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How to Choose the Right Crane for Your Project

How to Choose the Right Crane for Your Project

Virtually all construction projects require the lifting, hauling or transportation of heavy materials – which is why cranes play a gigantic role in the development of your project.

Deciding which crane is right for your objectives can be an overwhelming task, as the range of options available is limitless! There is an enormous variety of cranes – each designed for a specific function or use. One example is tower cranes – these are fixed to the ground in large concrete footings or use weighted City base’s when a concrete footer isn’t needed.

Tower cranes are commonly used in the construction of tall buildings and are attached at various floors as the building rises. They are unique as they have the ability to climb the building as it rises. Tower cranes can add their own tower sections when equipped with a climber section. The climber allows the crane to jack the tower up enough to add 1 section of tower per move.

The climber section also gives the crane the ability to lower its self-back down the side of a building once the building is completed. Once it is at a lower elevation a mobile crane can disassemble the crane and load it out until its gone as if it was never there.

Selecting the right crane for the job definitely requires preliminary preparation and planning but is an absolutely essential process, as it not only ensures your construction site is safe for workers and the public, but can also help you reduce costs and inefficiency, keeping your project on track, budget and schedule.


3 factors you should consider when choosing a crane

1. The duration of the job and the size & weight of the material you will be lifting

Cranes have different specifications, capacities and functionalities. Understanding what your project requires from a crane will help you select equipment that can best meet your projects demands and will quickly narrow down your options. To fully understand the capabilities of the crane you are interested in renting or purchasing it’s always best to contact your local Maxim crane specialist for assistance.

There is no charge for this service and they can help you size the crane that’s best suited for your application. Your Maxim rep will help you review various Load charts to understand the cranes capabilities, structural strengths and dimensions . LOAD CHARTS will detail vital features of the crane such as boom length and the Rated Capacity – this is the Gross weight that any crane can lift at a given radius (distance).

When determining the right crane the crane hook block and or ball as well as all rigging /cable must be deducted from this gross capacity to arrive at the safest crane for your particular project.

The Manufactures charts will give you the exact specifications and dimensions of the machine. These graphs will allow you to calculate your maximum lift within any given radius. Getting this right will help you avoid selecting a crane with too little capacity, and will insure it will fit into your job site with no obstructions. All of these factors insure that your job will be profitable and go as planned .

2. How will equipment be transported

The question of how the equipment will be transported could be initially overlooked, however, it is a critical consideration.

Broadly speaking, cranes can be classified as either Mobile, Rough Terrain/Crawler or Tower – all with different transportation methods. Permitting for City and State laws are all factors in the transportation of cranes and heavy equipment. The permit routing may take the crane in what would seem like a indirect route. This is done in order to avoid a low capacity or low clearance bridge or a roadway that is not sufficient for large loads or trailers to avoid accidents or other traffic issues such as road construction.

3. The conditions of the construction site

The condition and terrain of the construction site also have a bearing on the type of crane you should be going after. Understanding weather conditions, spatial constraints and the ground conditions of your site, will give you great insight into which equipment will help you meet your objectives with efficiency.

For example, rough terrain cranes are best suited to off-road construction sites as they are best equipped to deal with complicated ground conditions compared to all terrain cranes. The degree of mobility you require will also dictate the type of equipment needed. For instance, if your project requires flexibility and precise delivery in tight spaces, a mini-crane may be right for you.

Types of Cranes

A brief overview of commonly used cranes and their functions.

Tower Cranes
Tower cranes are typically used in the construction of tall buildings. As a fixed structure, its stability comes from being bolted to concrete slabs and provides a combination of both awe-provoking height and great lifting capacity, typically between 8 and 35 tons. Tower cranes are great for long term projects!

Due to the sheer size and reach of tower cranes, extra precautions must be taken for safety and specially skilled operators are required to man the machine.  Adverse weather conditions can also hamper the schedule.

Potain – MDT 368 – 17 (tonnage)
Terex – CTT182-8 – 9 (tonnage)
Terex Comedil – CTT-561A – 22 (tonnage)
Wolffkran – 700B – 55 (tonnage)


Crawler Cranes

Crawler cranes are mounted on moveable tracks. These tracks are specially designed to be used on multiple ground types including soft terrains. Due to the tracks and excellent counterweight control, crawler cranes are able to lift extremely heavy loads, typically from 80 to 825 tons. Additionally, they have the ability to safely transport materials around the construction site with ease. With such vast lifting capacities, they can often be bulky, difficult to transport to location and expensive to assemble and dismantle. Therefore, crawler cranes are best suited for long-term projects.


