The crane industry can appear to some as technologically backward but this is far from the case with the industry pioneering many technological advances. It is impossible to list every way in which the crane industry is embracing technology but in this article we share just a few examples.

 Remote control technology and virtual reality crane drivers in the Crane Industry

It is in the area of remote control technology in particular that cranes are extensively using technology. A camera is fitted to the crane to give the operator an eagle eye view of the ongoing work. Especially popular with overhead cranes, control technology enables the crane operator to manage the crane from any location, whether onsite or offsite.

 The term “remote control technology” may sound gimmicky and like a children’s toy but this method delivers efficiency, ease of use and safety in a number of ways. Operators can work from a cosy (often portable) office rather than a cab using a virtual reality system. This is both convenient and efficient in a factory but imagine how much better this is in hazardous environments, e.g. in forestry or mining tasks. The health and safety benefits are obvious and rewarding for everyone.

 Virtual reality crane training

Technology can be used in the training of crane operators in the safety of simulated virtual reality environments. The crane operator simply puts their VR goggles on and a range of scenarios can be simulated, e.g. day or night, weather conditions such as fog, rain, wind, snow, etc. This training can be beneficial to experienced crane operators just as much as beginners.

crane industry

An example of virtual reality crane training


Sensors are used extensively throughout many industries, including the lifting industry. Businesses can remotely monitor the results from sensors for use in hundreds of ways; a popular application is detection of “wear and tear” for timely repairs and maintenance. Other popular lifting application uses include prevention of tipping and overloading of a crane.

crane industry

A crane sensor in active use

 The increased data availability from sensors improves efficiency, reduces crane downtime and unnecessary repairs costs and inputs into required stock levels.

 Charge by usage

In the crane rentals market the access to usage data provides an opportunity for crane dealers to charge by usage rather than by time. The traditional charging model is by time (e.g. per hour, day or month, etc.), due to technology such as sensors providers can charge by the total weight lifted or total number of lifts, etc. This can help both the dealer and customer in terms of determining a fair price for both parties.

 Emissions compliance

Globally there is a drive to reduce carbon emissions; this on its own will drive technology adoption in the lifting industry. Green technologies in use in industries such as automotive and aerospace will increasingly become adopted.

 Learn more about crane technology

To learn more about crane technology and how it can benefit your business why not call us here at Cranes Direct on 01384 76961? We are always here to help and look forward to discussing your requirements and how technology might help.


Image Credits: Bill Rafuse and Richard Krabbendam


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