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The Numbers Game: Specifying the Right Mobile Crane for Your Project

Mobile cranes come in all shapes and sizes. As such, selecting the right mobile crane for a project can be confusing.

To help crane owners in their selection process, manufacturers provide data sheets with their products. These data sheets contain details about the crane’s lift capacity, dimensions, and other important features, which crane owners can refer to and decide whether the crane would suit their heavy lifting needs.

But how do you read a mobile crane’s datasheet?

Reading the Datasheet

To illustrate how to read a mobile crane’s datasheet, we have chosen the datasheet for the Terex RT90, a rough terrain mobile crane with a maximum boom length of 154 ft.

Please note: The datasheet has been directly downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. It details measurements in the metric system as opposed to the imperial system commonly used in the U.S.


First we have the dimensions chart.

This chart shows the dimensions for a mobile crane, with and without extended outriggers. This knowledge is critical for specifying the right crane for your project, especially if you have a worksite with a confined space.  



Next, we have a weight chart.

The weight chart shows the weight measurements for a mobile crane. The top two axes specify the gross weight of the mobile crane along each axle. The rest of the axes indicate the weights for each additional accessory that you may want to add to the mobile crane.

The knowledge of the crane weight helps determine the trailer to be used to transport the crane to the job site and what permits are required for the transportation.

Load Capacity

This is the most important chart.

The load chart specifies the lift capacity of a mobile crane. The legend at the top of the chart shows the value of the counterweight and the length to which the outriggers are extended for that particular set of readings.

So let’s say you want to lift a load of 80 tons at a distance of 3 meters—which will be measured from the center of the load to the center pin of the crane—with a RT90.   

How long should you extend the boom to perform the lift safely?

Referring to the chart shows that you can extend the boom to 11.9 meters (39 ft.) radius to perform the lift safely.

Lift Angle

Just as important as the load chart is the lift angle chart.

The lift angle chart shows the maximum angle at which a lift can be performed safely, using a fixed or luffing jib. The example above illustrates data for lifts with jib lengths of 9 meters and 17 meters.    

Lift Capacity for Pick and Carry

Finally, we have a lift capacity for pick and carry applications. This measurement indicates the maximum load you can carry with a crane in motion.

That brings us to the end of our post; we hope you found the read informative and helpful.

If you’ve any additional questions that you’d like to ask about mobile crane measurements, you can reach out to us at Crane Warning Systems Atlanta and we’ll try our best to facilitate you.  

Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is your one-stop shop for crane safety solutions. We specialize in crane anemometer, rated capacity indicators, load moment indicators and anti-two block warning indicators. Visit our online store to learn more about our product range.  

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