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  • Macsalvors Crane Hire

Cranes 101: Learn the Different Types of Cranes

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

If you work in construction and have ever worked with cranes, then you should know that one crane doesn’t always fit the bill for different jobs. To ensure that work is carried out effectively, safely and efficiently, it is important to know which crane does what.


We’ve listed three of the common crane types below, with the intended usage and advantages of each. Keep reading to learn your cranes.



Large orange crane


All Terrain Cranes

All terrain cranes are the most versatile of the bunch. These cranes are able to manoeuvre across rough terrain, such as gravel and sand, as well as paved roads at a great speed; this allows them to independently drive to and from construction sites, rather than relying on other means of transportation to get there.


Not only are these cranes able to work on different terrains, they have a strong lifting capacity, being able to hold between 40-1,000 tonnes depending on the crane and its number of axles. This strength, mobility and stability makes them ideal for use in all kinds of weather conditions.


Their typical uses include:

● Erecting wind turbines

● Heavy haulage applications

● Installing pipelines


Rough Terrain Cranes

A rough terrain crane is a type of mobile crane, meaning it is able to lift a load and move with it in order to transport it to a different location, since its engine both operates and drives the crane. They are built on an undercarriage that has four large wheels, which allow it to navigate uneven terrain, with outriggers for extra stability when carrying out heavy lifts on such ground.


This makes rough terrain cranes ideal for off road site work, and since the crane is both operated and driven from the same cab, it has a compact size that makes it perfect for reaching smaller spaces compared to other off road cranes - although this does slightly restrict their lifting capacity.


Their typical uses include:

● Installing agricultural equipment

● Installing pipelines

● Tilt-up construction


Spider Cranes

The spider crane is a type of compact crane used for accessing small, difficult spaces with ease. Their small size also makes them perfect for indoor or rooftop jobs, to which they can easily be transported thanks to their light weight. They typically come on crawlers, which allow them to travel into these awkward areas - these crawlers can differ between being wheels or tracks.


The ‘spider’ element of the name is due to the four long outriggers that stabilise the body of the crane to assist it when lifting (allowing it to lift substantial weights), which resemble the appearance of spider legs.


Typical uses include:

● Building maintenance

● Steel erection

● Warehousing


If you’re in need of a crane, here at Macsalvors Plant Hire Ltd we have the crane for you. Our fleet of quality cranes are all rigorously tested, fully approved and licensed, so you can trust they’ll get the job done safely.

To enquire about hiring one of our cranes, get in touch with us today. Our goal is to make your project as smooth as it can be.

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