Manitowoc 2250 – 300 (tonnage)
Manitowoc 18000 – 660 (tonnage)
Link-Belt – LS-138HII – 80 (tonnage)
Manitowoc – 31000 – 2535 (tonnage)


HTC Truck type /All terrain Cranes

These cranes are used for short term jobs where the lift requirements are too large for a boom truck yet are not long enough in duration or heavy enough to justify a crawler crane.

You will see these cranes on a daily basis as they travel the roads and highways just as the daily commuter does on their daily activities. These cranes are best suited for commercial work and in Industrial sites /hospitals/shopping mall HVAC repair or short term bridge construction. These machines average in size from 30 ton capacity to over 1000 tons. These cranes on average are the bread and butter of most crane companies business and how most are started initially.

Examples are:
Grove TMS 540 – 40 (tonnage)
Link Belt HTC 8690 – 90 (tonnage)
Grove GMK 7550 – 550 (tonnage)

Boom Trucks
As well as being versatile and reliable, boom trucks are designed to provide important functions that, when combined, are extremely useful for most daily construction sites. Boom trucks are fitted with a hydraulic crane and a flat deck hauling area which allows you to lift light to medium size equipment & material. They also have the ability to transport light misc. equipment around a job site and to other locations as many trucks are able to travel at highway speeds.

JLG – 2250-JBT– 23 (tonnage)
Manitex – 2284 – 22 (tonnage)
Terex – TC-4485 – 22 (tonnage)
Carefully considering your options when renting or buying a crane can help you avoid choosing equipment that is ill-suited for the job at hand. Incorrect selection can increase costs, affect your schedule and even jeopardize the safety of your staff and the public. In order to make an informed choice, it is always best to consult a crane rental company such as Maxim Crane Works L.P. With decades of specialist expertise of equipment, extensive knowledge of safety procedures, vigorous onsite evaluations and on-going risk assessments, we will be able to provide you with inclusive packages that are designed to meet the exact objectives of your projects in a timely and cost-effective manner.


Maxim Crane is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. As specialists within our field, we offer innovative solutions to meet your projects needs. Situated in over 54 locations, each branch is able to provide management services, including transportation, risk management, safety and insurance programs that are unparalleled in the industry.

Would you like to learn more about crane rental, heavy hauling and specialized rigging services? Visit

Project Spotlight: Opryland Hotel Water Park

Maxim Crane are setting the truss system that has the ventilation built in for the new inside water park at Opryland Hotel.  We have the LTM 1350 (400 Ton AT) operated by Terry White / Tim White and the ATF130 (130 Ton AT) operated by Matt Hetrick / Justin Tobin.  They are connecting the two pieces to make up the span.  We had three spans and set one per day.  Each piece weight was 45k and was 80ft long.  In the back ground doing structure work along with pouring concrete is the GR750XL (75 Ton RT) operated by Jesse Connolly and a ATF100G4 (110 Ton) operated by Rick Tekemple.

The water park will be called Sound Waves and is set to open in the Fall of 2018.  The Hotel is the largest convention hotel in the united states outside Vegas.  It is a $90million dollar project that should increase local revenue by 4.6 million annually.

Maxim Crane’s Week at Power-Gen

Power Gen International is the World’s Largest Power Generation Event that represents a horizontal look at the industry with key emphasis on new solutions and innovations for the future.  More than 1,400 companies from different sectors of the power industry exhibit at the event each year, and Maxim Crane happened to be on the exhibitor list this past December in Las Vegas, NV.  The team had an exciting Power-Gen week with heavy attendee traffic at the booth. Whether you stopped to watch the huge 16 foot LED video screen, grab a cup of coffee, to speak with the Maxim personnel or enter to win one of Maxim’s crane construction models or a ticket to PowerGen’s Skytopia party, you were sure to enjoy yourself.  Overall the team had a successful show we and like to say to all, many thanks for a great show this year! Maxim showed why we are the premier crane lifting service in the United States.

