The Role of Mobile Cranes in Infrastructure Projects

In the dynamic realm of construction and infrastructure development, the use of mobile cranes plays a pivotal role in ensuring that lifting operations are executed with precision and efficiency. Among the diverse range of construction equipment, mobile cranes stand out for their versatility and ability to navigate various terrains.

With over 25 years of experience providing professional crane hire services throughout London and the South East of England, Emerson Cranes is an industry leader in complex infrastructure projects. In this blog, we delve into the indispensable role of mobile cranes in key infrastructure projects. We also look at some of the cranes that Emerson Cranes uses for these specialised lifting operations.

Types of Infrastructure Projects and the Cranes That Are Used

Although mobile cranes are very versatile machines, there are differences that can make some types of cranes more suitable for certain tasks or settings. Common infrastructure maintenance and construction projects include:


Railway projects involve a lot of lifting and positioning of extremely heavy materials. These projects demand precision and efficiency during construction, and mobile cranes prove to be indispensable in this regard. For laying tracks, assembling rail components and erecting structures like railway stations, a combination of all-terrain cranes and crawler cranes is often employed.

These cranes are well suited to rugged-off-road operations, as they are designed to be stable on challenging outdoor terrain.

The Liebherr LTR 1100 all-terrain mobile crane stands as a pinnacle in railway project efficiency, with a four-axle configuration designed for optimal mobility and adaptability. With an impressive 100 tonne lifting capacity, this crane becomes an indispensable asset in railway construction, effortlessly navigating diverse terrains. The 52 metre telescopic boom, coupled with a 19 metre boom extension, ensures versatility in reaching challenging work areas. Its advanced engineering facilitates precise heavy lifting, crucial for railway infrastructure installation and maintenance. The LTR 1100’s combination of power, reach and flexibility positions it as an invaluable solution, enhancing the efficacy of railway projects with seamless precision and reliability.

Bridge Building:

Building bridges requires a diverse set of cranes to handle various tasks. Truck-mounted cranes are commonly used for positioning materials, while crawler cranes are essential for the construction of bridge foundations and towers, particularly for work on embankments where it may be necessary to work on an incline and greater stability is required. Mobile tower cranes are often deployed for lifting heavy bridge segments, showcasing the adaptability of mobile cranes in bridge construction.

The Spierings SK1265 AT6 mobile tower crane emerges as an instrumental force in advancing bridge construction projects. Featuring a robust 6-axle design, it combines stability with mobility, making it an ideal companion for complex bridge-building endeavours. With a maximum load capacity of 10 tonnes, this crane excels in handling the heavy components crucial for bridge structures. With a towering height of 37.2 metres and an impressive maximum lifting height of 35 metres, coupled with a expansive maximum lifting radius of 60 metres, the SK1265 ensures that bridge construction reaches new heights of efficiency, precision, and safety.


In motorway projects, the installation of large and heavy components, such as concrete beams and steel structures, demands the use of powerful mobile cranes. Telescopic cranes with extended reach capabilities are ideal for lifting and placing these components with precision, ensuring the structural integrity of motorways.

The Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1 450-tonne heavy all-terrain crane stands as a monumental asset in motorway construction projects, showcasing unparalleled strength and versatility. With its impressive 8-axle configuration, this crane is built for the most demanding tasks on the highway. Boasting a staggering 450-tonne maximum load capacity, it excels in lifting and placing massive motorway components with precision. The telescopic boom, ranging from 16.10m to 85m, provides flexibility in reaching various project elements. Additionally, the lattice jib, extending the crane’s total lifting height to an impressive 128m, ensures that it conquers the heights necessary for comprehensive motorway development.


The construction of dams involves handling massive loads and working in challenging terrains. Mobile cranes equipped with crawler tracks are crucial for navigating uneven surfaces and lifting heavy components during dam construction. The stability and lifting capacity of these cranes contribute to the success of dam projects.

Power Plants:

Power plant construction involves intricate tasks, including the installation of heavy machinery and large structures. Mobile cranes, especially all-terrain cranes with high load capacities, are employed to manoeuvre through the diverse conditions of power plant sites. Their adaptability ensures efficient completion of tasks in power plant projects.


The construction and expansion of airports require a combination of mobile cranes to handle diverse tasks. From erecting terminal structures to installing runway components, mobile cranes prove invaluable. Telescopic cranes are often preferred for their reach, making them suitable for tasks at varying heights within airport construction projects.

Additionally, spider cranes may be used for work inside terminal buildings for glazing projects or for work in tight spaces.

The UNIC 376 2.9T spider crane proves indispensable in the intricate realm of airport terminal construction and maintenance. Its compact design, with a mere 1.3m maximum width, allows it to expertly navigate confined spaces within terminal buildings. Specifically engineered for tasks such as glazing, HVAC and mechanical and electrical installations, this crane showcases a maximum lifting capacity of 2.9 tonnes, a 14.45m working radius, and a 14.61m boom length. Whether it’s precision in placing glass panels or facilitating the intricate installation of crucial terminal systems, the UNIC 376 stands out as a versatile and reliable solution for the nuanced demands of airport infrastructure projects.

Docks and Ports:

In the dynamic realm of building docks and ports, mobile cranes take a leading role. These versatile machines, including crawler and rough-terrain cranes, play a crucial part in assembling port facilities. Their agility and precision navigate the evolving landscape, ensuring efficient construction by handling heavy components with ease.

Additionally, specialised cranes such as barge-mounted cranes may be used to aid lifting operations from the water.

Crane Safety Considerations:

For each type of infrastructure project, safety considerations are paramount. Railways may require specialised safety features to operate near tracks, while bridge construction demands careful planning to ensure stability during lifts. Motorway projects necessitate adherence to strict safety protocols when working near high-speed traffic. Dams, power plants, airports and docks/ports also present unique safety challenges that require specialised training and equipment to mitigate risks. Emerson Cranes prioritises safety in all projects, ensuring a secure working environment for both personnel and equipment.

Speak to Emerson Cranes for Help With Your Infrastructure Projects

The role of mobile cranes in infrastructure projects cannot be overstated, nor can the importance of relying on industry experts for the planning and execution of these complex lifts. If you are interested in crane hire for your infrastructure maintenance or construction project, consider partnering with Emerson Cranes. Get in touch on 020 8548 3900 for more information.