Mobile Versus Tower Crane Hire: A Complete Guide

Posted on: 17 May 2021

When hiring cranes, most contractors are often conflicted over whether they should go for mobile or tower cranes. While both cranes are used to lift heavy items at construction sites, they have varying operating mechanisms. If you are faced with this dilemma, read the information below to learn the conditions that should help you decide between a tower crane or a mobile crane. 

Hiring A Tower Crane

Tower cranes are fixed on the ground. Their design allows them to grow in height to suit your needs at the site. Although they are immobile, they have a boom that can swing in any direction. Tower cranes are a favourite among contractors who intend to build skyscrapers or massive loads. Unlike the mobile crane, the tower crane can handle massive weights and grow hundreds of meters above the ground. 

The downside of tower cranes is that they are quite challenging to install. Since the crane weighs hundreds of tonnes, you will have to build a foundation to support it. Besides, the tower crane occupies a lot of space and cannot, therefore, be used in constricted areas. 

When hiring a tower crane, examine its features and functionalities to determine whether it is ideal for your site. For example, you should check the speed of the hook line and safety devices such as crane level indicators, jib stops and angle sensors. Examine the crane's condition to ensure it does not have defects that could put your site personnel at risk. 

Hiring A Mobile Crane

Mobile cranes consist of a boom that is fixed on a truck. When not in use, the boom retracts to enable transportation from one location to the next. Although mobile cranes may not have a tower crane's height and weight limits, they have a wide range of applications. For instance, a small mobile crane (otherwise known as a telescopic handler) can be used in constricted areas. On the other hand, rough terrain and crawler mobile cranes can be used in muddy terrains where it would be difficult to fix a tower crane. Mobile cranes are also significantly cheaper compared to tower cranes. 

When hiring a mobile crane, conduct a test to ensure that it is fully functional. Engine issues, hydraulic leaks and dysfunctional electronics are a recipe for accidents at your site. Most companies rent the cranes on a wet or dry hire basis. If you rent a dry hire crane, you have to pay for fuel and the operator.

The functionality and application of tower cranes is quite different from that of mobile cranes. Ultimately, your site needs will determine which crane you should use. Rent the crane from reputable companies with friendly terms of hire.