Hiring in the big guns
Most large building or construction projects will require the use of a crane at some point during the project. Building companies generally avoid the cost of purchasing a crane, due to the costs involved in not only buying the crane, but maintaining and running it too – with the need to have a licenced operator on the books. Instead, the majority of building contractors hire their cranes from specialist crane companies, who will provide mobile crane hire or even tower crane hire depending on the specific needs of the builder, and the project they are undertaking.
The majority of crane hire companies can supply most types of cranes, with mobile cranes and tower cranes being more popular. The mobile crane is a lot more convenient, as it is mounted on a truck, can be driven to the building site, extend its outriggers and begin work straight away, however – a mobile crane has a lower weight limit and less reach than a tower crane. If a building site is building a particularly large structure, or a lot of smaller structures which all require crane lifting, they may choose to hire a tower crane – these are generally delivered to the site in multiple pieces, and then need to be built by a licenced operator, the crane hire company will generally assemble the crane and also provide an operator for the duration of the work. Conventionally, tower cranes are assembled with the help of smaller, mobile cranes, although a newer generation of tower cranes are self assembling and do not need a specialist operator.
Finding the best crane hire company, and the type of crane you need can be a tricky task. Most construction companies will have a list of prefered operators and hire companies which they will use, or will select a company based on a recommendation from a trusted source, however, most crane hire companies now have a presence on the internet – a website which on which you can read about their services, and sometimes even their rates – this means that you can select your crane hire company from the comfort of your office, without ever having to pick up the phone.
When choosing a crane hire company, be sure that you know exactly what you are getting for the price – if you are hiring a tower crane, does the cost include delivery, erection and disassembly when the project is finished? Is the price of the operator included in the hire cost, or do you need to hire the operator separately? Check for delivery costs, cost of hire, cost of assembly and cost of the crane operator – be sure you know of any extra charges up front to avoid your project going over budget.
Be sure that the companies fleet is relatively new and well maintained – a failure of a crane could be catastrophic, or at least cause major delays to your project.