Choosing Between a Top Running or Under Running Bridge Crane

A bridge crane, also known as an overhead crane, is one of the great work-horses in the manufacturing industry that is capable of operating in a variety of settings. These cranes are most often used for moving heavy loads horizontally either inside a facility, outside in a yard or railway or even at a shipping port. These cranes are basically broken down into two classification types: top running or under running.

Top Running vs. Under Running Bridge Crane

Top Running- is best for when the headroom is an issue, they also need a bracket off the building support steel (up to 10-ton capacity) or independent columns for larger capacity and the double girder version is the most space efficient.

Under Running- is better for when headroom is not an issue, can be suspended directly from overhead steel for lighter jobs, can have a single girder or double girder configuration and typically has a 15–25-ton capacity.

Bridge cranes are an excellent choice in a variety of manufacturing or storing industries with two main types, top running or under running, depending on the environment.

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Why Would You Want a Carry Deck Crane?

With so many different types of cranes out there it can be hard to know if you are aware of all of the options and are using the best choice of crane for your needs. A Carry Deck Crane is a relatively new type of crane that has evolved from the old pick and carry model that was first used in the 1980’s. They are small and can rotate 360 degrees on their four wheels. They are extremely portable, simple to set up and can navigate in tight spaces.

A Carry Deck Crane is a versatile piece of machinery that is ideal for lifting materials that need to be picked, carried and stacked and with a weight of anywhere from 5,000-30,000 pounds. They have a lifting height of 15ft to 50ft with a 3-section boom that has 90 degree rotation or 360 degree continuous boom rotation. They also can have two-wheel, four-wheel or crab steering.

If a Carry Deck Crane sounds like something that could be useful to you have a look at the options and specifications of the one that would work best for your projects.

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The Mini Crawler Crane

One of the most versatile cranes for hire or purchase is the Mini Crawler Crane. It is incredibly useful and provides the multi-purpose use of being able to be operated indoors and outdoors. There are two variations, diesel powered and electricity powered, depending on just how accessible an electrical power source is. Electrically powered Mini Crawlers come in handy indoors, so as not to create harmful fumes.

Mini Crawlers can provide a wide range of heavy-duty lifting for various materials and is typically considered essential even for smaller construction projects or even for various other uses for businesses. One example is transporting waste, across work areas. They can also be used for transferring or loading extremely heavy pieces of equipment and material or even loading or unloading vehicles for transport. These incredible pieces of lifting machinery are small and mobile which makes them an incredible addition to practically any construction site.

Often the Mini Crawler Crane can be loaded with other additional features, that may be beneficial to your project, like:

• Radio-Controlled Operation
• Silent Running and Safe for Indoor Use (Electricity)
• Lifting Capacities of Up To 10 tonnes
• Practical Boom Lengths of Up To 21 metres

There is quite a variety of Mini Crawler Cranes that you can choose from, depending on the job site and job needs or requirements. You can choose a Mini Crawler based on capacity, maximum lifting height, maximum lifting radius, maximum working radius and if you will be using it predominately indoors. There are even some Mini Crawler Cranes that have a hydraulic blade on the front of it, that is designed to help even out rough terrain or can be used to help level out the crane when it is working on a terrain gradient of up to 13 degrees. These cranes are very handy for any job site.

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How Do You Become a Crane Operator?

There are a few paths and courses that are available for becoming a Crane Operator, however attaining a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card is considered the best and most in-demand qualification in the construction industry. The CPCS ensure that you have been trained up to national standards that have been set by technical specialists in the construction industry. This qualification involves intensive training courses that will help prepare you for rigorous Practical and Theory tests. It can be a long and expensive process but it leads to a very rewarding and well-paid position. On average, Crane Operators in the UK can make over £14 an hour.

After passing the Practical and Theory tests, a CPCS Trained Operator card (or Red Card) is obtained which is valid for two years as a ‘provisional’ qualification which means they can operate under close supervision until deemed experienced enough to operate unsupervised. This supervised period varies from one person to another but typically after three to six months most operators will be ready for an assessment to become a fully competent operator.

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When Would You Need an All-Terrain Crane?

For many industries, mobile cranes are the workhorses of crane types. They are quite versatile and combine heavy-lifting power with mobility to conquer various tasks and loads, but when having to work on rough or uneven ground, an all-terrain crane will most likely be a necessity. They are also better at handling different kinds of weather conditions.

All-Terrain cranes typically have 6-8 tyres but can have up to 18 for increased stability. They typically have two engines, one to power the truck and one for the boom or arm of the Crane. Most cranes have a hydraulically powered telescopic boom so they are highly adjustable and their lifting capacity is usually between 40-1000 tons, model dependent.

The main downside is that they are extremely heavy so any worksite they will be used on, that has softer terrain, would need to be inspected for bearing strength to ensure that it can support the cranes weight.

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Buy vs. Lease, Deciding What is Best for You

Your current/near future project scope, workload and long-term business plans will be the biggest determinants as to whether or not you need buy or hire a crane. You need to consider your daily, weekly and monthly needs to help you ascertain if you have the time, energy and manpower to own and operate a crane.

If you do not plan to use a crane on a regular basis, it may be more practical to simply hire a crane. Usually when you hire a crane the rental company supplies you with an operator as well. Most crane rental companies charge you on the time that the crane is actually in use, so the more you use it the more you pay. There are several factors that go into the price of renting a crane and each job requires a tailored quote, this is why it is so hard to get a crane rental ‘price list’.

If you conclude that buying a crane is right for you. Here are a few helpful tips to purchasing a crane. You need to consider:

• What is its primary use?
• Where will you be using it?
• What additional components will you need?
• Ensuring your General Arrangement includes essential criteria.
• Make sure you understand the safety requirements and legislation for your new purchase.

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