A Beginner’s Guide to Crane Hire Services

Crane hire vs contract lifting, which is right for you?

We are all aware of the importance of crane hire services in a variety of industries. Construction, shipping and infrastructure projects rely on cranes heavily for day-to-day operations, and there are a great many highly specialised cranes available to suit a huge variety of projects.

It is hard to quantify the number of cranes in operation at any given moment, but these handy machines may be the most widely used construction machine around the world. Despite this, the prospect of hiring a crane may seem daunting to a first-time user.

Not to worry! In this blog, we will look at some common situations in which people contemplate crane hire, the basic types of crane and their uses and the type of crane hire services you may consider: crane hire or contract lifting. If you have any questions you’d like answered as regards crane hire, feel free to call Emerson Cranes on 020 8548 3900. Our team are always happy to help.

First-time crane hire

We all know that cranes are used regularly for moving heavy loads in construction and renovation projects. Cranes can be used for unloading and positioning building materials, steel or concrete beams, roof trusses, silos, plant equipment… However, small commercial or even residential projects are far more common than you might think.

Common residential one-off uses for crane hire services include:

  • Lifting materials for roof and chimney repairs
  • Air conditioning or heat pump unit installation
  • Solar panel installation
  • Hot tub lifting
  • Lifting stonework or statues
  • Lifting things over houses or fences into gardens
  • Lifting heavy furniture
  • Lifting pizza ovens

Small to medium commercial projects that may require crane hire include:

  • Business premises refurbishment work
  • Signage or lighting installations
  • Warehouse construction or refits
  • Moving industrial machines
  • Industrial kitchen fitting
  • Moving plant machinery

The choice of crane will depend on the job

Crane hire services offer a great variety of cranes designed for specialised tasks, these include:

  • Gantry cranes: These are static cranes used for moving loads in industrial settings, rail projects and shipping yards.
  • Floating cranes or barge-mounted cranes: As the name indicates, these cranes are used for moving heavy loads while positioned on water.
  • Tower cranes: These are large static cranes assembled on building sites for the duration of long construction projects.

The type of crane you will need for a one-off lifting project will probably fall into one of the following categories:

  • Mobile cranes: These wheel-mounted cranes are available in a range of sizes and with varying lifting capacities. They can travel easily on the road, saving time and hassle when it comes to haulage. They are used for lifting a great variety of objects: from pallets of bricks to silos
  • Smaller models are known as city cranes. These are compact and versatile mobile cranes that can manoeuvre easily in built-up areas. These cranes are great for lifting hot tubs, air conditioning units, heavy furniture and a variety of other tasks.
  • Track-mounted cranes or crawler cranes are called upon for projects on rough terrain. They are somewhat less versatile than mobile cranes, in that they have to be hauled to site. You may see these working on river banks, on construction sites or on bridge repairs.
  • Spider cranes: Spider cranes are incredibly practical for residential and small commercial projects. They are extremely compact and easy to transport. They can fit through gateways and tight spaces and can be positioned on uneven terrain. Some spider cranes include electric operation options, which means that they can be used for lifting work indoors and in low-emission areas. This suits them to lifting work in shopping centres, sports stadiums and a variety of places that cannot be accessed by other types of cranes.
  • HIABs: HIAB trucks are lorries that incorporate a crane and outriggers, providing the means to lift heavy objects and transport them over long distances. HIAB trucks are typically used for transporting plant and industrial machinery from one point to another. This is known as a mechanical movement service.

Emerson Cranes is a crane hire company with a vast and regularly updated fleet of cranes for projects of all types: from spider cranes, right up to our heaviest 450 tonne Liebherr mobile crane. Feel free to get in touch here if you’d like to discuss the best crane for your project.

Crane Hire, Contract Lifting?

When it comes to crane hire, there are two main types of service available: crane hire and contract lifting.

Crane hire services refer to the hire of the crane itself and do not include additional personnel, such as a lift supervisor or a slinger / signaller. This option is only available to you if you have an experienced crane operator at your disposal and you are willing to take full responsibility and liability for the operation, including taking out the correct insurance.

The other option is contract lifting. A contract lift service includes the crane, all necessary on-site personnel and insurance for the operation.

Crane hire services are a more cost-effective option, however contract lifting is a far more advisable choice for anyone new to lifting operations. With contract lifting, it is left to the crane hire company to take care of all the logistics and planning. This will provide you with the reassurance that your lifting operation will be handled by experienced professionals, saving you time and money in the long run.

Choosing the right crane hire company

Lifting operations are hazardous, especially if you are not experienced. It is imperative for your own peace of mind and for the safety of all involved that lifting operations are carried out by experienced, trustworthy professionals. At Emerson we pride ourselves on the quality of work we can offer and ensure that all jobs completed are carried out in not only a timely manner, but also to a high standard.

Would you like more information on contract lifting or crane hire services? Would you like to discuss your project with us and find out what crane is right for you? Contact Emerson today on 020 8548 3900. Our friendly team are always happy to help.