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Costly Mistakes in Crane & Rigging Rentals

Costly Mistakes in Crane & Rigging Rentals

There is a lot to do when preparing for a construction project. You have to draw up the plans, make sure they are approved and permitted by municipalities, and put the right people in place to execute each aspect of the design and development of the building, road, or green space. 


At some point, you may find there are materials far too heavy to move with the machinery you have available. At that point, you know you'll need to buy or rent a crane. 

Cranes are complicated, highly technical pieces of construction machinery that require proper maintenance, site preparation, and training to operate safely. There is a serious risk of crushing injury or property damage if loads are improperly secured or the crane is controlled incorrectly.

With that in mind, renting is often smarter and more cost-effective than buying when it comes to cranes and construction, no matter the project size.

Costly Mistakes in Crane & Rigging Rentals

When it comes to the cost of crane rentals, you need to be careful to research before you settle on a company from which to rent. There is a balance between price and value, and many considerations are taken into rental expenses. 

The four most significant factors that will affect the price of your crane rental are:

  • Length of the rental period
  • Type and size of crane needed for the job
  • Crane personnel for operation
  • Job site location and hazards

It is essential for general contractors and project managers who need crane rental services to understand how these factors will affect bids on your project. Every job's worksite and requirements are different. You will need to put in some research upfront to avoid mistakes that can end up costing you time and money. 

When doing your research and planning, take your time, ask lots of questions, and avoid the following scenarios, which can quickly add up to costly mistakes for your project.

1. Inadequate Use Planning

All of these mistakes in some way have to do with poor planning, but in this case, we are specifically looking at an inadequate site and lift plan. 

Site plans should be completed to help determine hazards and constraints for the projects that will be placed on any selected crane. If you have a tight operating space, this will directly affect your lift plans and likely increase the level of experience you need from personnel. Crane operation has the potential to damage structures or harm workers if site hazards are not adequately planned for.

Going off of those site plans should be detailed lift plans. You need to know how much material you will need to lift, how far, and how high. This prep work will help determine the crane and rigging you select and help you plan how long you will need the crane on-site.

2. Picking the Wrong Crane

Selecting a crane that can’t do the lifts you want will cost time and money and risk hazardous working conditions. Now is where planning your site and expected lifts come in. Be very clear when looking for a rental company about the types of lifts you will need to complete.

Remember, you don’t want to test the upper limits of any machine. Inclement weather and other site hazards may lower the capacity and leave you with a machine that can’t handle your requirements.

3. Overlooked Permits and Contract Points

Crane equipment is expensive to maintain and dangerous on-site, and any reputable company will take agreements to use it seriously. Take your time to review the formal contract; if the company you choose doesn’t offer one, reconsider your selection.

Your contract with the rental company isn’t the only paperwork you need to pay attention to. You will need to ensure you have filed and received permits from all government agencies and municipalities. 

Failure to do so can lead to a costly stop work order. If you go with a local rental company, they should have a good idea of all permits required.

Read through the documents thoroughly with a lawyer and address any questions you may have. 

4. Traffic and Transport

One often-overlooked mistake is failing to consider the transport time of the crane to the site and the traffic during that time. This may not be a significant factor for long-term rentals, but for rental periods of only a day or two, such as for small home construction, traffic delays can take a substantial chunk of time out of your planned rental. 

Minimize this by planning delivery off of peak rush hours for the area, or plan to have the crane delivered a day early.

5. Not Researching the Rental Company

When selecting a company, the worst mistake you can make is just looking at the dollar amount on the final bid. A rental price significantly less than competitors, or what you expected, should be a red flag that the company may be cutting corners somewhere. Either with proper maintenance or training for their operators and rigging teams. 

Just like overlooking permits can quickly lead to a stop work order, so can unsafe crane operation. Even without such an order issued, poorly maintained machines and inexperienced workers can lead to costly mishaps on site. So make sure to see certifications for workers and maintenance from accredited boards.

Get Help from the Experts

If you have never rented a crane before or are looking for a new rental company to partner with, Parker's Crane provides quality crane rental, rigging, and heavy hauling services throughout the Carolinas and the East Coast. We pride ourselves on safety and our Zero Accident Philosophy and conduct many detailed safety measures when performing a job to ensure that no project carries unnecessary risk.

With a fleet of well-maintained hydraulic truck cranes, we offer the best equipment and can help with site installation, maintenance, and operation. Our crew is OSHA and MSHA-compliant to ensure your site and crew safety.

Contact us today if you would like to discuss your needs and whether or not our services and equipment will work for your construction project. We provide free on-site quotes and evaluations.