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Summer in the southeastern United States is often a hot, humid affair. Regardless of the temperature, this stretch of months is often the peak season for outdoor construction work, and that means you and your workers may find themselves operating heavy machinery, including cranes, under less-than-ideal circumstances.

Very few maintenance and construction jobs lack the requirement for personnel and materials to access out-of-reach areas safely. From home construction and power poll repairs to cell phone tower maintenance, workers, tools, and other supplies need to be lifted safely for work to occur. But different jobs require different tools.

How to Determine the Type of Crane Required for Your Job

Ensuring a project stays on time, under budget, and safe is an expansive undertaking, whether for construction, civil infrastructure, or other general jobs. General contractors are responsible for managing all these aspects and scheduling the right people to work at the right time.

For contractors, you have to answer a host of questions for each job site. You have to figure out the timeline for how quickly you can complete construction, how many people to hire to perform the jobs that need to be done, and what kinds of materials and equipment your crew will require. 

Furthermore, you will need to determine how you transport those materials. You may have to lift heavy objects into place or move them from one part of the job site to another. That will likely require the use of a crane, but with many types of cranes from which to choose, how will you know what to rent? Here is a short guide for choosing the right crane for your project.

Understanding the Different Types of Cranes and Their Use

Every project has different lifting requirements, and there are just as many types of cranes to meet those demands. As obvious as it may seem, the heavier and more significant the size of materials that you need to move, the larger the crane you will need, and the higher the costs will be. Here is a broad look at the main crane types and their most common applications.

  • Tower Cranes: These cranes are often feats of modern engineering on their own. They typically require a mobile crane to set them up. Once the initial phase of crane construction is complete, a climbing frame can be added to the base of the tower and raised to add new mast sections. Allowing the crane to grow with the construction. 

Types of tower cranes include hammerhead, luffing, and self-erecting. 

*Note: While we do not rent tower cranes, Parker's Crane Service can help you construct and deconstruct tower cranes on-site. 

  • Level-Luffing Cranes: These cranes accomplish many of the same tasks as tower cranes; however, in addition to moving rotationally around the vertical mast, the jib can move inward and outward, giving them another level of usability. 


  • Mobile Cranes: These are some of the most common cranes used for everything from road construction to building projects. Mobile cranes are often the most versatile, as they can be used on a wide variety of job sites and can traverse challenging terrain.

You may also find yourself needing to lift personnel as well as materials safely, which brings personnel platforms into the equation. These specialized lifts are often essential on more extensive construction or demolition job sites. They allow for the safe transport of personnel to high work locations when ladders and scaffolds aren’t up to the task.

No matter where you live, numerous building projects are likely happening at any given time, from high-rise buildings to roads and shopping centers throughout suburbs and satellite towns. And an essential part of that work is cranes, so much so they have become a regular part of our cities' skylines and commutes.

Overhead cranes, also commonly referred to as bridge cranes, are pretty standard across industrial environments that require frequently moving heavy loads between set points indoors or out of doors. They function similarly to gantry cranes, except that the rails they move on are not located at the base, moving the entire crane structure, but rather the rails are generally incorporated into a building structure overhead of any workers, hence the name.