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  • Macsalvors Hydraulics Services

Mobile Crane Hire and More: Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Cranes

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

If you require mobile crane services, you may be wondering what exactly this is and how it can benefit your construction business. Whether you’re searching for all-terrain mobile cranes or general crane lifting, there are many different options on the market and it’s all about finding the one that suits you. If you have any questions about mobile cranes and what they are used for, we’ve put together this guide to help you learn everything you need to know.

To learn more, keep reading.

Mobile crane

What is a mobile crane?

A mobile crane is simply a crane that is mounted on a truck-type carrier to allow for more flexible and efficient crane use. It is typically a cable-controlled crane which has been mounted on crawlers or rubber-tyred carriers. It is sometimes a hydraulic-powered crane with a telescoping boom mounted on a carrier or a self-propelled model. They offer an easily transported crane option to offer more access to multiple sites and they can be used with different types and loads of cargo with very little or no setup required.

What are mobile cranes used for?

Mobile cranes are used for anything that requires large, heavy materials to be hoisted, transported, or placed.

Construction & roofing

They are commonly used in the construction and roofing industry such as transporting equipment and material or for hoisting materials to heights for installation. As a lot of roofing and construction products are done at height, cranes are used to make this work possible. Crane rental is vital to the construction industry and cranes are often hired to complete jobs quickly and efficiently.

Power transmission

They are also used for power transmission which requires a high regard for safety and proper material management. It is essential to use the correct type of crane to move and hoist materials for power transmission projects and they allow this to be completed safely and efficiently. Some jobs may require an all-terrain mobile crane in order to hoist components whereas others may need a smaller crane with a man-basket attachment in order to complete repairs at heights.


As they are difficult to transport, HVAC units use mobile cranes for installation and conveyances. Some HVAC projects require a lot of planning and jousting so it is important that experienced professionals are consulted before renting the crane. Mobile cranes allow HVAC installation to take place by loading and lifting rooftop units efficiently.

Wind energy

Wind turbines are large pieces of equipment that need to be transported to remote areas across various terrains. This means that the installation process requires mobile cranes in order to assemble them. Mobile cranes are great for this task because they can traverse across different landscapes while still being able to hoist heavy turbines and other components to great heights.

What are the different types of mobile cranes?

There are different types of mobile cranes available, each suited to different projects and tasks. Let's take a look.

Carry deck

This crane is on the smaller side, featuring four wheels and a 360-degree rotating boom which is found in the centre of the crane. There is a cab for the operator to sit in located under the boom at one end. The engine is at the back and consists of a flat deck, just above the wheels. It is able to hoist heavy loads in small spaces and transport them to the desired location. Similar to the pick-and-carry crane, a Carry deck crane can transport loads over short distances.

Crawler crane

These cranes don’t have wheels but instead use treads to get from one place to another. The crawler crane is a heavy-duty crane which is often used by most civil engineering projects as it is very stable and can carry loads of up to 3,500 tonnes. The crawler crane is also perfect for rainy conditions as it is impossible for one to get stuck in the mud. However, the crane may need to be disassembled before transportation.

Floating crane

You will likely see these cranes being used for bridge or port construction. They are also used for other requirements such as unloading awkward or heavy cargo on and off ships. They are typically mounted onto boats or barges and can carry a lot of weight easily. Sometimes they are used to transport an entire bridge section for installation.

Rough-terrain crane

When a job requires transportation through rough terrain or unpaved landscapes, these cranes are vital. They are created with engines and wheels that can tackle harsh terrain so that construction can take place in off-road areas or virgin lands where cranes usually cannot reach. This is perfect for tough jobs and it means you won't need any site preparation which can be costly and time-consuming. The 4-wheel drive prime mover operating on a single engine produces enough power to operate the boom and undercarriage in challenging landscapes.

Truck mounted crane

One of the most common types of mobile cranes, the truck-mounted crane is a crane mounted on a rubber tyre truck to allow for easy mobility. Depending on what the site requires, the outrigger can extend horizontally or vertically. It can tackle all sorts of projects and is able to hoist weights of up to 1,300 tons. It allows for greater flexibility because it can be driven directly to the site.

All-terrain crane

This crane is a combination of a rough-terrain and truck-mounted crane that can be driven easily on roads while still being able to manoeuvre through rocky landscapes. It can hoist up to 1,300 tonnes so ideal for many tasks.


This type of crane is attached to the top of a flatbed semi-trailer or truck. Usually, they are used to unload and load ISO-standard containers to and from the trucks using parallel hoists. You might see them at construction sites.

Travel lift

This is a crane that features two rectangular side panels which are joined by one spanning beam at the top of one end. It offers huge flexibility because it uses four groups of wheels on either side of the equipment, making them ideal for removing boats from the water and situating them on the docks.

Railroad cranes

This mobile crane has flanged wheels for use on railroads and is often mounted on a flatcar. Although there are more purpose-built railroad cranes that can be used for recovery operations, loading and unloading freight goods and maintenance work.

Aerial crane

These cranes are often referred to as sky cranes as they are designed like helicopters and used to lift large cargo from one place to another. They are perfect for shifting heavy goods to hard-to-reach areas where cranes usually can’t reach. They are vital for lifting loads to high-rise buildings.

Telescopic handler

These cranes are fitted with a telescopic extendable boom but look like forklift trucks. They are helpful for hoisting small loads such as framing trusses or mobbing pallets of bricks with a rotating 360-degree turntable. They are usually fitted with stabiliser legs and outriggers.

Macsalvors Plant Hire Ltd - Mobile Crane Services, Crane Lifting & More

No matter what you need for your construction project, here at Macsalvors Plant Hire, we want to help every construction project run smoothly. For reliable, flexible and trustworthy plant hire solutions in Cornwall, there really is no one better to call. We have a huge range of quality plant machinery for hire, from all-terrain mobile cranes to spider and compact cranes.

To hire a crane or discuss your options with an expert, simply get in touch with our team or visit our website. Each of our cranes is perfectly maintained making them ideal for hire. Don’t wait to hire quality cranes from Macsalvors Plant Hire Ltd.

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