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See Article— USA Today

How Are Crawler Cranes Transported?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. What Are Crawler Cranes Used For?
  2. Types of Crawler Cranes
  3. How to Ship Crawler Cranes Step-By-Step Guide
  4. Go Through the Shipping Requirements
  5. Determine the Most Suitable Shipping Method
  6. Understanding Documents and Permits
  7. We Prepare Your Crane For Shipping
  8. Monitor the Transport Process
  9. Factors to Consider
  10. Lifting Capacities
  11. Transportation Costs
  12. Safety
  13. Crane Size
  14. Potential Challenges
  15. Costs
  16. Weight Restrictions
  17. Length Restrictions
  18. Distance to Travel
  19. Weather Implications
  20. Final Thoughts
How Are Crawler Cranes Transported?

Industries like engineering development and construction sites are some of the many that require heavy lifting. So, equipment like crawler cranes become essential components. They're one of the most versatile lifting machines and can manage tons of weight.

But, because crawler cranes are large themselves, the logistics of transporting them can sometimes be a major challenge.

This guide will break down some factors that go into moving crawler cranes and why specialized transportation companies like A1 Auto Transport are your best bet if you require to shift large items like these. So, let's look at the best domestic and international transportation options if you or your company has a crawler overhead crane to move securely and efficiently.


What Are Crawler Cranes Used For?

Crawler cranes are designed to lift, hoist, and move heavy process equipment on rough terrains. You'll typically find these overhead cranes on construction sites transporting special equipment that works on tall buildings thanks to their telescopic boom.

Regarding large machinery, these are modern cranes that have tracks or crawlers instead of wheels to help them move around different environments. However, some flatbed trucks have mini cranes designed for lighter loads in the back, depending on the lifting capacities needed.

The crane operator can navigate the machine using remote controls from their seat at the bottom of the crane and be in proximity to buildings. From here, they can determine the best ways to shift heavy loads safely and effectively.

Additionally, these types of crawler cranes are valuable in the construction, engineering, and infrastructure industries because of the amount they can carry and shift, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

Types of Crawler Cranes

There are variations of the crawler crane depending on its intended purpose. Some common types include the following:

  • Bridge cranes: These are specific for bridge building and are generally larger cranes to handle the weight and materials needed.
  • Telescopic crawler cranes: These are great at handling maximum loads while being in close proximity to buildings. They're a great example of modern cranes that we ship.
  • Construction cranes: You'll see these at building sites as they handle heavy process equipment. The controller is usually on the ground with a remote control to operate it.
  • Vehicle cargo cranes: These are suited for the automobile industry as you may need to transport vehicles to and from cargo ships or in car manufacturing sites, for example. They also work well in the steel industry for lifting and handling car components.
  • Tower cranes: These work well on building sites, as you'll typically see them creating skyscrapers or apartment blocks. Types of tower cranes could include self-erecting tower cranes, fixed-jib cranes, telescopic tower cranes, and hammerhead cranes.
  • Hydraulic cranes: These use hydraulic systems to move the cranes. A hydraulic pump generates pressure in the fluid to move different crane components, including the telescopic boom, valves, and other lifting mechanisms needed for heavy loads.

How to Ship Crawler Cranes: Step-By-Step Guide

If you're interested in knowing the ins and outs of modern crane transportation, then we detailed the general steps below.

These could also apply to other types of cranes, like bridge cranes or self-erecting tower cranes. This depends on the heavy process equipment being used in close proximity to buildings.

Go Through the Shipping Requirements

The first step would be to discuss with a transportation company like A1 Auto Transport what your requirements are. Our online system allows you to calculate your shipping cost, whether it's domestic or international.

So, if you're a modern crane operator starting a new contract and need to ship the machinery, or if you're a business owner with a building and developing permit, we help you understand the shipping needs of your item. From required weight, whether it's lighter loads or not, its dimensions, and any other special accommodations.


Determine the Most Suitable Shipping Method

Once you've spoken with our team, we can determine the most suitable way to transport your crawler crane. For example, we'll arrange freight shipping via sea if you need the equipment moved to a different country.

Alternatively, if you need a modern crane transported within a few miles, it could be a standard truck delivery. We may also discuss potential disassembly and reassembly requirements within proximity to buildings, as lighter loads are easier to move when working with larger cranes like tower cranes.

Understanding Documents and Permits

We will then discuss potential documents and permits to ensure you can transfer the item across state or country lines. We typically ask you for all the necessary information before transit.

