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Tower Cranes Vs Mobile Cranes

As you know, there are many different variations of cranes.

You’ve got your lorry loaders (our personal favourite of course), marine knuckle boom cranes, tower cranes… all of them have their essential uses and strengths for specific jobs.

But YOU want to learn more about mobile cranes.

You’ve read our previous post on how to become a mobile crane operator, and you’ve seen our mobile crane training page.

So, we thought we’d look at two of the more commonly used cranes (tower and mobile) and see why the ones on wheels can sometimes be better than the big boys.

The Advantages Of Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes are often considered short-term solutions for small lifting jobs.

But modern mobile cranes can out-score tower cranes in a collection of ways,

Let’s take a look.

1. Mobility

OK, this one’s probably a given.

By their very nature, tower cranes are static. Once installed on-site, they’re there until the end of construction.

On the other hand, mobile cranes are… well, mobile. Need to move it to an area with better road access for delivery lorries? No problem. Spotted a safer route for the lift to pass over the site? Chuck us the keys.

2. Set-Up Time

Tower cranes require a lot of preparation.

Once you’ve identified the right location and built the foundation, you’ll need several lorries to transport the various sections and weights. Then, of course, you need to find a way of lifting the multiple pieces into position.

You’re probably looking at a day with a competent crew (and no unexpected complications). And then, you’ll need to repeat the process at the end of the job.

With mobile cranes, you’re looking at considerably less set-up time.

They come as a single piece of equipment, so there’s no assembly required. And once they’re on-site, they’re relatively quick to secure, thanks to modern pneumatics.

You can get a mobile crane operating in minutes rather than hours. And they do say time is money…

3. Cost-Effective

… this brings us to our next point: mobile cranes can be more cost-effective than tower cranes.

Sticking to tight budgets is one of the main challenges for any site project. When it comes to mobile crane hire, you only have to use them when needed.

If the site is ever on pause for whatever reason, you can’t remove a tower crane, and the rental costs will continue.

As we’ve seen above, fixed cranes take time and skilled workers to set up. By contrast, mobile cranes can save you more billable hours thanks to their simple set-up requirements.

4. Quick Problem Resolution

If you ever have mechanical problems with a mobile crane, it can be replaced by another crane quite quickly. Conversely, a tower crane will take time to repair. You can’t simply drive a new one on-site. And when you lose a crane on-site, you then introduce the cost of lost billed person-hours. Once again, you find yourself spending unnecessary money.

In Summary

Mobile cranes have many uses and can often outperform larger ones regarding costs and flexibility.

Of course, as mentioned in the introduction, numerous types of cranes all have their own benefits.

Ultimately, once you have enough experience in operating or working with tower cranes, lorry loaders, and mobile cranes, you will be able to recognise their specific strengths.

If you remain interested in learning how to become a mobile crane operator, be sure to see how Sussex Transport can help.