Fixed vs. Mobile Cranes: What is the Right Crane for Your Project?

23 October 2020

Cranes are generally useful for applications that need to lift and transfer heavy materials or even equipment from one area to another. What makes this specific function possible is through the utilisation of their main key components, which include the boom, hoist, hook, and the operator’s cabin.

What makes cranes truly special is that they can take a wide variety of form factors, making them versatile and flexible. Two popular types of cranes that can be used for lifting projects are fixed and mobile cranes. These cranes may share some common characteristics and basic components, but they can be totally different when it comes to their main purposes, their installation method, and so on.

To determine the right crane for your project, here are some of the features, characteristics, and intended applications of fixed and mobile cranes.

Fixed Cranes

As the name implies, fixed cranes are cranes that are meant to be installed and fixed to the ground. And since they are mostly embedded to the ground, fixed cranes are known to have a solid and strong bond, which makes their overall stability recommended for long hours of use. Their solid stability also allows these cranes to effectively lift and move heavier loads and reach more elevated heights.

One drawback of using fixed cranes is that they cannot be used right away. A lot of site preparation activities must be done first before these cranes can move in. Moreover, the components of fixed cranes must be assembled and installed one by one, which can truly consume huge amounts of time. Another drawback of fixed cranes is that they cannot move to another area without taking their components apart.

Despite their drawbacks, the stable structure of fixed cranes still makes them recommended for applications that must lift heavy loads around a single fixed position. Some options of fixed cranes that you can choose are tower cranes, stacker cranes, loader cranes, self-erecting cranes, gantry cranes, hammerhead cranes, and many more.

Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes, alternatively, are cranes that can move around a project site as they are mounted on top of crawlers, rubber-tired carriers, or truck-type carriers. Most of these cranes can travel on the road or water surfaces without experiencing any difficulty. They also do not need additional transport equipment just to move the whole crane components and parts. Even the time between sending them in a site and starting their operations is cut short since setting them up will only take a few minutes.

One notable disadvantage of using mobile cranes is that their total lifting capacity is reduced significantly since they do not possess the same stability as fixed cranes. Moreover, mobile cranes may not be effective in extensive applications, especially if they will be used for a very long time.

Even with these disadvantages, mobile cranes can still be used for applications that would require quick setup and lifting needs. They can also work on sites that have small access areas. Some options available for mobile cranes include truck-mounted cranes, side-lift cranes, terrain cranes, floating cranes, crawler cranes, and pick and carry cranes.

If you want some more help in choosing the perfect crane for your project, then just give us a call at Sharp Welding and Crane Hire.


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