Cranes are expensive pieces of equipment that most moderate construction companies do not own for themselves. The industry standard is to rent a crane for projects that require them, but hiring a crane can be a major line item in a project budget. When you find it necessary to rent a crane for a project you will want to be sure to keep your costs as low as possible.
However, your client and your crew deserve the very best in the way of equipment, for both safety and project completion. How can you optimise your cane rental and reduce costs without compromising quality? Once you determine that your project absolutely requires a crane for completion, there are steps you can take ahead of time that will help. The best way to successfully include a rental crane in your project is to create a plan to strategically leverage the use of the crane while you have it. Follow these five tips to optimise your crane rental and reduce your costs.
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1. Be Sure That You Need a Crane
Do not use a crane for low-lift projects, as it increases the risk of accident or error while your company incurs unnecessary rental costs. If the lift is low-height consider using alternative machinery. Excavators and backhoes may be all that is necessary for low-height projects, and you likely have this equipment on-site already. If you do not, the same company that provides cranes may be able to provide you with this equipment as well.
2. Choose a High-Quality Crane and Provider
The first step to a successful crane hire is to be sure to choose a high-quality crane, from a reputable crane provider. Asking for word-of-mouth recommendations from colleagues is an excellent way to find a company to work with. Operators on your crew may also have a favourite provider to recommend.
Saving money by renting an inferior piece of equipment, or by trying to work with a company that does not hold themselves to high standards of customer service, will cost you more money in the long run. Do your due diligence before committing to a contract that you will come to regret.
3. Condense and Optimise Your Time WIth a Crane
If you determine that your project requires a mobile crane hire, some pre-planning will help you keep costs as low as possible. Create a project schedule if you do not already have one, and highlight the times when you will need a crane. Consider altering your project schedule to cluster lifting projects where ever you can, so that you can hold the crane for less time.
Optimising your time with the crane will require you to prepare your crew to use the crane as fully as possible while you have it on the job site. Advanced training for your crane operators can ensure that time is not wasted on a learning curve while you are paying rental fees. Well-trained operators are also less likely to misuse the crane, for instance by side-pulling, minimising the damage that can delay work and drive up your costs.
4. Check Your Planes
If your project requires multiple cranes you must ensure that the cranes you choose will work together to complete your job. As you are planning where to set up the cranes be sure to check your planes, the area that cranes move through while they work. Ideally, cranes should never have overlapping planes.
With less experienced operators, overlapping planes can cause cranes to crash into each other, for loads to fall and be damaged, and for crews to suffer injury. Even when operators are experienced enough to avoid these errors, the cranes will not be able to be used efficiently. Some cranes will need to wait while cranes are in use. These delays over the course of your project will increase your project timelines and the required rental time, increasing your costs unnecessarily.
5. Consider a MIxture of Lifting Solutions
If your job does not allow you to create a lift plan where planes do not overlap, consider mixing your lift solutions.
For example, you could use modular lift towers in place of a crane. Modular lift towers function like an onsite industrial lift and do not require swing space. A modular column houses a hoist system within a sturdy framework. This device lifts up your items, freeing your crane to perform other tasks.
Following these five steps can help you optimise the time you have with the crane and keep costs low.