Hiring Cranes 101: A Guide
For many construction companies, having cranes is enough to finish most complex tasks requiring heavy materials. Unfortunately, hiring cranes isn’t as simple as many think.
It involves a lot of paperwork and brainstorming to find the right company for crane rentals. As such, there’s a need to know the inner workings of crane rentals. Continue reading if you want to learn more about hiring cranes.
What Is Crane Rental?
Crane rental is when you pay a company for their cranes as you use them temporarily. While it may sound simple enough, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. For instance, it involves a contract that entails the rights and any agreement between both parties. Of course, to end up with a contract where both parties reap the benefits, there’d be negotiations.
One way to ensure that you’ll get what you pay for is to check if the company you’re considering offers the type of cranes your ongoing or upcoming project needs.
Different Types of Cranes
The primary purpose of cranes is to carry heavy objects from point A to point B. Tower cranes are usually enough to do the job, but the problem is that they’re stationary. On the other hand, mobile cranes are built-in on heavy-duty vehicles, so they’re able to move to different places, and that’s what you want to rent. However, different needs call for different measures, and your goal is to look for the ideal type of mobile crane for your specific need. Here’s a closer look at the most common types of mobile cranes:
- Carry Deck: Perhaps you’ve heard of carry decks when looking for crane rentals. This is because it’s the most recent innovation on mobile cranes. They’re known for their relatively smaller size compared with typical mobile cranes, which makes them more versatile and movable. However, they’re limited to lighter loads.
- Crawler: As the name suggests, crawlers consist of a pair of rubber tracks. As a result, they can resist sinking in soft ground, though, that also makes them less versatile.
- Rough Terrain: The opposite of crawlers is rough terrain cranes. Unlike crawlers, they have four large rubber tires, each equipped with wheel drives, allowing them to navigate rough terrain.
- Floating: Lastly, we have the floating cranes, and you guessed it. They operate on bodies of water. As they’re ships instead of land vehicles, they’re one of the unique types.
If you’re looking to hire cranes, you need to pick whichever meets your needs the most. But, even if the crane looks appealing and in top shape, you may need to spend more time inspecting it.
Crane Inspection Guidelines
Inspecting a crane for rent is similar to how inspectors do their job. You need a checklist consisting of what aspects of the crane you should inspect. Here’s what it should include:
- Check for visible damage on outriggers, hook, wire ropes, etc.
- Inspect for loose bolts, rivets, nuts, etc.
- Ensure that there are no inconsistencies
- Evaluate the condition of the brakes, controls, signs, etc.
- Examine the equipment used to maintain the machinery
- Review the machinery’s history file and records of maintenance and repairs
- Verify the load capacity of the crane
- Confirm specifications of the machinery
There are many other things to inspect in a crane, but those above should be in your checklist. Also, take note that the checklist should include different items, depending on what type of crane you’re inspecting. What won’t change is that you must always read the contract.
Crane Rental Contract Pointers
Reading the contract is basically the paperwork version of inspecting a crane, but instead of ensuring that you and your workers are safe, it assures that your business is safe instead. At the very least, the contract must include the following clauses:
- Who is responsible for any expense in the event of a failure?
- When will the contract end?
- Does it include taxes and additional fees?
If, for some reason, a clause in the contract doesn’t make sense, at least, to you, then getting a professional to explain it might help. You may also want to confirm the details with the other party. Nonetheless, once you agree to the contract, you should also make sure you properly use the crane.
Crane Safety Tips
Workers often take cranes for granted as they’re always there in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the dangers as well. Believe it or not, crane-related accidents make up a huge part of occupational injuries. Thus, it’s important to prepare appropriate safety measures, especially because what you’re using isn’t yours. You most likely don’t know how the crane fully works. In that case, here are some crane safety tips:
- Workers qualified to operate cranes must be the only ones with access to the machinery.
- Personnel must inspect the cranes before and after operations.
- No one must be around the crane operation area unless necessary.
- Avoid rushing the project by allocating sufficient time for crane operations.
Hiring cranes isn’t as simple as calling a company and paying them for their services. It includes a lot of prior deliberation. You need to consider the type of crane you need and inspect both the cranes and the contract. Even if you come to a favourable agreement, you also have to ensure your workers’ safety during crane operations. If you can pull these off, you should encounter no problem throughout the whole process.