What is a Franna Crane and Why Use One?

If you’ve ever hired a crane or spent a second searching around cranes, then you’ve probably heard the term Franna Crane. It’s a strange word and while obvious to anyone in the industry, it often perplexes outsiders as they imagine all sorts of different things. Also called a Pick & Carry Crane, the Franna Crane is in essence many things, but most importantly it’s an Aussie success story that provides an innovative and novel lifting solution that previously required more sophisticated equipment.

How the Franna Crane was Invented?

Franna cranes have become the crane of choice for many Australians due to their ability to travel long distances, set up in tight spaces and operate quickly on the work site.

The Franna crane was the brainchild of an Australian engineer by the name of Dave Francis. Dave had recognised that the cranes of the time despite being mobile, could not be mobile whilst lifting. This was a problem; especially for smaller loads as to even move a load fifty metres required a mobile crane to be set up in two seperate locations and the use of a truck.

Dave realised that if he could create a vehicle that could perform basic lifts; and then move with the load, he was eliminating the need for multiple crane setups and the requirement of a truck.

With this concept in mind, Dave cooked up this piece of machinery in 1978 using old truck components and just like that, the first pick and carry prototype was born. The name Franna came from a combination of Dave’s surname “Francis” and his daughter’s name “Anna”. After all, what girl doesn’t dream of having a crane named after her.

What exactly is a ‘Franna Crane’?

If you’re still wondering what exactly a Franna crane is, then simply put, it’s a cross between a truck and a crane. This ingenious invention has the benefits of a truck and the power of a crane. The Franna is able to move long distances with its load already picked, which eliminates the need for a truck and multiple crane set ups.

It should come as little surprise then that the Franna grew in popularity quite rapidly and in 1999, having caught the attention of the world, Terex acquired Franna in Australia and promptly renamed it Terex-Franna. The term Franna however is widely used to describe any pick and carry crane, firmly cementing the success and reputation of the brand.

Benefits of the Franna Crane

The key benefit of the Franna is the reduction in costs through the reduced need for multiple pieces of equipment, less time spent setting up and less labour required when performing a lift. It is highly versatile as it can be used to pick and carry around job sites and also to travel long distances with its load.

The Franna also has increased manoeuvrability which allows it to fit into tight spaces and the added benefit of having no need for stabilising legs, makes setting up the Franna quick and easy. It is this elimination of the stabilising legs that sets the Franna apart from a mobile crane.

Limitations of the Franna Crane

Whilst the Franna has many benefits, there are also several limitations that mean it is not always suitable to use.  

There are maximum carry loads and the danger of overturning is ever present if the crane isn’t driven by an experienced operator. While quicker to set up, the lack of stabilisng legs and other supports mean the Franna is limited to lifting on firm level surfaces only. Additionally, incorrect tyre pressure or other configuration errors can lead to a derated lifting capacity of the crane and also lead to unsafe operation if not checked regularly.

Franna Cranes available from Premier Cranes & Rigging

At Premier Cranes, we pride ourselves on our commitment to safety and we methodically work through any issues with our clients to achieve maximum safety and minimum complications. We have a fleet of Franna cranes ranging from 20T, 25T and 40T and with our expertise and on the job know how you can be assured of a seamless job every time.

20t Franna Crane Red

20 Tonne Franna Cranes

  • The smaller brother to MAC25, the AT20 has all the same fundamentals just in a smaller package.
  • The slightly shorter jib of 17.9m, with the 3rd section being a manual extension.
  • With the correct planning, the AT20 Franna will assist in any condition.
25t Terex Franna Crane

25 Tonne Franna Cranes

  • The 25T Franna, also known as the MAC25 has led the industry in the pick and carry sector with is smart design and easily adaptive crane.
  • With a full-powered boom, the MAC25 has all its 18.4m of the boom on hand.
  • When the super lift counterweight is added, there isn’t a job to small or big for these cranes.
Terex AT40 Pick and Carry Crane

40 Tonne Franna Cranes

  • With 44% more load moment than the MAC 25 the AT40 is perfect for general hire and infrastructure projects.
  • The 3-axle design eliminates the need for a removable counterweight and the third axle control system provides a similar turning circle as the MAC 25.
  • Along with 19.8m of main boom, sensational ergonomics and a full width cabin this pick and carry crane will get the job done every time.

Proud to lead the industry with our Franna Crane fleet and people

With our range of Franna cranes, our team adopts an unrelenting vocation on planning with no reservations on any challenging lifting requirements. From awkward head-scratchers to lifting of heavy elements for civil infrastructure projects. 

We’re proud to lead the industry in client fulfillment, engaging with our experienced engineers, constantly conforming to compliance requisites, and delivering exceptional service. Our culture is driven by the tag #TeamLifting and our behaviours of transparency, respect, candor and “can-do attitude” all complement our determination and willingness to achieve desired results. 

Our people perpetuate our #TeamLifting mantra as they strive to ‘lift’ each other up with everything we do for our clients, industry partners, and the wider community. Premier’s mindset is infinite, we are proud to offer lifting solutions and equipment, including a diverse range of Franna Cranes.