PowerGen 2017: Maxim Booth #4314, December 5-7 2017, Las Vegas NV

The World’s Largest Power Generation Event is Here

Power Gen International 2017 is the World’s Largest Power Generation Event that represents a horizontal look at the industry with key emphasis on new solutions and innovations for the future. More than 1,400 companies from different sectors of the power industry exhibit at the event each year. Maxim Crane Works is on the exhibitor list for this coming December in Las Vegas, NV.

If you are attending Power-Gen International in Las Vegas this December, you won’t want to miss the Maxim Crane booth. Stop by booth #4314 for a cup of coffee, to meet our spokespeople, and enter our hourly prize giveaway.

Enter to win one of our Grand prizes:
• A Manitowoc MLC300 die-cast 1:50 crane model or
• An invitation to Power-Gen Skytopia party hosted by Industrial Info Resources. This out-of-the-world event will be held on Wednesday, December 6 at Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub.

Maxim Crane Places Large Order for New Alimak Hoists

Alimak Hek, Inc., Headquartered in Houston, TX and Maxim Crane Works LP., have formed a strategic alliance where Alimak Hek, Inc will supply personnel and material hoists to compliment Maxim Crane Works’ industry leading Tower Crane and Lifting Services Rental Fleet. The new alliance will allow Maxim to offer turnkey solutions to their core customer base of General and Industrial Contractors for all their lifting and vertical transport requirements.

Dale Stoddard, President of Alimak Inc. stated that this alliance is in keeping with the strategy of aligning our brands with leaders in all markets served by our brands and we are pleased that Maxim Crane Works has chosen Alimak Hek as the brand to drive their market strategy. We look forward to working with Maxim to drive our businesses and to enhance our mutual customer’s experience.

“Maxim is focused on value creation and turn-key services for our customers throughout the country”, stated Frank Bardonaro, Chief Operating Officer for Maxim.  “The decision to expand our geographic and fleet footprint of our Material Hoisting operations is one of the many positive outcomes of our recent Coast Crane acquisition and our Strategic Planning Team’s cooperation.  Coast has a great history with Alimak and we are proud to continue the relationship with the industry leading provider of hoisting equipment”, added Bardonaro.

“As part of our continuous improvement processes Maxim is constantly working to complement and increase the services we provide to our strategic partners,” added Bryan Carlisle, CEO for Maxim.  “Our strategic planning team for Towers and Hoisting Equipment identified the need to expand into this market.  Matt Hyden, Scott Brandstadt and Greg Bellcoff from our Tower Crane Leadership Team worked with Frank and Alimak to put together a plan that will ensure our customers continue to receive “best of class” equipment and services for every aspect of their project.  We have over 300 tower cranes working in the US and most of the projects need a hoist of some kind.  Our goal will be to provide the crane and the hoist for every project and we look forward to the new Alimak’s reaching our customers in the immediate future,” said Carlisle.


About Maxim Crane Works

Founded in 1937, Maxim is one of the largest lifting solutions businesses in North America. Maxim, with its affiliated companies, serves more than 6,000 customers through its fleet of over 2,500 cranes situated in 54 branches. Maxim’s full suite of lift solutions include operated and maintained cranes, bare rental cranes, heavy haul / rigging services, and value-added advisory services.  Maxim offers a full portfolio of cranes used in a variety of end markets. For more information about Maxim, please visit



Maxim Crane Works, L.P.
Patrick Lillis, 412-504-0199

Alternative Approach Lift Frame Employed for Complex Lift

Maxim Crane Works L.P. (Maxim) was contracted to provide lifting services for a Mechanical Contractor in a New Jersey power plant.  Maxim’s scope was to lift Air Cooled Condenser (ACC) units from a heavy haul unit and set them into place on top of a 75-foot-tall structure.  A total of 12 lifts were required consisting of 8 double ACC module lifts (520,000 pounds each) and 4 single ACC module lifts (260,000 pounds each).  The crane was to be hook ready on June 26th.

The pre-planning for this project started early in 2017, at which time a Manitowoc 18000 with MAX-ER was selected to make the lifts for the project.  In mid-April, Maxim’s Engineering Group was consulted, tasked with the development of a wood mat support system, lift plans and rigging designs.  Several key factors were evaluated early on: hook height, capacity, rigging arrangement and rigging weight.  The Group determined traditional spreader bar systems were too heavy and consumed excessive vertical space for the crane to make the lifts given the crane configuration and ACC module lift weights.  Additionally, as the project progressed, the weight of the double ACC module was increased to 590,400 lbs – a 14% increase over the already challenging pre-planning lift weight.  The increase in weight necessitated a careful review of each piece of rigging.

