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A Complete Guide to Renting a Construction Crane

Renting a crane for a construction project is nowhere near as simple as it may seem. Without the proper industry know-how, you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the sheer number of crane types, each with varying features and technical instruments for safety and efficiency.

Cranes aside, you also need to negotiate agreements for professional responsibility and understand all the legal requirements involved. Additionally, you need to select the right insurance; you don’t want to find yourself responsible for any damage to equipment or machinery during the project.

In this piece, we’re going to provide a comprehensive guide to everything involved in renting a construction crane.

A rented tower crane being used at a construction site.

Getting the Right Machinery Under the Right Contract

To align the scope of your project with the right machinery, it’s very useful to get the provider to visit your job site. Here’s everything they should account for:

  • The size of the construction site and what type of crane will fit.

  • Ground and weather conditions

  • A thorough analysis of load charts in order to determine the exact dimensions, strengths, and capabilities of the crane (including boom length)

  • Determine rated capacity by accounting for the size and weight of the material being lifted, and the distance and radius the crane will have to cover

  • Assess whether a rotating or non-rotating crane is required

  • The potential scale of the project and the time required to complete it

Types of Cranes

Choosing a crane depends on a number of factors. While mobile, rotating cranes are capable of covering larger areas, but the speed of travel and transfer must also be taken into account.

Determining whether a fixed or mobile crane is mainly needed depends on the amount of onsite traffic and the frequency of change of use. These are some of the common cranes used in construction:

  • Tower cranes

  • Vehicle-mounted cranes

  • Mobile cranes

  • Crawler cranes

  • Rough terrain cranes

  • All-terrain cranes

  • Gantry cranes

  • Telescopic cranes

  • Telescopic handler cranes

Rented cranes being used to construct a large building.


While all cranes must be operated by a qualified professional, riggers possess specialized knowledge regarding the lifting and moving of large and heavy objects. They are responsible for securely fastening cables, chains, and straps to the objects being lifted and transported.

Additional Costs

Here are some of the additional costs you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Operating and maintenance costs

  • Path reinforcement costs

  • Cost of tracks

  • Fuel costs

  • Possible power supply costs

Documenting Condition

The following things are usually inspected before cranes are dispatched to a job site:

  • Hoisting instruments

  • Mechanical controls

  • Radiator issues

  • Engine issues

  • Fluid levels

  • Hydraulic system damage

  • Overall cleanliness

Transport Coordination

Transporting machinery will be a part of your hiring cost. Generally, jibs and counterweights are transported via semi-trucks. While many mobile cranes can be driven, certain large cranes are transported via tractor-trailer.

Dispatch teams may need to coordinate the transportation of larger cranes with an outside hauler because multiple semi-trucks may be required to get all the different crane parts to the job site. You will need to make sure everything is coordinated in a timely manner, so the arrival of the crew, crane, equipment, and rigger all coincide.

Safety Equipment

No matter how trained your operators are, mistakes can happen, and mistakes lead to accidents. However, advances in recent years have reduced crane operators’ reliance on load charts and manual measurements and calculations of boom length, boom angle, and radius to ensure proper operation.

Technological fail-safes like load moment indicators (LMIs) automatically make these calculations. An LMI can display the weight of a load as a percentage of the crane’s maximum capacity while simultaneously accounting for external variables such as boom torque, rain, and wind.

When purchasing crane safety equipment, it’s crucial for companies to pick a trusted and reliable distributor.

We have been a leading distributor of Rayco Wylie crane safety equipment for more than 20 years. We sell crane LMI systems, crane wind speed indicator, crane camera systems, and more.

Get in touch with us today for more information about our products. Call us at 1-877-672-2951.

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