Alternative Machinery for Mobile cranes: Lifter beware!

The lifting functions of most mobile cranes could be potentially performed by other types of equipment which aren’t specifically designed to perform these types of lifts. The capability of these machines is surprising and it may be attractive from a financial cost standpoint to hire a machine with multi-functional applications such as:

  • Excavators 
  • Telehandlers 
  • Forklifts with Jib attachments.
  • Scissor-Lifts 

Why a Crane is better to use

Despite the machinery listed having great versatility, there is no real substitute for a mobile crane. In order to safely and efficiently perform diverse lifts, only mobile cranes, pick and carry cranes, and crawler cranes should be used. 

This is because these cranes; unlike other machinery, do not require additional equipment, planning and experienced personnel to perform lifts. 

Failure to meet the above three criteria if you do choose to use other equipment over a crane will result in additional, unexpected  costs to your project and potentially put yours and your workers lives in danger. The cost of crane hire is relatively nominal when you assess it against the risks of not using a crane. 

Advice if you aren’t using a Crane

If you do decide to not use a crane, it’s important to consider the advice below. According to the CICA – Vic / Tas Branch Crane Safety Bulletin small lifts can be completed safely when done with alternative machinery provided  additional suitable equipment, planning, and experienced personnel are present. Here some key factors to consider if you are thinking of not using a crane.

Is the surface you’re working on flat and does your equipment have enough capacity for the lift?

Lifts of this nature are often ad hoc, unplanned, and on less than ideal surfaces. Excavators, Telehandlers, Forklifts with Jib attachments and Scissor-lifts lack the basic safety features of cranes such as side slope duration and Load Moment Indicators (LMI). This means that more manual checks must be done to complete the lift safely.

Is your machine operator qualified or does he have the necessary training?

The operator of the multi-purpose machine will most likely not possess the ‘lifting expertise’ or ‘hazard identification’ skills licensed crane operators have

Additionally, operators may not be aware of correct attachment points and slinging techniques whereas many crane operators have a dogging or rigging license and extensive experience rigging and slinging loads. This means operators may lack the understanding of the load chart and working radius, among other things.

Do you have the Proper Machine and Equipment?

Complications arise as to the ratings of attachments required to lift vs the rating of the machine itself. This confusion often leads to inadequate equipment or inadequate machines attempting a lifting job they aren’t suited to perform. This can cause damage to the machine or the equipment of the load being lifted.

Converting ‘diggers’ to ‘lifters’ may require a unique attachment/coupling or removal of the bucket which is a step often missed or ignored completely. Furthermore, other essential lifting equipment such as bog mats, timbers, pads, or steel plates are often not standard with these types of machines and are therefore also often forgotten.

Does this Lifting Job require precision?

Many diggers and excavators lack the precision placement capabilities of a purpose-built crane. It may be a complete waste of time attempting a lift with a digger or excavator if the lift requires a high degree of precision and careful placement.

Why choose Premier Cranes

Our Fleet of Mobile Cranes

When Premier Cranes & Rigging is engaged to provide lifting solutions, all our cranes are fit for purpose and people are trained to the highest standards. You’re tapping into the expertise and knowledge of our people that not only know our capabilities, but know the optimal method that will get the job done efficiently and safely. 

Our vision is to be the first choice for all-inclusive lifting solutions, serving the construction, precast, civil, bridges, rail, and wind industries. Premier Cranes & Rigging is best known for finding solutions for our clients with a clear focus on safety, engineering, compliance, and exceptional service. 

Our culture is driven by one tag – #TeamLifting and our behaviours of transparency, respect, candor, and a “can-do attitude” now count more than ever, especially during this operating environment. These behaviours have now become our greatest strength at Premier Cranes & Rigging. We are having to work, like many others in unique and very different ways to ultimately deliver for all our clients and their projects. This has always been part of how we operate as a business: lifting each other up, supporting, improving, and innovating with our lifting solutions. Contact us today for your next lifting or rigging job