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How Do You Transport Cranes?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. Different Types of Cranes
  2. Mobile cranes
  3. Tower cranes
  4. Overhead cranes
  5. Crane Transportation Steps to Follow
  6. Know The Dimensions of The Crane
  7. Plan Your Route
  8. Secure The Paperwork
  9. Safety Before, During and After Transportation
  10. Wrapping Up
How Do You Transport Cranes?

Cranes are heavy machinery used in a variety of construction applications. In most cases, as with tall buildings, they are essential to the building process. But how do you safely get the crane to the building site with the least hassle?

Whether you are looking to ship a small crane or larger crane equipment, read on to find out more about the transportation process.

In this post, we will look at different factors influencing the transportation of cranes and also outline steps to follow to ensure the crane gets to its final destination in working order.


Different Types of Cranes

You can choose between three of the most common crane types depending on what you need a crane for.

Mobile cranes

Mobile cranes are smaller, making them much easier to transport over short distances.

While they do not offer the height and carrying capacity of a larger crane, mobile cranes offer a wide variety of uses due to their flexibility and mobility.

Some applications of mobile cranes include assisting with uploading and unloading containers for shipping purposes, building large steel structures, and moving oversized objects from one spot to another.

Mobile cranes can be taken apart and assembled fairly quickly, and they are designed for easy transport to and from sites.

Tower cranes

At construction sites, tower cranes are large lifting mechanisms anchored at the site to a concrete block.

When looking to transport a tower crane, the different parts first need to be disassembled and then reassembled on-site. As such, time is an essential factor when transporting a tower crane. Factor in how long it will take to take the crane apart and put it back together during the transport process.

Overhead cranes

Commonly found in warehouses or spaces that require industrialized machinery, overhead cranes are used to move heavy items in a set area. The cranes are mounted onto an overhead runway system that allows them to move left, right, and up and down.

There are several overhead cranes, including bridge, gantry, and workstation cranes. They have three main parts: the bridge, the trolley, and the hoist. Like tower cranes mentioned above, all these components should be disassembled for transportation.


Crane Transportation Steps to Follow

Before moving a crane from one location to another, it's essential to know and understand what it takes to move a crane.

Follow these tips below to increase your understanding of crane transport so that you can safely, securely, and legally move your crane.

Know The Dimensions of The Crane

Depending on the type of crane you wish to ship, there are several ways to determine its size. This will then inform the type of transport to use when shipping.

First, consult the crane's manufacturer to find out the size dimensions. This includes the crane's height, length, width, and weight.

The crane's reach is also significant, as it will indicate the length of the span. The crane span is determined by measuring the center-to-center distance between the beams.

Once you have the numbers, you can see whether you need a flatbed truck or heavy-load vehicle to ship the crane.

Mobile cranes, a more compact crane setup, can likely be moved using a small truck. Whereas the larger cranes, such as tower and overhead cranes, will need a much larger vehicle to transport.

Plan Your Route

With the mode of transport decided you can move on to the next step, planning your transport route in detail. A reasonable shipping and logistics company will be able to handle this for you by checking the following:

  • Any bridges or overhead passes that could restrict transportation
  • Weight and height limits on roads
  • Anything that could obstruct or hinder the safe delivery of the crane.

Secure The Paperwork

Whether shipping a crane over a short distance or moving it internationally, there are several permits to apply for and regulations to follow.

Once again, with the assistance of a reputable shipping company, this process will be a breeze. However, here are some considerations to take into account.

Engineered-approved roads are safe for crane shipping once you have the required permits. At times, this may mean getting a self-issued permit.

If you are planning a different route that has not been approved, you would need to obtain permission from the Department of Motor Vehicles in each respective state. This is usually done in conjunction with an engineer.

Depending on the method of transport, as well as the size of the crane, escort vehicles may be needed to get from point A to point B. This is another consideration to bear in mind, as it could add considerably to your overall cost of shipping.

When shipping internationally, it's essential to consult the relevant governing body at the destination site to comply with the country's overweight and oversized vehicle shipping regulations.


Safety Before, During and After Transportation

While transporting heavy equipment, securing the load correctly and according to standards is vital. Not only does this ensure the safety of the expensive equipment, but it also contributes to the well-being of the highway network and other road users.

The materials most commonly used to tie a crane onto a shipping vehicle include chains, straps made of polyester or nylon, steel cables, and ratchet straps or load binders. The latter prevents excessive movement while shipping so that damage to the crane is prevented.

Dunnage materials are also required to facilitate equal weight distribution and increase safety during shipping.

Before setting off, ensure the crane and all components, including the extending parts, are safely secured on the transport vehicle.

If the crane is disassembled for shipping purposes, all stakeholders need to take notes of the different parts of the crane. This will help to prevent any loss to the crane during transit.

Effective and timely communication between the different parties is also paramount throughout the shipping process. Your trusted logistics company will also be able to keep you in the loop about where your crane is and when it's expected to arrive at the final destination.

Upon delivery, all parts need to be checked for damage or loss. Once this is complete, the assembly process can begin.

If the crane will be placed and operated at a construction job site, there are also specific regulations to follow to ensure no risks or dangers to buildings or people nearby.

Wrapping Up

Specialized equipment, such as a crane, requires careful planning, effective communication, and extensive knowledge of the shipping process.

Due to the sheer size and the frequent need to disassemble and reassemble for shipping, the safe transport of cranes can be challenging if you are not clued up about what is required.

We hope that the tips above, such as how to determine the measurements of the crane and which permits to obtain, have helped to ease some of the stress associated with transporting a crane.

With the professional help of a reputable shipping company, like A1 Auto Transport, moving a crane from one place to another becomes much more manageable. Get a free quote on your next crane shipping.

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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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