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Crawler Crane vs. Rough Terrain Crane: How to Choose the Best Crane for Your Construction Project

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Are you looking to hire a crane for lifting operations in a construction site? Are you torn between renting a crawler and rough terrain crane? Both options are great for undertaking lifting tasks in most job sites. The main difference lies in their configuration. Rough terrain cranes are mounted on rubber tyres, and they are designed for use in rough terrains. Crawler cranes are mobile cranes than move on tracks known as crawlers, and they also have access to different terrains.

When choosing the best equipment for your project, it's crucial to compare these options against the following factors.

Usability on Different Terrains

When renting a crane, you need to consider the terrains in your construction site and any future projects that you may be working on. You should also determine how the equipment will get to the site. Both crawler and rough terrain cranes are usable on various types of terrains. In particular, a rough-terrain crane works best in off-road areas; thus, it is usable even on smooth roads.

A crawler crane can also be used on both rough and smooth terrains. The broad base of the crawler tracks increases the equipment's stability even on uneven ground. One advantage that a crawler crane has over a rough-terrain crane is it can be transported by road. However, you have to get a road access permit from the relevant authorities. You cannot drive rough-terrain cranes on public roads with other vehicles; thus, you have to mount it on a trailer for transport.

Versatility and Ease of Use

Both of these options are versatile and usable under different conditions. However, crawler cranes are more suited to confined spaces. Some configurations come with riggers, and they can be disassembled and used in tight spaces. Thus, if you're working on a project with space restrictions, this option may be the best for you. On the downside, crawler cranes are cumbersome to use. They have to be disassembled after every use. 

If you're working in multiple sites, using a rough-terrain trailer may be the best choice. This is especially true if your sites are located in an off-road area. Since the crane doesn't require any disassembly and assembly, you can finish up with lifting tasks on one site and quickly drive the equipment to the next project. The only downside is this type of crane is not easily usable in confined spaces.

Load and Lifting Capacity

Crawler cranes are heavy and cumbersome. While this may be a disadvantage in some instances, it can also be a plus for your project. The equipment has a higher load and lifting capacity as compared to a standard rough-terrain crane. Therefore, if your project requires rigging weighty loads over high heights, a crawler crane may be your best bet.

Before renting a crane, conduct an assessment of your lifting needs. Determine the maximum weight of each load and the maximum lifting capacity. This way, you can rent a crane that's suited to your project's needs.

Cost Efficiency

As with any other project, lifting jobs come with a budget. This includes the total cost of renting equipment, hiring an operator, servicing the crane and transporting it to the job site. Rough-terrain cranes are considered cost-effective due to their ability to save time on construction sites. You won't spend time and resources disassembling the equipment. However, the cost of transporting the crane to the site can outweigh the savings depending on the distance.

Crawler cranes are considered inefficient due to their features. You need help to assemble and disassemble the equipment after every project. What's more, while the crane can be transported by road, it is extremely slow. Thus, if you're time-constrained, you may need to rent a trailer for equipment transportation.

The choice of whether to rent a crawler or rough-terrain crane heavily depends on your project specifications. An in-depth assessment of your needs will help you settle for the best equipment for your lifting jobs.

For more information, contact a crane hire service.