If you are on the market for a crane rental, you may have already started doing your research. You probably have realized that there are dozens of crane types to choose from, which can make this planning process a bit overwhelming at times. There are all-terrain cranes that can handle maneuvering on almost any kind of ground, self-erecting cranes that can grow vertically as your project progresses, and even floating cranes that can work on water. With so many options nowadays, we think it is a good idea to go back to the basics: mobile cranes and fixed cranes. In today’s blog post we are going to go over the differences between these two categories of cranes and why one may work better for your contract instead of the other.
As the name implies, these cranes are able to move freely around the job site. This is a huge advantage if you are working with a vast amount of land for a specific job, or if you have multiple job sites. Using a mobile crane in these situations eliminates the need to hire a second or third crane because the mobile crane can simply drive from one area to another whenever it is needed. This can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental fees, as one mobile crane will be able to do the same work that multiple fixed cranes would do.
In addition to being able to move around worksites, mobile cranes can also be driven on public roads, usually without any additional licensing or approvals. Normally, transporting a crane is a lengthy process, involving plenty of time and money to plan a route of action. Large, fixed cranes usually need to be broken down into smaller parts to fit on trucks that will transport them to a job site, and then they need to be reassembled using smaller cranes. When using a mobile crane, this entire process is expedited. Your hired crane can simply be driven to the job site and will be ready to work immediately. In addition to carrying their own weight, mobile cranes can be used to transport other heavy materials from one job site to another, reducing the need for extra transport vehicles such as semi trucks.
Within the category of mobile cranes, there is a diverse array of options. If you need to work in an area that has been relatively untouched, there are mobile cranes that can drive on uneven ground and terrain such as gravel, sand, and mud. For confined job sites, there are small mobile cranes that can maneuver in and out of tight spaces that other cranes would never be able to fit through. These types of cranes can even work inside buildings to help with heavy lifting associated with production and manufacturing.
A last benefit that we like to highlight with mobile cranes is that they are often more time and cost effective than fixed cranes. Since mobile cranes do not require disassembly, aided transportation, and reassembly, they can arrive on the job site quickly and without the hassle of planning out transport. In the past, mobile cranes were unable to lift loads as heavy as fixed cranes. Nowadays, advancements in engineering have led to mobile cranes having lifting capacities of hundreds of tons. Oftentimes, for shorter projects it is more cost effective to bring in a mobile crane rather than go through the trouble of transporting, setting up, and taking down a fixed crane.
Fixed cranes are typically larger than mobile cranes and can reach higher heights. This is a huge advantage if you are working on construction projects in urban areas to build skyscrapers or other tall buildings. Even in compact spaces, fixed cranes such as luffing jib tower cranes are able to squeeze in between buildings to get the job done. If you are in need of a crane that can reach unprecedented heights, we highly suggest going with a fixed crane such as a self-erecting tower crane.
On top of their ability to reach high heights, fixed cranes have incredible stability. A fixed crane is normally held to the ground with a cement block or weights in order to keep it anchored while lifting. They are also masterfully balanced to avoid tipping over even when lifting heavy materials. This fixation and balance helps the cranes to lift extremely heavy or large loads and not waiver at all. With a fixed crane, you can have the confidence and peace of mind that your crane will not tip over when lifting heavy materials.
One thing to keep in mind when renting a fixed crane is that it will take longer to set up and take down than a mobile crane. You will have to coordinate with the rental company when you want the fixed crane to arrive on site ready to work, as it can take a few days to transport and assemble. Along the same lines, when you are finished using your fixed crane, allow time for take down and transport back to the rental company’s storage facilities.
Fixed cranes are ideal for long term projects that are relatively confined. This is because once you set up the crane, it is good to stay in one place for months or even years. You are probably not going to want to move the crane around a jobsite since it is costly and time consuming, so make sure that when you set up your fixed crane it is in a good position to reach all your materials both horizontally and vertically.
Need Advice? Call B&M!
Now that you have all the specifics on fixed and mobile cranes, you should be well equipped to make a decision. As always, B&M Tower is here to help guide you in any choices related to cranes. Our team of experts have been working with cranes for years, and understand which crane type is best suited for various types of projects. If you need help deciding between fixed or mobile cranes, or picking out a specific model to bring on to your job, please reach out to us for some quality advice. Flushing out the details of your project with a knowledgeable and skilled member of our staff is the best way to ensure that when you arrive on site, everything goes as planned.
Our website gives a thumbnail overview of the cranes we have available at our facility, or you can contact us via phone, email, or in person to discuss options! Once you work with us, we make your success our top priority. All of our services, including labor, logistics, and management are done in-house so that we guarantee every task is completed to our high standards. We also offer around the clock emergency services, which means you never need to worry about dealing with crane crises alone. From the second you decide to rent from B&M, to the final touches on your job, we will be by your side to answer any questions, or offer up a helping hand. Whether you are an experienced contractor, or new to the field, B&M is here to work for you!