In Australia, the construction industry generally relies on crane hire in order to have most of its on-site lifting jobs completed. Although some of the very big contracting firms that undertake civil engineering projects in the country will have their own cranes, by far the majority of construction companies rent theirs as and when they are needed, making it a growing market. Of course, there are all sorts of different cranes you can hire, and each is designed for a specific purpose. Alongside scissor lifts and cherry pickers, what are the main crane types that are in used to lift things in the construction sector these days?
A telescopic crane is one of the most common sights on the average house builder's site. This is because they can be manoeuvred into position fairly easily and they have a lifting capacity of about three storeys – more than enough for most projects. Since a telescopic crane is designed to convey itself on the road, it can be moved flexibly, too. The boom of this type extends itself via hydraulics from multiple sections that are loaded inside one another when the crane is on the move. For additional stability, a telescopic crane will usually have outriggers which are deployed when it is operational.
A so-called loader crane is another one which uses a hydraulically powered boom. These tend to be called HIAB cranes in Europe where they are used to mostly load and unload construction materials at a site. Essentially, a loader crane is a normal track with an articulated arm that can pick things up and put them down again. Although they are extremely mobile, these vehicles are not capable of lifting items over very great distances or heights.
Finally, crawler cranes are given their name because they use a set of caterpillar tracks in order to move around. This sort of heavy construction equipment is widely used in the mining industry but it is also often found on the larger construction sites of Australia, especially where major earth clearance work is required. One of the key advantages of a crawler crane is that it can work its way around on a rough site even if the ground is in very poor condition. That said, it is not able to convey itself on the open road, so a flatbed truck is usually required in order to transport one from one site to another. The larger ones tend to be taken apart in order to transport them safely otherwise they would be too large for most roads.