It was determined that for the 18000 to complete this project effectively, an alternative approach would be needed to the rigging.  A lift frame concept was conceived and adopted, and the official notice to proceed for design of the system was received on June 7th.   A major driver of the design was the requirement to use off-the-shelf materials due to the extremely compressed schedule.  Because the crane was approaching capacity limitations, it was essential that the lift frame be structurally efficient.  From design to load testing of the lift frame took only 19 working days.  Each member of the project team contributed to make this happen.  The load test was successfully completed on July 5th with the 300-Ton rated lift frame lifting a weight of 755,630 pounds (377.8-tons).  Immediately following the load test, the lifting frame was disassembled and shipped to the project site for the first lift on July 7th.


Central Region Recognized for Outstanding Safety Performance

Maxim Crane’s Central Regions diligent efforts were recognized for overall regional performance, and this year we are setting higher expectations in safety performance, growth, and productivity. It began with a commitment to pioneer a positive safety culture with the expectation of individual employee contribution. Maxim focuses on all facets of our day to day business, crane operations, safety to rigging, and signal person safety, to driving performance, to management of our environmental programs. These awards exemplify the individual commitment from each employee of the Maxim team. With nearly 1,000 employees working 1.4 million labor hours and driving 2 million miles in one year in the Central region, this is quite an accomplishment.  “I am extremely proud of the efforts of the entire team and the individual commitment by each employee to our safety culture and mission. 2016 was an exemplary year for the Central region in all aspects of our business with safety taking top priority. Recognition from of our customers proves that safety drives success,” stated Troy Wagner, Vice President of Safety.

Randy Johnston, President of Maxim Crane Works’ Central Division, stresses that, “Each member of our team takes personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. This level of safety performance cannot be dictated by management, but must be brought to life by our employees. I am very proud of the regions record setting performance and I know that our team will continually keep safety as priority one in all we do. This team has the experience to recognize that we cannot become complacent and must continually strive to lead the industry into the next level of safety excellence.”

“Maxim is committed to our focus on safety,” stated Maxim COO Frank Bardonaro. “Our fleet management strategy and dedication to investing in our team members is the primary foundation of our success. Safety is our key focus, and we are dedicated to ensuring our employees and customers operate with safety as the No.1 factor each and every day.”

Congratulations to our Central Region for being recognized for the following Central Safety Awards.


The Dallas/ Fort Worth team helped achieve a milestone for the customer and were recognized for outstanding safety performance in front of the entire project.

Exxon presented their award to the entire Jacport yard for ZERO incidents in 2016 at their facility in Baytown TX. The Maxim team was recognized for outstanding safety performance for the projects that were completed in 2016.

Earlier this year, our Freeport TX branch was awarded the 2016 Safety Excellence award from DOW along with the Best in Class title for Outstanding Safety Performance.

Maxim Crane is proud to announce the promotion of Lance Lotz as the new Branch Manager of the Tampa, Florida location

Maxim Crane Continues Florida Expansion with new Tampa Location and Branch Manager

Maxim Crane is proud to announce the promotion of Lance Lotz as the new Branch Manager of the Tampa, Florida location.  “Lance has nearly 25 years of Crane and Rigging experience.  He started out working on the cranes as an oiler, then operator and continued to work throughout the country as a project manager, branch manager, sales rep and dispatcher as he learned every aspect of the business.  He has the type of experience that is invaluable to our customers and to our other team members.  Lance will be a tremendous asset to our client base along the Gulf Coast and throughout the state of Florida.  Lance has a proven track record of facilitating growth, and we are extremely pleased and excited to have him leading our new expansion in the Tampa, Florida region”, stated Frank Bardonaro, Chief Operating Officer.

“The Florida region is one that we have focused on since the early 1980’s”, stated Bryan Carlisle, CEO of Maxim. We have continued to invest in the region organically and through acquisitions”, he continued. “The recent acquisition of Crane Rental Corporation combined with the AmQuip Crane fleet has placed Maxim in an extremely favorable position for our customers to feel confident that we can provide them with any type of crane and lifting services they need, anywhere and anytime in the state. We look forward to supporting Lance and the entire Maxim Family of Customers and Employees as we continue our investment in the region.  Between our acquisitions and organic growth, Maxim has added over $100 million of cranes to the state of Florida over the past 24 months and we are excited to continue our focus on providing the region with the best people and equipment available”, said Carlisle.

