Crane Hiring Process: From Planning to Post-Project Review

Whether you require a crane for a one-off residential lifting project, or lifting operations are going to form part of a commercial enterprise, understanding the logistics of crane hire projects is an essential part of wider project execution. The crane hire process comes with its own set of necessary processing parameters which can impact a project’s timeline and budget, and must therefore be taken into account.

At Emerson Crane Hire, we understand that crane hire is the backbone of many projects, and we are also aware of how crane hire services affect site operations. In this blog we will give an overview of a standard crane hire procedure, highlighting some of the most important aspects you should take into account when hiring a crane. For further information on crane hire for commercial or residential projects, feel free to get in touch with Emerson Crane Hire on 020 85 48 39 00.

Basic Considerations When Planning to Hire a Crane: Understanding the Project Requirements

Before diving into the crane hiring process, it’s essential to understand the specific requirements of your project. Crane hire companies need some basic information to carry out an initial project assessment, so it’s good practice to have this to hand. Information that crane hire companies need to evaluate includes:

  • The duration of your project: For projects lasting several weeks or months where a crane can remain static, working within a limited area, a tower crane may be the best option. These cranes must be hauled to site and require assembly, so are not suited to projects where a crane must be moved around a site.

There are a number of mobile crane models that offer a versatile solution to tower cranes. These include the Spierings SK1265-AT6 mobile tower crane, a wheeled and roadworthy machine that offers many of the advantages of a tower crane but can be driven to and around a site, and can be assembled in only 20 minutes.

  • The weight and dimensions of the loads to be lifted: The type of load to be lifted is an important determining factor when it comes to hiring a crane. Mobile cranes are available with a variety of lifting capacities, with smaller cranes such as city cranes being more versatile and easier to accommodate, particularly in built-up areas. 
  • The height and reach required: Lifting height is an important factor, but having a clear idea of the necessary outward reach of a crane and whether it will have to lift over obstacles is crucial, as a crane’s lifting capabilities vary at different heights and outreach. A crane will be able to lift a heavier load when this load is close to its centre of gravity, so this should be taken into consideration. Cranes such as the 450 T Liebherr LTM 1450 8.1 can lift up to 2.4 T, working at an outreach of 78 m and a lifting height of 22 m.
  • Site constraints: Rough terrain, boggy ground, narrow access points and working close to buildings or over obstacles are all points that must be considered. 

Crawler cranes offer greater stability on rough terrain or for working on embankments. Their tracks and weight distribution means that they do not require outriggers, however these machines are not roadworthy and must be hauled to site.

All-terrain cranes are wheeled vehicles which offer many of the same advantages, but can be driven between sites on public roads.

If narrow access or work in confined spaces is an issue, spider cranes are versatile machines designed with these scenarios in mind.

By having a clear understanding of your project’s needs, you can select the most suitable crane for the job.

Crane Hire or Contract Lifting: What Is the Difference?

One decision to make when planning a lift is whether to opt for crane hire or contract lifting services. Contract lifting services are by far the most popularly chosen services for residential projects, as very few residential clients are qualified crane operators.  However, contract lifting services offer a great number of benefits for experienced crane operators and industry professionals too. The main differences between crane hire and contract lifting refer to what is included within the hire package: 

Contract Lifting Services Include:

  • Assigned appointed person for planning and managing the lift.
  • On-site inspection conducted by the appointed person.
  • Full set of Risk Assessments & Method Statement (RAMS) and lifting plan provided.
  • Trained and experienced slinger/signallers, crane operators and crane supervisors.
  • Crane provided with suitable spec and capacity, properly maintained, tested and certificated.
  • Adherence to BS 7121 and LOLER 1998 standards.
  • Liaison with local authorities and highway services for permits, parking, suspensions and traffic management.
  • Insurance coverage for loss of/damage to Emerson plant or other property, with additional goods lifted cover available if required.
  • Maximum liability of £20,000,000 for loss or damage to third-party property and injury to third-party persons.
  • Nationwide availability with depots in East London/Essex and West London/Buckinghamshire.
  • Expert team available for advice and guidance specific to the project.

Crane Hire Service (CPA Hire) Terms:

  • Customer assumes most responsibility, including providing relevant documentation and insurance cover.
  • Emerson provides a properly maintained, tested and certificated crane.
  • Qualified and competent crane operator provided by Emerson.
  • Customer responsible for ensuring the crane and lifting operation meet legal requirements, certifications and standards.

Understanding the difference between the two options allows you to choose the most suitable arrangement for your project.

Site Assessment and Planning: Crane Hire Site Surveys

Before commencing any lifting operations, conducting a thorough site assessment is essential. This includes evaluating ground conditions, assessing site access, identifying any overhead obstructions and determining the best location for the crane setup. A comprehensive site survey minimises risks and ensures that the lift can be carried out safely and efficiently.

During the survey, the following factors are considered:

  • Load Characteristics: The weight, material composition, nature, and dimensions of the load play a crucial role in determining the suitable crane for the task at hand.
  • Elevation and Distance: Evaluating the required height and distance for lifting operations, including potential relocation of the crane and load within the site, is essential.
  • Ground Conditions: A thorough examination of the ground conditions is conducted to ensure safe crane operation. Factors such as access points, exit routes, and surface stability are carefully considered.
  • Clearance and Obstacles: Identification of any overhead obstructions or potential hazards in the operating area is paramount. Strategies for the removal or avoidance of obstacles are devised to mitigate risks.
  • Traffic Management: Assessment of whether road closures are necessary for crane access, departure, or operation is part of the planning process. Coordination with local authorities, including council and police, may be required to manage traffic disruptions effectively.

Health and Safety Measures

Safety is paramount in crane operations. Implementing robust health and safety measures is essential to mitigate risks and prevent accidents. This includes:

– Providing proper training to crane operators

– Conducting regular equipment inspections

– Establishing exclusion zones

– Adhering to relevant regulations and standards.

Prioritising safety ensures the well-being of personnel and minimises the likelihood of costly incidents.

Lift Execution and Monitoring

With meticulous planning in place, it’s time to execute the lift. This involves coordinating the activities of the crane operator, riggers and other personnel involved in the operation. Throughout the lift, continuous monitoring is essential to ensure that everything proceeds according to plan. Any deviations or unforeseen challenges can be addressed promptly, minimising disruptions to the project schedule.

Post-Project Review

Once the lift is completed, it’s essential to conduct a post-project review to evaluate the overall performance. This involves assessing the effectiveness of the lift, identifying any issues or areas for improvement and gathering feedback from key stakeholders. A thorough review helps to inform future crane hire decisions and ensures continuous improvement in operations.

As we have seen, the crane hiring process encompasses various stages: from meticulous planning to diligent execution and post-project review. By understanding the project requirements, prioritising safety, and fostering continuous improvement, Emerson Crane Hire ensures a seamless and efficient crane hire experience for our clients across London and the South East.

Speak to Emerson Crane Hire Today

Are you planning a construction project in London that requires crane hire services? Contact Emerson Crane Hire today to discuss your requirements and discover how we can support your project with our comprehensive crane hire solutions. 

With over 25 years of experience in our industry, Emerson is the obvious choice for crane hire in the London area. Don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team on 020 85483900 for more information. 

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