Boom trucks are one of the most versatile types of mobile cranes around. You can use them effectively for a host of tasks and work sites. Yet, you can’t just pick any model. There are several specifications you need to keep in mind.
One of the critical features to consider is how tall the boom truck is. The height differs quite significantly between different models.
In this article, we’ll answer all the questions you have about the reach of a boom truck so that you can choose the ideal rental for your project.
Guide to boom truck height specifications
The average reach of a boom truck
Overall, the average reach of boom trucks is between 130 and 160 feet. But some models have a height capacity of close to 200 feet. That is more or less 1.08 times higher than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Or on a more practical note that is about the same as an 18 story building.
So how do boom trucks reach these heights?
Types of boom trucks
Generally, most boom trucks work with telescopic booms that are powered by a hydraulic system. It’s the fluid-filled hydraulic cylinders that are to thank for their heavy lifting power. And the telescopic boom that’s to thank for their reach.
In essence, this means that the arm of the crane has several sections that can extend outwards like a telescope. When it’s not in use, it can collapse in on itself to make the vehicle safer and easier to transport.
The operator can usually control the boom extension from within the cab.
The total length
Normally, the arm of the crane consists of two main parts. First is the boom, which, as we’ve said, is made up of several telescopic sections.
Second, you get the main jib or tip. This is the section right at the top end of the arm. It lends some extra reach to the boom. But it’s primary role is to help support the load.
So the total height capacity of the crane is the main jib plus the main boom.
For example, the Manitex TC50155S has a boom of 155 feet and a jib of 39 feet. Therefore, its capacity is theoretically 194 feet.
A balancing act
We say theoretically because the actual reach is not the only thing to consider. Just because it can potentially reach that far doesn’t mean it’s safe and suitable to do so for every load.
The weight of a hanging load is different than that of one on the ground. Generally, the calculation will go as follows: F (weight) = m (mass in kilos of the object) x g (gravitational acceleration). On earth, the gravitational acceleration is 9.1 m/s^2.
However, as soon as the object starts moving, you need to replace “g” with the relevant speed.
You also need to look at the angle of the lift and the rotational capacity of the crane.
Not all cranes are capable of a 360-degree operation. In short, this means that because the crane might not be able to lift the specific load up vertically, the reach might not necessarily be long enough.
Luckily, every crane has a unique lift chart. This document outlines how its lift capacity varies according to the distance and angle. It can save you from a gigantic headache.
Another factor that can affect the total length is the addition of any accessories like a personnel lift. Depending on the feature, it can either slightly increase or decrease the full capacity.
As you can see, things aren’t exactly straightforward. Therefore, it’s crucial that you hire a professional and reliable crane rental company with trained and certified operators.
Before they start, they will figure out a detailed lift plan. The primary purpose of this is to make sure the lift will be controlled and that all the necessary safety precautions are in place.
Which crane is suitable for your job?
Consequently, when you reach out to the crane rental company, you should have as many details as possible on hand. The experts will use this to help you pick the perfect crane.
However, don’t stress too much if you miss out on something. They will also visit your worksite at some time for a pre-job inspection.
All in all, the model’s load chart will be a critical resource to help you make your choice.
Other specifications for boom trucks
So to recap, there is a range of specifications that matter when it comes to choosing a suitable crane rental. Here is a checklist of the primary features to ask about:
- Reach of the main boom
- Length of the main jib
- Weight capacity of the crane
- Potential accessories or extras
- Weight of the load
- The angle of the lift
- Speed of the crane
- Terrain capabilities of the crane
- Rotational operation of the lift
Get a tailor-made solution for your job site
Any crane professional knows that every job site and lift job is unique. There isn’t a one-crane-fits-all solution. If you are planning on hiring a crane, you must sit down and discuss your requirements with the rental company.
For example, you may need to decide if you need a rough terrain crane and an all-terrain crane.