That way, you'll have full transparency of what is needed to securely transport your modern crane, as the transit legislation can change at any moment depending on whether you have lighter loads or more heavy process equipment.

Thankfully, our expert team has decades of experience moving items worldwide, so we keep up with standard policy information.

We Prepare Your Crane For Shipping

We will now prepare your crane for shipping, including:

  • Packing
  • Disassembly
  • Loading
  • Travel
  • Unloading
  • Reassembly

Monitor the Transport Process

During transport, you'll want full access to how far the crane is from its destination. You'll also want to know about customs clearance if you travel internationally.

We can provide all that information for you to give you peace of mind that your machinery, including any remote control devices, will reach its location within the confirmed timeframe we agreed on before the shipping journey begins.

Factors to Consider

Some factors to consider when moving your crawler crane include:

Lifting Capacities

Our team has different transport options for each heavy-process equipment. For example, heavy loads that aren't going too far a distance can be transported via the road, similarly, with lighter loads and remote control devices.

Maximum loads may be better for sea shipping container transport, as they're better to maneuver with wider proximity to buildings and not to worry about roads.


Transportation Costs

We'll consult the material transportation costs regarding the raw materials you may need for the cranes. We'll take into account these factors of cranes when in transit:

  • How much lateral and horizontal movement can it be bound to the transport vehicle?
  • How much support do the crane tower sections need?
  • Are the jointed sections hollow or more dense? Will they need extra padding?
  • How many remote control devices do you wish to send?
  • Are our heavier capacity systems in place for all the items you want to ship?


At A1 Auto Transport, our team's safety is crucial. We understand that we may be working with heavy machinery, from hydraulic pumps and horizontal beams to whole telescopic truck cranes you'll need at bridge-building sites and engineering infrastructures. So, we follow strict health and safety policies to do so.

Crane Size

The modern crane size information is vital depending on the distance you wish to transport it and the mode of transport we can offer. For example, telescopic truck cranes and horizontal beams vary in size and weight. One may benefit from freight shipping travel, as the maximum weight is above what we can transit with trucks.

So, choosing the same method for all heavy process equipment could be the best answer. Some examples of cranes we can successfully ship based on their weight and ease of disassembly to transport are:

  • Self-erecting tower cranes
  • Overhead crane
  • Hydraulic truck crane
  • Railroad Cranes
  • Telescopic tower cranes

Potential Challenges

Different types of cranes will encounter various challenges during transit. But we do our best to avoid them for our client's sake and peace of mind.


There may be a difference in material transportation costs whether you wish to ship only one component of a bridge crane, like a telescopic boom or a horizontal beam.

The cost may increase if you want to transport maximum loads of heavy process equipment, like telescopic truck cranes, bridge cranes, or hydraulic cranes.

Weight Restrictions

The lifting capacities of our vehicles may not align with the permissible lifting load for the roads. However, we can carry maximum loads through sea shipping container ports if that works for your transport destination of construction cranes to telescopic crawler cranes.

Length Restrictions

Some items you'll want to transport may be too large and at risk of being in too close proximity to buildings. This could include horizontal beams and heavy load sections of telescopic tower cranes.

Thankfully, we're aware of the restrictions of heavy process equipment and will make the shipping a lot easier once we give the exact measurements and details of your heavy machinery to proceed.

Distance to Travel

Cranes may need to travel quite a distance. So, we'll discuss the journey for heavy process equipment that includes hydraulic pumps and horizontal beams and give you an estimated arrival time. We can also arrange where you'd like the items to be unloaded, like the proximity to buildings and construction sites.


Weather Implications

Sometimes, weather conditions can be out of control, especially on difficult terrains for cranes with more costly components, like advanced remote controls or hydraulic pumps.

So, we'll map out the best route to avoid weather warnings. For example, if you're moving bridge cranes internationally, we can provide a shipping container and work out the best time when the weather on the seas isn't too choppy to cause delays.

Final Thoughts

Crawler cranes vary in size and weight and are typically quite heavy to move. That's why at A1 Auto Transport, we're here to help you navigate the best option to transport your heavy-duty items.

We aim to meet your transportation needs, from the various types of tower cranes to hydraulic cranes. Whether it means reaching construction sites or setting up reassembly in proximity to buildings, our team can help.

Discover how to start with A1 Auto Transport by getting a free online quote with us today.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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