A crane, if purchased correctly and after several factors have been carefully considered, can make for a worthwhile and long-term investment. It’s important that a decision such as this isn’t rushed, and instead, you take the time to fully comprehend where you’ll be using your crane and why you’ll be using it.
Want to know more about the important factors you must consider when buying a crane? Our handy guide will give you everything that you need to know.
Purpose and usage of your equipment
What you will be using your crane for is one of the most important factors for you to think about, as this will have a direct impact on the majority of the other elements. The purpose for your crane can be split into two parts:
- Immediate usage
- Future usage
Immediate usage is obviously an important factor, as it is the reason that you are considering buying a crane in the first place. But ensure that you fully consider everything that is involved. How heavy are the loads that you want to lift? What shape are they? How often will it need to be lifting?
Next, future usage. As we have mentioned, this type of equipment should be seen as a long-term investment. So while it is crucial to address your immediate need for a lifting aid, you must also think ahead too. Might your lifting needs change in the future? Think as far down the line as possible to ensure that you get the best return on investment with your equipment.
Part of this usage, both immediate and future, will involve how mobile you want your crane to be. Does it need to be in a fixed location? Or will it be moving?
The weight of the loads
This is a factor that we briefly touched on above, but it deserves a section of its own as it is a highly important factor when buying a crane. All pieces of lifting equipment will have a working load limit (WLL), which you may also see being referred to as a safe working load (SWL), and a minimum breaking load (MBL).
The WLL/SWL refers to the working limit recommended by manufacturers which you must stick to, or below, at all times. This is set way below that of the MBL, which is the figure at which point you run the risk of breaking or seriously damaging your crane.
With that in mind, consider the weight of all of the loads that you plan to be working with. And, taking into account the information in the section above, are you able to think about the weight of any future loads that you may lift?
Will your equipment be outdoors?
Another key consideration that you will need to think about is whether you’ll be operating your equipment indoors or outdoors. If it is to be the latter, then it is recommended to consider a method of waterproofing to protect your crane.
You’ll want to protect your cranes from any moisture!
One way of doing this is by purchasing equipment that is constructed from aluminium rather than steel. While stainless steel does have higher levels of resistance than normal steel, aluminium is corrosion and rust resistant, making it the perfect choice for any outdoor operation.
Research crane types
Once you have considered the above three factors, you can begin your research on the various crane types. There are plenty of types out there, and you’ll want to weigh up all of the advantages and benefits. Some of the variations of crane are:
- Mobile lifting gantries
- Light systems
Speak to an expert before buying a crane
Finally, and perhaps the most crucial factor when you’re in the process of buying a crane, is to make sure that you have spoken to an expert. There are plenty of manufacturers out there who offer advice and information, either through their blogs, such as with this infographic, or through their phone lines and email contact.
Infographic from Cranes Direct
The law requires that only a competent and qualified person is involved in the planning and execution of a lifting operation, and for this reason, it makes sense to speak to such a qualified person when planning the purchasing of your crane too.
It is also highly recommended to familiarise yourself with all the relevant guidelines first too, with the most important of these being the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). This, combined with expert advice and the following of the guidelines that we have outlined in this article, will leave you armed with the right information and knowledge when engaging in the buying process.