“I’m looking forward to working with our customer base and team members of Maxim throughout Florida and the rest of the country,” stated Lance Lotz, Branch Manager of Maxim Crane in Tampa.  “It is exciting to work for a company that is completely focused on growth and customer service.  We understand that the key to our growth is our ability to attract and retain key team members and ensure that we can safely deliver the results that our customers need and deserve. We have already expanded our Tampa fleet and equipment offerings and will be relocating into a renovated facility.  Our customers expect us to be their “one-stop-shop” and this new location will enable Maxim to continue to add the types of equipment and experienced personnel that our customers expect from Maxim facilitating our ability to provide the best service anytime and anywhere they need it”, continued Lotz.

Maxim Crane Continues Expansion of Atlantic Coast Region with Promotion of Monty Glover, Jr.

Maxim Crane Continues Expansion of Atlantic Coast Region with Promotion of Monty Glover, Jr.

Maxim Crane Works, LP is pleased to announce the promotion of Monty Glover, Jr., from Regional Operations Manager to the Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

“We are extremely proud to appoint Monty Glover as the Vice President of our Mid-Atlantic Region”, said Bryan Carlisle, CEO for Maxim. “Our team has been extremely successful in identifying our customer needs and matching the talent and equipment to support those requirements on a national platform. Maxim is confident that this is a region that will enable us to invest and expand with the growing needs of the region. We have invested over $40 million of equipment and resources into this strategic region over the past 12 months under the leadership and direction of Monty and his team. As we continue to invest and grow the region, we know that Monty is a proven leader who will ensure our customers and team members that we will have the equipment, services, and safety programs needed to facilitate growth well into the future”, he added.

“Monty has over 20 years of experience at Maxim Crane”, said Frank Bardonaro, COO for Maxim. “He has been successful throughout his career at Maxim, learning the business from the ground up. Monty began at Maxim working on the shop floor in 1996. He gained experience in every aspect of the operations, including dispatch, branch management, sales most recently, as Regional Operations Manager based in Charlotte. His experience in the industrial sector and specialty lifting services will enable Monty to lead our expansion from the Carolina’s into Virginia and other surrounding areas. He is extremely customer focused and results oriented and we are extremely honored to announce his promotion. We look forward to his continued success as we support Monty and his team as Maxim continues its growth throughout the region, ” continued Bardonaro.

Maxim Crane Expands Heavy Hauling Division with New Florida Location

Maxim Crane Expands Heavy Hauling Division with New Florida Location

Maxim Crane is consistently working to meet the growing demands of its customers. The Maxim Team is committed to recognizing regional and national needs to ensure we are providing the necessary coverage, safety, personnel and equipment to not only meet, but to exceed its customers’ expectations.

Recently, Maxim Crane expanded its Heavy Transportation and Rigging division with the addition of a new location in Bithlo, FL. The state-of-the-art facility is located on nearly 15 acres, provides both inside and outside storage and is strategically located to provide the Florida and eastern USA with complete heavy haul, rigging and lifting services. The Team that has been assembled averages more than 20 years of specialty lifting and rigging expertise per person and has proven their capabilities throughout the United States.

“We recognized the need to expand our heavy haul and rigging division for the purposes of customer reach, increase in inventory space, and to dedicate a location that solely concentrates on these services. It will allow our team to strategically place equipment throughout our regions and to offer turn-key lifting services including PST Goldhofer Trailers, Hydraulic Gantries, Strand-Jacks, Cantilever Beams, Jack and Slide Systems, and the Alternative Lift Tower (ALT),” stated Gulf Coast Manager, John Boone.

“The expansion into our new Heavy Haul Headquarters and strategic placement of equipment throughout the country with over 50 branch locations will allow us to be more competitive, while giving our current customers access to all the services offered by Maxim Crane Works, L.P.”, stated Frank Bardonaro, C.O.O. “We have listened to our customers and their need to have a “one-stop-shop” when it comes to the heavy lift cranes and the equipment packages. This could be anything from a large HVAC project to moving turbines across the region. John Boone and the team have the engineering and operational expertise to ensure the project is completed safely, on time and on budget”, he concluded.