follow all guidelines and regulations
  7. Take all necessary precautions both before and during a lifting operation

essential tips

There are many ways that you can make your crane more productive

Buy or hire a crane tips

Sometimes it can be more appropriate to hire rather than buy a crane (and vice-versa); here are some factors to consider:

  • Cashflow – Hiring is better on short-term cashflow, whereas long-term buying is virtually always a cheaper alternative
  • Frequency of use – If you plan to use a crane frequently outright buying makes sense
  • Heavy use period – If a period of particularly heavy use is approaching it may make sense to hire a crane and “get your money’s worth” rather than excessively “wear and tear” a bought crane. This is especially the case if usage will drop in a few months
  • One-off jobs – Where the need is for a one-off job, always hire!
  • Trial period – Sometimes you may have a certain crane in mind but are not 100% sure. Why not “try before you buy” by hiring the crane and seeing if it really does fulfil all your needs in day to day operation

If you are in any doubts about whether buying or hiring is best for your circumstances give our experts a call today.

Looking for more information on cranes?

Our comprehensive guide above has covered everything that you need to know when it comes to working with cranes, and these all apply to our range of jib cranesmobile lifting gantriesaluminium lifting gantriesoverhead cranes and mobile floor cranes.

If you had more questions about some of the essential tips of working with cranes, or you want to enquire about purchasing a crane for your own application, you can get in contact with us here or why not call Cranes Direct now on 01384 76961?


Image credit: Freeimages9blickpixelUnsplash and domeckopol

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